A rescue officer fell from a Bell HH-1H on July 22 during a search-and-rescue operation at 9.50 p.m. near Mount Charleston, Nev. The Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department was operating the helicopter under Part 91 and was in the process of hoisting a stranded hiker off the side of a mountain at the time of the accident. Night VFR conditions prevailed at the time of the accident. The rescue officer died in the accident; the hiker was rescued safely.
Search and rescue
Maritime security is an increasingly important requirement for most nations with a coastline. The need to protect and secure trade routes has grown in recent years, as has security for offshore oil and gas installations. Fishery patrol, pollution control and search-and-rescue (SAR) remain as important as ever. However, while many nations need to either acquire a maritime surveillance capability or increase an existing one, they may not be able to afford the high price of traditional maritime patrollers.
On March 26 this year the UK’s Department for Transport announced that Bristow Helicopters (part of the U.S.-based Bristow Group) had won the contract to provide a search and rescue helicopter service for the whole of the UK. The 10-year, £1.6 billion contract will officially begin implementation in April 2015, and will be fully in place by 2017, managed by the Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA).
Two Bond Offshore Helicopters search-and-rescue crewmen, winch operators Paul Walters and Andrew Cowx, have been awarded the 2012 Billy Deacon SAR Memorial Trophy, in recognition of their role in a dramatic North Sea rescue last December. Their Eurocopter AS332L2 Super Puma was first to reach the rig standby vessel Vos Sailor, which had lost power in darkness and poor sea conditions. Despite an injured foot, Cowx volunteered to remain on the deck of the stricken vessel for an hour. There, he managed the rescue of three remaining members of the ship’s crew.
UK-based Bristow Helicopters, an affiliate of the Texas-based Bristow Group, today announced a 10-year contract with the UK’s Department for Transport for search-and-rescue (SAR) services for all of the country. The $2.5 billion agreement has a phased-in transition period beginning in April 2015 and continuing until July 2017.
Under the contract, Bristow will provide 11 Sikorsky S-92s and 11 AgustaWestland AW189 medium-twin helicopters across 10 UK bases. Each SAR base will operate either two S-92s or two AW189s. In addition, there will be two training aircraft.
Priority 1 Air Rescue Services (Booth No. N5012) announced Monday the opening of its new Search and Rescue–Tactical Training Academy (SART/TAC) in Mesa, Ariz. The company says the 6,000-sq-ft facility is the first instructional center focused on providing helicopter SAR and tactical mission aircrew training for government agencies and commercial operators.
In an expanded display for Heli-Expo ’13, LifeBlanket (Booth No. C2313) is showing its original Pocket Rescue Bivy ultralight emergency shelter, Tech Tarp Personal Survival Equipment and original Cowboy Blankets, along with its updated +LifeBlanket patient-packaging systems and modular FR ANSI safety vests.
LifeBlanket manufactures all-weather patient packaging for EMS medical transport, disaster response, personal emergency and search-and-rescue gear.
Avincis Group has taken delivery of the first of its record order of 16 new Sikorsky S-92s. The order, placed in December 2011, is the largest single purchase of S-92s ever made, according to the UK-based operator. The Avincis fleet is expected to provide offshore oil and gas worker transportation and serve in a search-and-rescue role.
A live helicopter rescue demonstration organized by UTC Aerospace (Booth No. C2425) was abruptly cancelled Sunday morning when, moments before the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police crew began to lower the fast-line, they received an emergency call for the real thing.
With an audience of more than 70 and two television crews watching from the roof of the Wynn Encore parking garage, the UH-1H main door closed and the helicopter banked abruptly away, headed for Red Rock Canyon, a rugged area about 20 miles west of Las Vegas, to assist an injured hiker.
In an expanded display for Heli-Expo ’13, LifeBlanket (Booth No. 2313) is displaying its original Pocket Rescue Bivy ultralight emergency shelter, Tech Tarp Personal Survival Equipment and original Cowboy Blankets, along with its updated +LifeBlanket patient-packaging systems and modular FR ANSI safety vests.
LifeBlanket, based in Colorado, manufactures all-weather patient packaging for medical transport, disaster response, personal emergency and search-and-rescue gear.