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.
France’s BEA air accident investigation agency has released its serious incident report into the loss of control of an Air France Boeing 777 on November 11 while it was flying a Category III approach to Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport. During a go-around, the aircraft came within 63 feet of the ground before it established a positive climbout. The BEA said the pilot flying–the 14,370-hour captain–failed to execute the go-around according to Boeing procedures.
The McDonnell Douglas DC-10 has flown its last passenger-carrying service, at least in civilian colors, after a career spanning 43 years. Biman Bangladesh Airlines operated its final scheduled flight with the type from Dhaka to Birmingham in the UK via Kuwait on February 20, before operating nine local scenic flights as part of the type’s farewell ceremonies over the following weekend.
A de Havilland Canada DHC-6 Twin Otter operated by Nepal Airlines crashed at around 1 p.m. local time on February 16 on a domestic flight from Pokhara to Jumla. All 18 people on board were killed. The Twin Otter departed Pokhara at 12:43 p.m. and was scheduled to arrive in Jumla an hour later. A search that began after the aircraft was declared overdue found the wreckage the next morning at the 7,000-foot terrain level.
Ghana’s Civil Aviation Authority has grounded all McDonnell Douglas DC-8s registered in the African country. The CAA apparently issued the grounding on December 31 last year but published the notice on its website only last week. The CAA gave no reason for the grounding notice. The only two DC-8 operators in Ghana are on the European Union’s list of banned airlines.