Eurocopter Training Services (ETS) will offer a training module for helideck landing officers (HLOs), the surface personnel in charge of helicopter operations on offshore oil platforms, starting in the middle of next year. The company sees a major market in regions such as Latin America, Africa and Southeast Asia, where HLOs receive little training, according to ETS officials.
Eurocopter AS 350B2 Ecureuil, Loris, S.C., July 2, 2009–The AS 350 suffered substantial damage while landing to pick up a patient at a hospital helipad. The tail rotor struck a steel pole, causing vibration and forcing the pilot to land immediately and shut down.
The French Ministry of Transport has launched a study to establish several helipads or heliports in the Paris area within two years. Operators, who have been anticipating such a move, remain concerned, however, that the addition of more heliports might also entail the imposition of a strict limit on passenger traffic at the current Paris heliport.
The French government launched a study to add several helipads in the Paris area before the summer of 2011. Meetings of civil aviation authorities, a helicopter lobby and other parties next month will start defining where helipads are needed. Dominique Bussereau, secretary of state in charge of transports, has announced that economic factors will determine the additional public sites for helicopter takeoff and landing.
Sikorsky S-76A, Santa Maria, Calif., June 27, 2008–The pilot’s misjudgment of clearance from an object during a hovering turn for landing was the probable cause of the crash of an S-76A operated under Part 135 by Arctic Air Service, the NTSB has determined. Contributing to the accident was an inadequately marked heliport surface and the close proximity of an obstruction to the landing area.
You can’t find a solution until you’ve defined the problem. That’s the motivation behind a survey launched by Raymond A. Syms Associates intended to pull together heliport general information and create a database that will help improve heliport safety.
High above the miles-long ribbons of daily traffic jams in Brazil’s largest city, São Paulo, there is luxurious freedom in the more than 420 helicopters that flit from rooftop to rooftop. According to Cleber Mansur, president of the Brazilian Helicopter Pilots Association, that number will approach 460 helicopters by 2010. And, he added, there are currently 260 helipads in this sprawling metropolis of more than 3,000 square miles.
The FAA reports that there are 99 approved helipads within a 20-nm radius of Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport and approval for four more is pending. But not all area communities are thrilled with the idea. Affluent Forsyth County imposed a temporary moratorium on new heliports there last year and is in the process of drafting more restrictive rules for any future heliports/helipads in the county.
ExxonMobil has donated $500,000 to St. Mary’s CareFlight in Grand Junction, Colo., to help the hospital expand its landing pad and hangar. St. Mary’s serves Western Colorado and Eastern Utah. The new helipad will be located atop a new, 12-story patient care addition. �
Residents of the Saint-Tropez gulf, on the French Riviera, are threatening to block helipads and the road through Saint-Tropez if the city does not make progress on addressing helicopter noise. Every summer, wealthy visitors to Saint-Tropez make extensive use of helicopters, either private or chartered, to bypass traffic jams on the busy roads.