For the second year in a row, the aviation unit of Florida’s Marion County Sheriff’s Office hosted a safety training session for law enforcement, emergency medical, firefighting and electronic newsgathering operations from around the state. The May 21 event drew more than 70 attendees from 23 different organizations and focused on the United States National Grid, combatting complacency and formation flying. During the training session attendees practiced joint search-and-rescue efforts by identifying coordinates using the national grid.
Search and rescue
The CAE/AgustaWestland Rotorsim joint venture has received EASA and Italian ENAC approval for its CAE Series 3000 AW189 full-motion simulator to level-D qualifications. The new simulator will be based at AgustaWestland’s new simulation building at the A. Marchetti Training Academy in Sesto Calende, Italy.
Malaysia’s transport ministry released a five-page preliminary report on May 1 into the disappearance of MH370, the Boeing 777 that has not been seen since it departed Kuala Lumpur March 8 for Beijing. The aircraft carried 227 passengers and a crew of 12. The new report adds little, if any, new information about the disappearance.
The Japan National Police Agency ordered another AgustaWestland AW139, the Italian helicopter manufacturer and its distributor Mitsui Bussan Aerospace announced at ABACE yesterday. The medium twin is scheduled to enter service next year for operations in Kagoshima Prefecture. More than 40 AgustaWestland helicopters are currently supporting law enforcement throughout various Japanese prefectures. According to AgustaWestland, Japan already uses the AW139 for critical missions such as search-and-rescue, firefighting and disaster relief.
The Japan National Police Agency has ordered another Agusta Westland AW139 medium twin helicopter, which is scheduled to enter service in 2015 for operations in Kagoshima Prefecture. AgustaWestland and Mitsui Bussan Aerospace announced the sale here at ABACE on Tuesday, noting that the new AW139 will replace an ageing Bell 412 in the police fleet.
A Sikorsky RH-4 made the first documented rescue by helicopter on Nov. 29, 1945, so it’s not surprising that Sikorsky sponsors the HAI Humanitarian Award. This year’s award goes to the Gander, Newfoundland-based flight crew of a Royal Canadian Air Force search-and-rescue helicopter for a successful rescue accomplished under extreme weather conditions on Feb. 9, 2013.
Bell Helicopter has sold two Bell 412EPIs and two 407GXs to Chongqing General Aviation, marking the first Bell helicopters to be used in China for parapublic missions, including firefighting and search-and-rescue. The four aircraft will serve the Chongqing Fire Fighting Department. “We are pleased to collaborate with Chongqing in its efforts to further its parapublic offerings,” said Chris Jaran, managing director for Bell Helicopter in China.
Malaysian operator Weststar Aviation Services yesterday ordered an additional 10 AgustaWestland AW139 intermediate twin helicopters. The company, which will use the aircraft to support offshore oil and gas industry activity, will increase its AW139 fleet to 34 once deliveries are complete.
The Netherlands Oil and Gas Exploration and Production Association has chosen operator Noordzee Helicopters Vlaanderen (NHV) for search-and-rescue (SAR) services. The contract took effect January 1 and has a minimum duration of six months. NHV will operate from Den Helder Airport with two Airbus Helicopters AS365N Dauphins. The supplemental availability of AS365Ns from the Botlek area means that in emergencies at least three helicopters can be operational simultaneously, providing the capacity to rescue crews operating in the Dutch continental shelf area.
The AgustaWestland AW101 won Norway’s competition for a new search-and-rescue (SAR) helicopter. The win could be worth more than €1 billion if Norway buys 16 aircraft as planned and exercises options for another six. The AW101s will replace Sea Kings provided by Westland in the 1970s.
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