The New Jersey State Police would like to permanently relocate one of the state’s medevac helicopter units to Somerset Airport (SMQ), near the middle of the northern half of the Garden State. But Bedminster township committeeman Kurt Joerger vehemently opposes relocating the helicopter to his district from the roof of a Newark hospital.
Pilots of a Sikorsky S-92A from Norway’s Norsk Helikopter put out a Mayday call one day near the end of March, after being warned of a major drop in main rotor gearbox oil pressure while approaching an oil platform. The pilots made an emergency landing on the Veslefrikk B and none of the 19 people on board was hurt.
HAI is warning its members that a dry, warm winter across the Northwest and even the record winter rainfall in the Southwest have created conditions that indicate this year’s wildfire season could be extreme.
Australia has started a three-year research program to investigate the effectiveness of aerial “bush-fire” suppression. The Bush-fire Cooperative Research Centre (BCRC) will look at factors such as the level of aerial and ground suppression required for a fire suppression job and the upper intensity limit for effective suppression from different resources.
Preparing for the day when aircraft passengers are allowed to make cellphone calls in flight, Arinc and Telenor have created AeroMobile, a new service that the companies say will make such calling routine for airline and business aircraft passengers.
Today’s highly capable glass cockpits certainly put old, round-dial standby instruments in the shade. In many cases, standby training has become almost a chore rather than a necessity. Yet the standbys are always there, ready for us. The question is, are we always ready for them?
Since 1999, the North American aero-medical transport industry, particularly its helicopter EMS community, has become increasingly introspective regarding an accident rate it sees as excessive and has focused its attention on night flights and operations in reduced visibility, which constitute a large portion of mishaps. An area of special interest is wider use of technologies to enhance and amplify the visual capabilities of pilots.
In its determination of probable cause, the NTSB implicated a history of stability issues at high Mach speeds in the April 26, 2003, crash of Sino Swearingen’s number-one SJ30-2 prototype. Company test pilot Carroll Beeler was killed in the accident.
A Cessna 560 Citation V, registered HB-VLV and operated by Eagle Air of Bern, Switzerland, crashed on takeoff at Zurich Airport on Dec. 20, 2001, on a freezing cold night. The aircraft burned and both pilots–the only occupants–were killed. In its final report published on March 17, the Swiss Air Accident Investigation Bureau (BFU) lists pilot error as the main cause, but also points to other factors that contributed to the accident.
The Flight Safety Foundation (FSF) has moved ahead on a program to demonstrate a corporate aviation application for flight-operations quality assurance (FOQA). Having led the initiative to prove the benefits of FOQA to commercial carriers, and working now with NBAA, the FSF will institute a similar project at the top end of the general aviation spectrum starting at the beginning of next month.