France’s civil aviation authority, the DGAC, has approved the idea of training medical personnel to serve as the HEMS “technical crewmembers” required by the EASA’s IR-OPS regulation. Beginning October 8, a technical crewmember will be required on some HEMS flights that thus far have been conducted by a single pilot. Operators’ reactions vary from wariness to strong support, but one pilot union vigorously opposes the move.
Cerritos. Mention the town’s name to any pilot who has flown around Southern California for more than a few years and you get a nod of instant recognition. On Aug. 31, 1986, an Aeromexico DC-9 inbound to Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) collided with a Piper Archer taking off from Zamperini Field in nearby Torrance. The wreckage fell onto Cerritos in southeast Los Angeles County, killing all 67 aboard both aircraft and 15 people on the ground.
Genesys Aerosystems (née Cobham) announced a deal yesterday with Air Medical Group Holdings for 210 HeliSAS systems to be installed in the operator’s fleet of Bell and Eurocopter EMS helicopters at subsidiaries Air Evac, Med Trans, EagleMed and Reach. The HeliSAS two-axis autopilot and stability augmentation system will be fitted to Air Medical Group’s fleet of helicopters over the next three years.
The Helicopter Association International (HAI) and the Army Aviation Association of America (AAAA) will join forces at Quad-A’s 2014 Army Aviation Mission Solutions Summit in Nashville on May 5 and 6 to help Army pilots and technicians who want to prepare their careers for the future. Representatives from helicopter operators spanning all sectors of the civilian market will be available to discuss opportunities with pilots and technicians, and meet with qualified candidates. The job fair will be led by Stacy Sheard, a test pilot for Sikorsky Aircraft and 11-year active-duty U.S.
France’s civil aviation authority, the DGAC, has approved the idea of training medical personnel as helicopter emergency medical service (Hems) “technical crewmembers,” beginning October 8. This change should meet the EASA IR-OPS requirement, which France opted out of for two years. Most helicopter EMS flights in the country today are conducted by a single pilot.
The EASA has certified the redesigned vertical bevel gear shaft for the Airbus Helicopters EC225, which has suffered in-flight failures and a nine-month grounding in 2012 and 2013. Manufacturing of the redesigned gear shaft is under way for production aircraft and for retrofits, and installations for both applications are slated to begin in the second half of this year.
The FAA said yesterday that it will delay by one year the April 22, 2014, compliance deadline to implement pilot training and qualification, airspace and other operational provisions in the new helicopter safety rule.
The EASA certified the Airbus Helicopters EC145T2, an upgraded version of the light twin with new engines and a shrouded tail rotor, late last week. The approval covers the helicopter’s full range of capabilities, the company said, including single-pilot, IFR, Category A takeoff and night-vision-goggles operations.
The certification comes a few months later than expected, delayed by the need to solve an aerodynamic issue in sideways flight. The Helionix avionics suite, developed in-house and featuring a four-axis autopilot, also contributed to the delay.
Sikorsky Aircraft completed the first flight of an optionally piloted Black Hawk demonstrator last month in a joint effort with the U.S. Army, the company said on April 21. The Black Hawk serves as a second testbed (joining an S-76) for Sikorsky’s Matrix research program to develop and field systems for autonomous vertical takeoff and landing aircraft.