The Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency (MMEA) will step up plans this year to expand its operations with the delivery of three new helicopters. At December’s LIMA airshow in Langkawi, First Admiral Zammani Mohd Amin, the agency’s director of Air Wing operations, told AIN that it will continue to grow.
Search and rescue
Selection of a preferred bidder could emerge before the end of this year in the UK’s search-and-rescue helicopter (SAR-H) procurement process, which aims to replace the country’s existing mix of military and contractor-operated helicopters with new machines operated by a single commercial consortium under a private finance initiative (PFI) contract.
AgustaWestland (Booth No. 7020) recently delivered the first of a pair of AW139s to its official Japanese distributor, Mitsui Bussan Aerospace, marking the first civilian use of the type in the Asian country.
Mitsui Bussan Aerospace, AgustaWestland’s distributor for the AW139 medium twin in Japan, plans to deliver the first of two AW139s to All Nippon Helicopter (ANH) in the middle of the year. ANH will conduct electronic newsgathering missions for Nippon Housou Kyoukai, Japan’s national broadcasting corporation.
Aviation Specialties Unlimited (Booth No. 3819) recently completed initial night- vision goggle (NVG) training for Irish Air Corps pilots and associated flight crews. The No. 3 Operations Wing of the Irish Air Corps is the first and only Irish operator using NVGs. It operates EC 135 and AW139 helicopters and performs a variety of missions including naval air support, reconnaissance, medevac, search-and-rescue and command-and-control.
Cyprus’s Ministry of Justice has ordered two AW139 medium twins for law enforcement and search-and-rescue (SAR) operations. The island nation’s Ministry of Defense had previously ordered three AW139s for SAR and utility-EMS duties, covering the Cyprus flight information region.
Satellite monitoring of 121.5-MHz emergency locator transmitters (ELTs) will end as of February 1. On that date, the International Cospas-Sarsat Organization will monitor only 406-MHz ELTs, which “transmit a much stronger signal, are more accurate, verifiable and traceable to the registered beacon owner,” the FAA said. According to the agency, only about 15 percent of the registered aircraft in the U.S. are currently flying with 406-MHz ELTs.
The FAA Safety Team yesterday issued a notice to remind aircraft operators that satellite monitoring of 121.5-MHz emergency locator transmitters (ELTs) will end as of February 1.
Bell 407, Sedona, Ariz., Oct. 13, 2008–An Arizona Department of Public Safety paramedic was killed during a search-and-rescue operation on Doe Mountain near Sedona. The helicopter crew had flown from Flagstaff Pulliam Airport to help find two stranded hikers. They spotted the hikers on the mountain, notified the Sedona Fire Department, which had initiated the search, and landed on a large boulder near the hikers.
In Portugal, state-owned helicopter operator Empresa de Meios Aéreos (EMA) seems happy with the six Kamov Ka-32 A11BCs it acquired for firefighting and search-and-rescue operations (SAR). The 12-metric-ton Russian design, relatively rare in the Western world, can carry four tons of water. And it is much less expensive than its competitors, according to pilot and media officer João Manuel da Silva dos Santos.