As Sikorsky prepares to deliver its 100th medium-lift, twin-engine S-92A, the role main rotor vibration and other past problems with the helicopter’s main rotor gearbox (MGB) played in the fatal crash of a Cougar Helicopters S-92 off Newfoundland on March 12 remains under study by Canada’s Transportation Safety Board (TSB).
Minutes before a Cougar Helicopters Sikorsky S-92 fell into the Atlantic March 12, one of the pilots radioed that the helicopter had “zero” main gearbox (MGB) oil pressure. Two pilots and 16 offshore oil workers were aboard the helicopter when it either crashed or ditched 47 miles East of St. John’s Newfoundland.
The helicopter industry isn’t immune to the terrible trouble affecting the global economy, but if Heli-Expo’09 is any indication, the greater diversity among operators of the world’s helicopter fleets helped deliver record high attendance and exhibitor activity.
Simulator manufacturer Frasca International’s current projects include two full-flight simulators for Bristow Helicopters (a Sikorsky S-92 and a Eurocopter EC 225) and three level-7 helicopter flight-training devices for FlightSafety International (an AS 350 B2, a Bell 206B/206L and a Bell 407). “The helicopter training sector has become a very important market for Frasca,” said John Frasca, vice president.
Sikorsky yesterday announced the formation of Sikorsky Global Helicopters, a new umbrella business unit for the manufacturer’s commercial helicopters, including the S-76, S-92, H-92 and the Schweizer helicopter line. As part of the rebranding, the S-300c, S-300CBi, S-333 and S-434 will be marketed as Sikorsky helicopters. “The Schweizer name will disappear,” said Marc Poland, executive vice president of the new business unit.
Sikorsky Aircraft (Booth No. 1740) announced at Heli-Expo’09 the creation of Sikorsky Global Helicopters, a new business unit made up of the manufacturer’s commercial products, including the S-76, S-92 and H-92 platforms, as well as the Schweizer helicopter line.
Three Eurocopter AS 322 Super Pumas, which Bristow Helicopters (Booth No. 1835) operates from Aberdeen, Scotland, to offshore installations in the North Sea, now carry TCAS II traffic collision avoidance systems, and the operator expects to similarly equip its entire Super Puma fleet by 2010. Bristow announced on Friday that it has designated the Sikorsky S-92 as its next type for TCAS II certification.
Lawrence D. Bell Memorial Award
Malaysia announced it would buy 12 Eurocopter EC725 Cougar medium-lift helicopters, then changed its mind two weeks later. Opposition politicians demanded that the controversial deal be referred to the country’s anti-corruption agency. Although new helicopters are urgently needed to replace the country’s 40--year-old fleet of Sikorsky S-61 Nuris, the government said the purchase was abandoned because of the deteriorating economic situation.
Bristow Helicopters has unveiled plans for new European headquarters in Aberdeen, Scotland. The building at Kirkhill Commercial Park at Dyce Airport includes 12,000 sq ft of office space, 6,000 sq ft of classrooms and 11,500 sq ft available for up to four flight simulators. Two new simulators, one for the Eurocopter EC 225 and one for the Sikorsky S-92, will be installed during the construction phase.