A Boeing Vertol BV-107 operated by Columbia Helicopters of Portland, Ore., crashed in August during a maintenance check flight in southern Montana, killing all three men aboard. Dead are pilot Rich Hernandez, 37; copilot Santi Arovitx, 28; and crew chief Kip Krigbaum, 45. The big twin-rotor helo, a civil derivative of the military’s CH-46, went down for as yet unexplained reasons about 9:30 a.m.
Nobody beats the Russians when it comes to rotorcraft “bigness.” Mil unveiled the Mi-12 in 1971 and later hoisted a record-setting 44 tons to more than 7,000 ft with the massive (115-ton mtow) twin-rotor helo.
More recently, since its introduction in 1981, the Russian-made Mil Mi-26 has reigned supreme as the heaviest cargo-lifting production rotorcraft, routinely hoisting loads weighing up to 22 tons.
When it comes to selling helicopters for one of the leading helo makers, it’s difficult to find a job that Jeff Pino hasn’t done. In his 17 years with Bell, he was vice president of sales and marketing, executive director for Europe, director for Latin America and regional manager for South America.
MBB BO-105S, SPARTA, ILL., JUNE 8, 2002–N660SL, operated by Arch Air Medical, sustained substantial damage when a static line broke loose and hit the main rotor while hot refueling after landing at Hunter Field Airport (SAR).
As its civil Ansat light-twin helo nears Russian certification, Kazan helicopters has begun work on a military variant as part of a program funded by Russia’s defense ministry.
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.
Pratt & Whitney Canada signed a fleet-management program contract with Era Helicopters of Lake Charles, La., to provide engine support for its fleet of AgustaWestland AW119 Koalas. The agreement covers Era’s 26 installed and three spare PT6B-37A engines for a period of 11 years.
The U.S. Coast Guard is reportedly about to reopen for competition the acquisition of shipboard-based helicopters for maritime contraband interception operations, a task it has been conducting with Agusta A109s.
In the peek-a-boo world of Russian rotorcrafting (now you see the program, now you don’t), plans have been announced to finally go ahead with the Kamov Ka-62, a civil adaptation of the Ka-60 “Kasatka” military helo. An earlier attempt to market a civil variant of this 14,330-lb-mtow rotorcraft was abandoned some years ago. Now the president of the Russian Federation’s Far Eastern Federal Okrug (roughly analogous to a 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.