It’s been 45 years since President Dwight Eisenhower became the first standing U.S. President to fly aboard a helicopter, a 60-min hop in a Bell UH-13-J that did much to validate public and private faith in rotorcraft as a form of VIP travel. Since those days, Presidents have logged thousands of miles and hundreds of hours aboard the rotorcraft flown and maintained by U.S.
Keeping with custom, Congress deserted Washington for the dog days of August with some small sense of accomplishment. Of the 1,570 bills submitted in the Senate and the 2,987 in the House before the recess, Congress tallied but 66 bills and resolutions that were signed into law. The Republican Study Committee reported that of those 66, 35 contained little or no significant costs to taxpayers.
A marginally sufficient 55 percent of the 540-strong force of eligible employees at aeromed operator Air Methods recently voted to approve representation by the Office and Professional Employees International Union (OPEIU). Under the Railway Labor Act, a simple majority is all that’s required for a union to win such a decision.
Ah, yes, there is considerable trouble in River City, and it isn’t a pool hall like in the 1950s Broadway musical. In this case, the river is the Potomac, the city is Washington and the trouble is that the Senate Republicans and Democrats do not seem to be able to join hands to break through their agonizingly slow pace and move forward to pass stalled legislation.
Aerospace Industries Association president and CEO John Douglass commended Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.) for her Senate floor speech on May 5, which rhetorically asked, “Will the last aerospace worker leaving America turn out the lights?”
The police helicopter in Edmonton, Alberta, spends 75 percent of its time on the ground, according to a criminologist, and the city council should decide what role it wants it to play. “If it’s on the tarmac, it’s of absolutely no use,” said Bill Pitt, a professor at the University of Alberta.
The UK government is investigating GKN’s $1.79 billion (£1 billion) sale of its 50-percent stake in helicopter company AgustaWestland on grounds of national security. Government trade and industry minister Helen Smith has issued a European Intervention Notice under the 2002 Enterprise Act.
Duncan Aviation has appointed Scott Shefke as Bombardier Challenger technical representative. He will serve as the technical advisor to Challenger customers and Duncan Aviation’s Challenger teams. “In the last three years, our Challenger business has grown to a point where it became obvious we needed to support customers with a dedicated technical representative,” said Rich Baeder, Duncan’s vice president of aircraft and FBO services.
Thomas Foley, CEO of Greenville, S.C.-based Stevens Aviation, has been appointed by President Bush to serve as director of private-sector development in Iraq. Foley, 51, will lead a staff responsible for developing and implementing a privatization plan for some 200 state-owned enterprises and managing trade and foreign investments into Iraq. He and President Bush first met in 1974 when both were attending Harvard University.
Aside from the cost of military actions against the terrorist factions following the September 11 attacks, the big question is, how the government is going to pay for everything else it wants to do.