If you’ve frequented major American airshows in the last 25 years, chances are you’ve seen Otto The Helicopter, a 1985 Schweizer 300 with its canopy done over in clown face. Roger Buis is Otto’s second pilot; he and his wife Pauline bought the act in 1999.
Sikorsky celebrated the 10th anniversary this month of the delivery of the first production S-92 medium-twin helicopter to offshore oil/gas operator PHI. Since then, Sikorsky has delivered more than 200 of the type. The fleet has accumulated more than 750,000 flight hours, nearly 90 percent of which were logged in offshore oil/gas operations. Sikorsky is now looking forward to fattening the roster of countries that fly head-of-state S-92s: the U.S.’s Marine One Presidential fleet will be based on the 19-seat design.
Quicksilver Aeronautics hired Cesar Diaz Perez as its new sales director, the Temecula, Calif.-based company announced yesterday at the Sun ’n’ Fun Fly-In. Diaz has experience in aircraft sales in Asia, Latin America and Europe, markets in which Quicksilver seeks to increase its presence. He is also fluent in Spanish, Chinese and English, and has studied French and Italian. Diaz replaces Todd Ellefson, who will become a dealer in Rochester, Minn., and continue supporting the Quicksilver factory in technical matters.
In a move designed to promote economic development and position a more strongly aligned workforce, Illinois’ Greater Rockford Airport Authority (GRAA) and Rock Valley College (RVC) have combined efforts to create an expanded aviation maintenance technology program.
The joint venture between Tata Advanced Systems and Sikorsky has delivered its first fully indigenous S-92 cabin. The Indian operation is now not only assembling cabins but also producing more than 5,000 associated precision components. At the Hyderabad factory, the capacity has reached four S-92 cabins per month and the 50th was produced in October.
PHI flew the first operational automated “rig approach” to a platform in the Gulf of Mexico in a Sikorsky S-92 on November 14. Sikorsky and PHI developed the system to reduce pilot workload and the FAA approved its functionality earlier this year. The system is expected to be offered on the Sikorsky S-76D as well.
The first customer delivery of the Sikorsky S-76D medium-twin helicopter is “imminent,” the Stratford, Conn.-based aircraft manufacturer said. According to a Sikorsky executive, the first example will be handed over this month to an offshore operator in the Gulf of Mexico. The first executive S-76D is scheduled for delivery in January to a customer in Europe. The OEM expects EASA certification toward the end of the year.
The University of North Dakota has donated $25,000 to the Los Angeles Unified School District’s struggling aircraft mechanics school located on Van Nuys Airport. The donation will be used to award scholarships to low-income students preparing for high-paying, high-skilled jobs as trained airframe and powerplant mechanics.
Recently threatened with closure by budget cuts, the vocational school was saved by a large private donation, strong advocacy campaign and rent relief from Los Angeles World Airports.
Spectrum Aeromed is displaying one of its medical interiors in a Lloyd Helicopters Sikorsky S-76 with Spectrum’s 2200 “short box” life support system at the Lloyd exhibit (Static No. C35). In addition, the Lloyd machine is equipped with a 1461 Med Wall, SLA locks and a 1203 stretcher. “The S-76 install from Lloyd Helicopters is only one of many configurations and customizable options we offer,” said Spectrum v-p Ricky Reno.
Helicopter service provider Associated Air Group is launching a new customer referral program. Existing clients can earn flight refers by introducing new clients to AAG.
AAG has more than 20 years experience providing helicopter and fixed-wing charter flights, fractional ownership programs and helicopter maintenance services for locations at Teterboro, New York and Philadelphia, and it operates and owns a Part 145-approved Sikorsky certified repair center at Dutchess County Airport, New York.
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