Now that former city attorney James Hahn has been elected mayor of Los Angeles, helicopter operators using Van Nuys (Calif.) Airport might be getting a little nervous. Responding to community complaints about helicopter noise at the busy general aviation airport just north of Los Angeles, Hahn campaigned advocating an agenda that included, in part, a proposal to institute a 10 p.m. to 7 a.m.
Working in its own quiet low-key way, Schweizer Aircraft has revealed its new 300CBi. An enhanced upgrade of the company’s strong-selling 300CB, the new 300CBi features a fuel-injected 180-hp Lycoming HIO-360-C1A engine. Schweizer maintains that throttle correlation is noticeably more precise and engine response is smoother and more immediate than with its predecessor’s carburetor-equipped Lycoming engine.
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.
Once again, an emergency AD (No. 2002-23-51) has mandated no further flight of the roughly 360 Bell 407 helicopters currently in service. The November 13 AD was prompted by two reported failures of the stud from a swashplate drivelink assembly. One or both swashplate drivelink cup washers may have been installed incorrectly.
The successful helicopter airline is the rotorcraft world’s equivalent of the lost continent of Atlantis. There are legends of its having once existed but as the years stretch into the distance, the chances of its ever having been real seem to fade away. You can almost count on one hand the number of scheduled helicopter operations putting black ink into their books and have fingers left over.
ENSTROM F-28C, NEAR MEDICINE BOW, WYO., JUNE 10, 2002–N5694Z, operated by Falcon Helicopter and piloted by a commercial-rated pilot, was substantially damaged during a hard landing at 9:45 a.m. near Medicine Bow. The pilot sustained serious injuries, and the passenger received only minor injuries. The weather was reported to be VMC for the flight, which originated in Laramie, Wyo., at 7:30 a.m.
Claiming already to represent some 1,100 professional helicopter pilots and maintenance personnel, the Professional Helicopter Pilots Association (PHPA) has officially opened its doors. Beginning life as part of the Office and Professional Employees International Union (OPEIU), the new union got its start with the organized employees of Gulf of Mexico operators Air Logistics and Petroleum Helicopters Inc.
Under the general heading of “We’re surprised it hadn’t happened sooner” comes this story from James City, Va. about a helicopter that made what may, or may not, have been an emergency landing and the trigger-happy neighbor who, convinced he was witnessing terrorist activity, took a couple of potshots at the rotorcraft with his handy assault rifle. At 8 a.m.
The second of three AgustaWestland AW139s that CHC Helicopter will use for search-and-rescue operations off the south coast of England on behalf of the UK Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) was delivered to the agency’s Lee-on-
Solent base last month.
In the aeronautical mountain range, a few peaks are still unclimbed. Some goals, once thought impossible, are an everyday fact. Jet propulsion, supersonic flight, a practical helicopter and the miracles of manned and unmanned spaceflight all whiz past our bemused faces while we scarcely register a raised eyebrow.