A new “helicopter only” FBO has opened in Kearny, N.J., half a mile from exit 15E of the New Jersey Turnpike and only two minutes’ flying time from Manhattan. Helo Holdings began transient operations in mid-January. The 7.25-acre FBO offers fuel and maintenance services to based tenants and pre-approved transient traffic. There are two “hot” refueling pads.
At hearings last month members of the Senate Aviation Operations subcommittee pressured FAA Administrator Randy Babbitt to speed the agency’s rewrite of regulations addressing pilot fatigue. The proposed NPRM dealing with that rewrite was expected in September last year, but has now been pushed back to early this year.
Featuring a modified nose, upgraded avionics and simplified construction, a modernized FH-1100 helicopter should be in production by 2004. Georges Van Nevel, president of the FH-1100 Manufacturing Corp., recently told AIN that he anticipates FAA certification for the upgraded helo by the end of this year, with first deliveries expected within 18 months of production startup.
Lightspeed Aviation last month unveiled the Zulu Helo, an active-noise-reduction headset for helicopter pilots. The company claims Zulu’s noise reduction and non-clamp design eliminates headset fatigue. Orders for the $900 Zulu Helo can be placed through a Lightspeed-authorized dealer. Deliveries are slated to begin this month.
Sky Connect at Booth No. 1935 is showcasing its Iridium-based satellite communication capabilities while highlighting its expansion into the marine, land-mobile and indoor markets. Based in part on its success penetrating the rotorcraft market, the company has hired Joel Goron, former Cygnus Business Media publisher and sales director, to oversee expansion of Sky Connect’s distribution network into non-aviation markets.
They’re the unsung heroes of the highwire, the workers who straddle live high-tension transmission lines, wires literally sizzling with their lethal load. Suspended in midair by a helicopter, stabilized by the rock-solid hand of a steady-hovering pilot, line crews would be hard-pressed to repair aging powerline infrastructure as quickly or as well in isolated areas.