A UK inquiry into the April 2009 fatal crash of a Eurocopter AS332L2 Super Puma in the North Sea begins today in Aberdeen, Scotland. Operated by Bond Helicopters, the rotorcraft suffered a main rotor gearbox failure and crashed into the sea off the Aberdeenshire coast while returning from an oil platform. The accident killed the two pilots and all 14 passengers aboard.
The European Commission last month issued its updated list of airlines banned from European Union airspace for safety concerns. New to the list are carriers from Nepal. Some progress on safety improvements was noted in the Philippines, Sudan and Zambia.
New Zealand’s Christchurch International Airport has won the 2013 Safety Award from theAustralasian Aviation Ground Safety Council (AAGSC). The facility was selected after of its management installed CCTV monitors around the airport to keep staff up to date on ground traffic issues. Another factor was the airport’s new ramp lights, designed to prevent injury to ground personnel. The lights are activated when aircraft are about to push back from the terminal.
A 59-year-old man working near the north cargo area of Logan International Airport was killed December 31 when he was run over by a truck on the ramp. Although the truck was traveling in reverse at the time it struck the victim, the reason behind bad damage to the vehicle’s windshield has not yet been explained.
A new heliport is set to open this month in the Dallas suburb of DeSoto, Texas. Construction on the $5 million, 19-acre facility began last March and will include 25,000 sq ft of heated hangar space to accommodate 50 helicopters and more than an acre of concrete ramp. The 12,000 sq ft of terminal and office space will house businesses such as flight training providers, emergency medical services, law enforcement, charter and ENG operations. Jet-A and avgas will be available 24 hours a day from self-serve fuel islands.
The Australian Helicopter Industry Association (AHIA) is voicing concerns about national rule harmonization with international standards–changes that the AHIA warns could bring major additional costs but little safety improvement. Among the changes is a proposed fatigue management philosophy that could call for hiring an extra crew at an IFR/NVIS helicopter base, and thus increase a Bell 412’s hourly rate by an estimated 25 percent. Another worry has been proposed legislation that bans piston-powered helicopters from populous areas.
Odyssey Aerospace Components, a cabinetry and interior components manufacturer for Airbus, Boeing, Bombardier and Gulfstream business jets, has been contracted to provide interior work for a Boeing Business Jet customer.
The project includes cabinetry and other interior components for a stateroom, galley, lavatory and other cabin zones. The Denton, Texas-based center, a Greenpoint Technologies property, plans to deliver all elements this year.
Lufthansa Technik (LHT) is studying ways to reduce the loads imposed on a bizliner’s interior walls and their structural attachments by a sudden drop in cabin pressure. The solution appears to lie in installing large cutouts in the walls and floor.
Raising commonality in the way different companies operate the same helicopter type will be among the subjects of the safety review launched by North Sea operators Bristow, Avincis and CHC.
The International Helicopter Safety Team (IHST) reformulated its safety goal, from reducing the number of helicopter accidents at a global level by 80 percent between 2006 and 2016 to “Zero tolerance, zero accidents,” John Black, co-chairman of the Ehest (the European chapter of the IHST), said at the EASA Rotorcraft Symposium.
“We won’t attain the IHST’s initial objective but we have to keep the momentum,” Michel Masson, Ehest secretary, told AIN. “We needed an ambitious target, an aspiration, a quest that would motivate all players and gather energies”.