National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) vice chairman Christopher Hart and a panel of industry and government experts shared “lessons learned from helicopter accidents” at a wide-ranging panel discussion at Heli-Expo yesterday. Topics discussed included maintenance, simulation and training and the advantages on-board video and data recorders provide in accident investigations.
The FAA has released its long-awaited omnibus helicopter rule governing emergency medical services (EMS), Part 135 and Part 91 procedures, operations, training and testing and required equipment. The agency estimates that the new rule is expected to cost operators $311 million to implement over the next decade. It closely mirrors the FAA’s notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) released in 2010.
Airbus Helicopters is taking new measures to improve its customer service and support worldwide, according to Matthieu Louvot, the company’s director of support and services. “We are more than doubling our investment in IT systems–among others–for logistics and we have put a great deal of thought in high tech systems,” he said. “Customers will notice a difference very soon.”
Advanced Helicopter Services (Booth No. 2715) announced at Heli-Expo 2014 that it has acquired Cascade Airframe Repair based at Boeing Field in Seattle and will add it to the list of its helicopter service companies in the Pacific northwest. Cascade is an Airbus Helicopters and MD Helicopters service center as well as an FAA-approved repair station.
Want to count yourself among the likes of Charles Lindbergh, Igor Sikorsky, Stanley Hiller or Alan Bristow? They are all now or have been Twirly Birds, a group of helicopter pilots formed in 1945 for camaraderie on a grand order. Twirly Birds have just one thing in common: they’ve all soloed a helicopter or vertical-lift aircraft more than 20 years ago. If you meet these qualifications, join the group for their annual meeting at 5 p.m. today, the opening day of Heli-Expo 2014, in the Anaheim Marriott Marquis Ballroom Northeast.
Lockheed Martin’s Skunk Works advanced development unit is building an unmanned vertical takeoff and landing (VTOL) air vehicle under a U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) program to demonstrate a cargo UAV capable of carrying interchangeable mission payloads.
Helicopter Association International launched a major new safety initiative, Land and Live, this afternoon at Heli-Expo in Anaheim, Calif.
Helicopter manufacturers are expected to deliver 4,800 to 5,500 new turbine-powered civilian models in the next five years, Honeywell predicts in its annual market forecast. “What the operators told us was that for the most part, far more operators plan on increasing their flight activity than those who reported they were going to cut back on flight operations,” Charles Park, Honeywell’s market analyst, told AIN. “The actual usage of the platforms should increase as well.”
BBA subsidiary Ontic (Booth No. 7333) has signed its fourth license agreement for military and commercial electronics with Curtiss-Wright, as part of its Extended Life Solutions program. The products–logic modules, smoke detector sensors, power supplies and power converters–are designed for use on the Sikorsky Black Hawk, all variants; the Sukhoi Superjet 100; and Boeing 747, 757 and 767. The products will be transitioned from Curtiss-Wright’s City of Industry, Calif. facility into Ontic’s Chatsworth, Calif. manufacturing center.
The continuing investigation into the crash of an Airbus Helicopters EC135T2i in Glasgow, Scotland, on November 29 last year has yet to explain why pumps that would have transferred fuel from the aircraft’s main tanks to its supply tanks were not activated. An interim report by the UK’s Air Accidents Investigation Branch (AAIB) concluded that both of the aircraft’s fuel transfer pumps were found in the “off” position after the fatal crash.