The FAA is adopting a new Airworthiness Directive that supersedes an existing airworthiness directive for the MD Helicopters MD900. It requires a visual inspection and, if necessary, an eddy-current inspection of the main rotor lower hub assembly (lower hub) for a crack. If a crack exists, the AD requires replacing the lower hub with an airworthy lower hub before further flight.
Fledgling helicopter manufacturer Marenco Swisshelicopter has moved the first flight of its SKYe SH09 light-single helicopter prototype slightly to the right. Initially planned by the end of this year, the maiden sortie is now expected in the first half of next year.
Next year’s Heli-Expo show in Las Vegas (March 4-7, 2013) will include the Helicopter Association International’s (HAI) new safety education initiative called the Rotor Safety Challenge. The seminar series will offer 30 different safety topics designed to enhance safety in the rotorcraft industry worldwide. The 60-minute sessions–offered at no charge to attendees–will focus on four different safety tracks; flight operations, maintenance, safety culture and leadership and safety management.
Sikorsky and Ruili Jingcheng Group (RJG) signed two contracts for the introduction of an S-92 and S-76D, marking Sikorsky’s first S-92 helicopter sale to a private Chinese operator and the first-ever S-76D sale into China. The signing took place today at Airshow China 2012 in Zhuhai. Both aircraft will be configured for airline use.
The Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC) has approved the increased maximum gross weight for the Bell 429, Bell Helicopter announced today at Airshow China 2012 in Zhuhai. This approval makes China the 12thcountry to endorse the increased maximum gross weight for the Bell 429 based on Transport Canada’s certification. Transport Canada approved operation of the Bell 429 at 7,500 pounds (3,400 kg) in January after an extensive technical evaluation.
Bell Helicopter has signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with SAIT Polytechnic to make its classrooms and labs at SAIT’s Art Smith Aero Centre in Calgary, Alberta, available for Bell Helicopter to use in the delivery of approved maintenance, repair training and certification programs.
Russian Helicopters is introducing an “advanced after-sales service system” through subsidiary Helicopter Service Company. The “new approach” is built on “integrated logistic support” and uses new procedures to certify service centers. Russian Helicopters pledges maintenance will be easier thanks to the widespread introduction of information technology. Parts will be available for order online and aircraft documentation will become electronic.
Lease Corporation International (LCI) has assigned several of the new-generation AgustaWestland helicopters that it ordered in February this year and expects initial deliveries to begin early next year. The company, which already has a diverse airliner leasing portofolio, is planning to place fresh orders with other rotorcraft manufacturers, according to CEO Mike Platt.
The U.S. Air Force issued a request for proposals (RFP) for its “high priority” combat rescue helicopter (CRH) acquisition on October 19. The RFP begins a second campaign to replace the service’s HH-60G Pave Hawk search-and-rescue helicopters. In 2009 the Pentagon cancelled the original replacement program, which had been awarded three years earlier to Boeing for the HH-47 Chinook, after successive contractor protests and delays.
Preliminary Report: Turboprop Single Crashes from High Altitude
Daher-Socata TBM 850, 75 miles west of Ottawa, Canada, Oct. 8, 2012–A TBM 850 spiraled from FL270 and struck the ground near the Canadian city of Calabogie, Ontario. The 26,000-hour pilot, also a flight instructor and the only occupant, was killed in the crash. The aircraft was brand new and registered on Sept. 18, 2012. The reason for the spiral has not yet been determined.
Preliminary Report: Twin-Turboprop Crash Kills 19 in Nepal