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.
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.
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.
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 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. �
A research program commissioned by the UK Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) has produced findings that could lead to safer night landings on offshore helidecks. The results have been so impressive that the CAA, in conjunction with other authorities, submitted a proposal to the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) to amend current worldwide standards and practices for helideck and heliport lighting.