HH-60 Pave Hawk
The U.S. Air Force will invite bids for two major helicopter requirements, the service confirmed.
The “HH-60 Recapitalization” is the new name for the ill-fated combat search and rescue (CSAR-X) competition, which was abandoned in 2009, three years after the Boeing HH-47 Chinook was first declared the winner.
At 10 p.m. on April 20, seven minutes after the Deepwater Horizon offshore drilling rig exploded, the search-and-rescue alarm went off at the U.S. Coast Guard Air Training Center in Mobile, Ala. Pilot Lt. Andy Greenwood and his crew headed for their HC-144 Ocean Sentry, a CASA CN-235 twin turboprop, for the 115-mile flight. “We were at 4,000 feet when we hit the Gulf, and we could already see the fire,” Greenwood said.
Lockheed Martin’s Pathfinder flight team began preparations this week to demonstrate the system to the U.S. Army in a developmental and limited-user evaluation. Pathfinder is a pilotage aid based on the M-TADS/PNVS used in the AH-64 Apache, but intended for cargo and utility aircraft. It gives pilots FLIR-based imagery on a helmet display for safer flight in reduced-vision environments, including brown-out conditions.
Apex Manufacturing and its owner, Jack Harootunian, 48, have been indicted on mail fraud charges for illegally selling substandard and counterfeit helicopter parts to the U.S. military, resulting in the temporary grounding of 154 Sikorsky-built Black Hawks. If convicted, Harootunian could face up to 10 years in federal prison, and the company could face up to $1 million in fines and up to five years on probation, U.S.
Attempting to rescue injured climbers on Oregon’s highest peak in an accident that left three dead, a Sikorsky HH-60G Pave Hawk search-and-rescue Black Hawk assigned to the Air Force Reserve’s 304th Rescue Squadron crashed just 800 ft shy of the summit of 11,240-ft Mount Hood on May 30. At that height, the Pave Hawk was operating very near its 11,540-ft IGE maximum power hover ceiling.
Smiths Aerospace is supplying its new generation cockpit voice and data recorder (VADR) systems for the MH-47 Chinook and MH-60 Black Hawk helicopters operated by the U.S. Army’s 160th Special Operations Regiment and the U.S. Coast Guard’s HH-60 Jayhawk and HH-65 Dolphin. Manufactured at Smiths’ facilities in Michigan, the VADR is claimed to be the most capable and reliable solid-state recorder on the market today.