Bell 206B JetRanger, Cleveland, Ohio, June 25, 2005–A failure of the main drive shaft for undetermined reasons, the NTSB concluded, caused the total loss of engine power in the Bell 206B JetRanger. A factor in the accident was the pilot’s improper flare.
Bell 206B JetRanger, Gulf of Mexico, Aug. 18, 2005–The NTSB concluded that the pilot’s improper fuel calculations caused the Air Logistics JetRanger to crash into the Gulf of Mexico because of fuel exhaustion. The pilot had enough fuel for approximately one hour and 50 minutes with no reserve when he flew to an oil platform, where oil was spotted on the side of the fuselage.
Sikorsky S-76B, New York, N.Y., Oct. 11, 2005–The United Technologies S-76 refueled at a riverside heliport and was being repositioned to another spot to pick up passengers. The pilot flying described the conditions as “dark, drizzling rain, northerly winds 8 to 10 knots, [and an] unusually high water level of the…river.” The pilot flying was in the right seat; the pilot-in-command was in the left.
Eurocopter AS 350-B2 AStar, Jasper, Ala., Dec. 22, 2005–The NTSB blamed the accident on the pilot’s failure to maintain a visual lookout and proper altitude clearance during a low-level flight.
Bell 206B JetRanger, Patterson, La., March 14, 2006–As the Rotorcraft Leasing JetRanger left Patterson for an oil rig in the Gulf of Mexico, the helicopter seemed to lose power and “dropped” a couple of times. A passenger reported that the pilot “didn’t have the power to keep it up.” Although the pilot recovered a couple of times, he was attempting an emergency landing when it crashed in trees only five miles from Patterson.
Summer in the Swiss Alps is short, and construction companies have to work fast in the mountains and valleys. Many of them come to Berne-based Heliswiss having learned that, when it comes to building structures such as ski-lift towers, the Ka-32 can deliver the accuracy and, thus, the speed of progress that they need.
Carson Helicopters and Sagem Avionics’ U.S. arm have teamed to introduce a new upgrade package for the venerable Sikorsky S-61N. The package includes new composite main rotor blades on the outside and flat-panel cockpit displays, autopilot and attitude heading reference systems in the office.
Spanish operator Helisureste has taken delivery of an Agusta- Westland 139. The new helicopter will be used on the company’s scheduled service flying between Malaga and the Spanish enclave of Ceuta, on the north African coast.
With North Sea competition investing in the EC 225, Super Puma Mk 2 and S-92, is there still a role for the Sikorsky S-61N? The workhorse has been providing sterling service for more than 40 years, but the oil majors regard it–as a people-carrier at least–as obsolescent hardware.
In 1999, in a wide-ranging re-alignment of North Sea helicopter assets, Canadian Helicopter (CHC) bought Norway’s Helikopter Service, together with Brintel and Bond in the UK. The company was soon relaunched as CHC Scotia.