Less than two weeks before California’s June 5 primary election, some federal lawmakers in the state are again making helicopter noise in the Los Angeles area a campaign issue. In a letter sent yesterday to U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood, seven members from California’s congressional delegation are urging him to jump-start the public comment period of the FAA rulemaking process.
Eurocopter is expecting EASA certification of the EC130T2 helicopter, an upgraded version of the EC130B4 large-cabin single, “within weeks.” The flight-test program has been completed and Eurocopter has delivered all the required documents to the authorities, according to Janick Blanc, the company’s vice president for light helicopter programs.
Simplex received FAA STC approval for an enhanced belly-mounted Fire Attack system for the AgustaWestland AW139. The new system, which increases capacity by 20 percent to nearly 500 gallons and is certified for higher speeds, is the result of a partnership with AgustaWestland to take advantage of the AW139’s speed and increased payload capacity. The aerial firefighting system also uses the helicopter’s multifunction displays and cameras on the tank to allow the pilot to see the hover pump and door operation without the use of mirrors.
The EASA issued an emergency Airworthiness Directive for Eurocopter EC225 medium-twin helicopters, requiring operators to closely monitor vibrations. The emergency action stems from a May 10 incident involving an EC225 operated by Bond Offshore Helicopters, which safely ditched, with 14 on board, into the North Sea. Under the AD, those EC225s not equipped with vibration health monitoring are restricted to day VFR for flights over water.
The EASA has issued a new emergency Airworthiness Directive (AD) after further cracks were detected on the lower hub-shaft flange of two other Eurocopter EC135 light-twin helicopters. Repetitive preflight inspections are required and different from those described in a first emergency AD, issued in March. The initial inspections proved insufficient. The investigation is ongoing.
United Technologies (UTC) announced this month that Mick Maurer has been appointed president of its Sikorsky Aircraft subsidiary, effective July 1. Maurer, who will succeed Jeff Pino, joined Sikorsky in 2000 and most recently served as president of the military systems unit. Pino, who will retire effective July 1, will then serve as a consultant to Sikorsky.
Simplex has received FAA STC approval for its Fire Attack system on the AgustaWestland AW139 to take advantage of the AW139’s increased mtow and flight speed. With hover pump installed, the new system is certified to fly at 140 kias. Without the hover pump deployed, the system is certified to fly at 150 kias.
When aviation people speak of Part 135 operations, many of us naturally assume a business jet or at least turboprop is involved.
Bell Helicopter announced at EBACE that it completed deliveries of six of its newest helicopters in Europe over the past month. Three Bell 407GXs, the first of its kind in Europe, were delivered in Belgium, Denmark and, most recently, Iceland. Bell also shipped three Bell 429s in Russia and Ukraine. Bell showcased a Bell 429 medium twin outfitted for corporate missions at the European show. The helicopter on display is midway through a European demo tour, with upcoming stops in Belgium, Czech Republic the UK and Serbia.
Bell Helicopters (Stand 7091) has delivered six of its newest aircraft–Bell 407GX and Bell 429–in Europe and Ukraine, it announced at EBACE. “The Bell 407GX is attracting interest from corporate, private and utility operators due to its speed, range and state-of-the-art Garmin G100H flight deck, which maximizes pilot situational awareness,” said Danny Maldonado, executive vice president of commercial sales and marketing.