This article contains additional information from the story first published on February 24.
While the safety and practical benefits of simulators are well known to the airline industry, they are still relatively new to civil helicopter pilots, instructors and operating companies. First, the student and instructor do not have to spend time flying to a particular place–for example, a hilly area, an offshore platform and so forth. With one click of a mouse at the instructor station, the helicopter and the crew find themselves teleported.
AgustaWestland gained EASA approval for its new AW189 medium-twin helicopter on February 7. The company said that delivery of the first two AW189s in offshore configuration to Bristow Group was “imminent.” More than 100 AW189s are on order. To date, Bristow has placed a firm order for 11 AW189s for use on a UK search-and-rescue contract and for offshore operations. Other large fleet customers include Gulf Helicopters and Era, with 15 orders each.
For the first time in North America, Italian OEM AgustaWestland (Booth No. 6937) is displaying here at Heli-Expo its complete family of new-generation helicopters, a lineup comprising the AW169, AW139 and AW189, along with the PZL-Swidnik SW-4, which is making its debut Heli-Expo appearance. The three new-generation helicopters cover the four- to eight-ton categories and share a common cockpit layout, design philosophy and maintenance concept.
HAI president Matt Zuccaro asked his constituents a commonsense question that is at the core of the organization’s new safety program, Land & Live: “We land on mountaintops, buildings, ships, oil platforms….so, why don’t we land the helicopter when an accident chain begins? What is that?”
Long known as the world’s lone operator of the heavy-lift S-64, Erickson Air-Crane announced yesterday that it has rebranded as Erickson Incorporated, reflecting the company’s recent acquisitions and newly diversified portfolio.
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.