The FAA recently issued a revised Special Airworthiness Information Bulletin–SAIB SW-08-03R1–to warn helicopter operators of the “hazards of snow and ice,” according to the FAA Rotorcraft Directorate’s Safety Management Group in Fort Worth. The bulletin, “Recommendations for Rotorcraft During Icing Conditions,” was released in 2003, and new data has been added following additional FAA testing.
Tonight at its Salute to Excellence banquet and awards ceremony, now in its 49th year, HAI honors individuals and organizations in the international helicopter community for outstanding achievement. The association announced the winners of this year’s awards in December. The festivities start at 8 p.m. at Hilton Americas-Houston.
Rolls-Royce Excellence in Helicopter Maintenance Award
Eurocopter’s revenues in Asia grew by 58 percent in 2009, to ?896 million ($1.25 billion)–20 percent of the group’s total. In fact, CEO Lutz Bertling is so optimistic that on Tuesday here at the show he predicted the Asian helicopter market one day will be the size of that of the U.S., which today ranks first by far.
Glenn “Wes” Lematta, 83, the founder of Columbia Helicopters, died December 24. Lematta and his brothers started Columbia in 1957 with a single used Hiller UH-12B in which they offered rides at county fairs. The company grew into a global heavy-lift helicopter operator that today employs 600 and operates a fleet of 30 Vertol 107 II and Boeing 234 Chinook tandem-rotor helicopters.
Last month the FAA published a proposed NPRM covering new airworthiness standards for composite structures on normal-category rotorcraft under FAR Parts 27 and 29.
Yesterday, the FAA published a proposed NPRM covering new airworthiness standards for composite structures on normal category rotorcraft under FAR Parts 27 and 29. A proposed new section in the regulations establishes guidelines for damage tolerance and fatigue testing of these structures.
Bell 206L-1, Gulf of Mexico, Nov. 1, 2009–The LongRanger, operated by Rotorcraft Leasing, was substantially damaged after a loss of engine power forced a water landing shortly after liftoff from an oil platform. Just before touching down, the pilot inflated the pontoons but the helicopter rolled over as it settled in the water. Preliminary examination of the recovered helicopter indicated a loose compressor discharge pressure line.
Kumertau Aviation Production Enterprise, one of the companies in holding firm Russian Helicopters, has completed a phase of tests with a Turbomeca-powered Kamov Ka-226. The aircraft–the Ka-226T–is the first coaxial-rotor helicopter to be fitted with Turbomeca turboshafts, in this case Arrius 2G. Production of the helicopter is expected to start next year.
Eurocopter Training Services (ETS) will offer a training module for helideck landing officers (HLOs), the surface personnel in charge of helicopter operations on offshore oil platforms, starting in the middle of next year. The company sees a major market in regions such as Latin America, Africa and Southeast Asia, where HLOs receive little training, according to ETS officials.
Following Transport Canada certification and FAA validation of the Bell 429 in July, Bell Helicopter Textron of Fort Worth, Texas, delivered the first aircraft, S/N 57006, to launch customer Air Methods on August 1. The current Bell 429 fleet (two prototypes, three flight test and two customer aircraft) has accumulated more than 2,200 hours.