The NTSB has begun trying to learn what caused the pilot of a Eurocopter AS350B2 to lose control of the newsgathering rotorcraft moments after liftoff from a TV station helipad in downtown Seattle on March 18. The pilot and a TV station photographer were killed in the accident.
Eurocopter obtained the first license in Europe permitting localizer-performance with vertical guidance (LPV) approaches on a helipad, at its development and production facility in Donauwörth, Germany. The helicopter manufacturer emphasized that such a procedure improves safety in poor visibility, since aircraft can overfly obstacles more safely.
Moscow FBO Avia Group opened a helipad at the Russian capital’s Sheremetievo International Airport today. The company, which operates Terminal A as a business aviation center, is responding to rising demand for helicopter transfers in and out of the airport, especially in view of the heavy road traffic in surrounding areas.
The Pacific offshore helicopter symposium will be held in Australia next month in the Sydney Convention and Exhibition Center at Darling Harbour. Topics to be discussed at the October 8 event include the new CASA rules on commercial operations such as the latest IFR, copilot qualifications and multi-engine performance standards. Changes to the latter could result in many hospital helipads and oil rig platforms operations being considered unsuitable for the current crop of medium to heavy helicopters, unless the new EASA rules are modified.
Australian operator Newcastle Helicopters has plans to launch a floating heliport in Sydney’s harbor in the middle of this year. The powered, flat-top vessel will feature two helipad sites, aircraft storage, refueling facilities and meeting rooms.
This could be a called a tale of two cities, but it’s a little more complicated than that.
First, you have Washington, D.C., which has had a viable heliport since early 1998, but it depends on your definition of the word “viable.”
Then you have Dallas, which has had Garland/DRW Heliport since 1988, one of fewer than a dozen stand-alone public-use heliports in the U.S. It was joined in 1994 by 49T, a heliport on the roof of the Dallas Convention Center.
Elections have proved to be periods of peak demand for India’s helicopter operators, but strict enforcement of rules by regulators is making life hard for operators serving candidates who are running for election this year.
The EF5 tornado that struck Joplin, Mo., on May 22 packed 200-mph winds and tore a three-quarter-mile-wide, 14-mile-long path of destruction that killed 154 and leveled 8,000 structures. The storm took dead aim at Joplin’s St. John’s Regional Medical Center, rendering the building unusable and forcing a post-storm evacuation of 183 patients. Five others suffocated when back-up power failed and their ventilators shut down.
India has introduced dedicated visual flight route (VFR) corridors for helicopters at the Delhi and Mumbai airports to enhance capacity and efficiency of rotorcraft operations. Helicopter operators, which have been delayed by congestion at the nation’s large airports, have been demanding this change for some time.
The National EMS Pilots Association and Aerosafe Risk Management Group are launching www.lzcheck.com to increase safety by providing information to pilots about conditions and potential hazards at helipads, helistops and landing zones in the local area.
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