Eight oil companies have joined forces to conduct a $1 million helicopter safety study on the Norwegian continental shelf (NCS) over the next three years. The project, which focuses on the 2000-2010 period, will be carried out by the Sintef research foundation in Trondheim. In the 1990s, the accident risk corresponded to 2.3 fatalities per million occupant-hours flown.
The first production model of a new generation of Marine One U.S. Presidential helicopters made its initial flight earlier today at AgustaWestland’s plant in Yeovil, England. Designated by the U.S. Navy as VH-71, the helicopter is based on the three-engine AW101. The first block of five helicopters is scheduled to begin entering service next year. The Navy has been test flying four prototype block one aircraft over the past year.
Sikorsky announced this week that it has sold two S-92 helicopters to the International Handling Co. (IHC). The contract includes the option to purchase four additional S-92 helicopters configured for offshore oil missions.
Delivery of the first aircraft is expected to take place in 2010. IHC, an Azerbaijan-based operator, plans to expand its service to the growing offshore oil industry based in Eurasia.
The in-service fleet of Sikorsky S-92 medium-twin helicopters reached 100,000 total flight hours, the company announced last month. The first production S-92 was delivered in late 2004. There are now 67 S-92s in service, 11 of which fly an estimated 130 to 170 hours per month. To date, 13 of the aircraft have logged more than 3,500 flight hours.
A botched emergency landing instigated by bad weather appears to have brought down a twin-engine Sikorsky S-92A carrying the 88-year-old Rev. Sun Myung Moon and 15 others. The medium-twin helicopter crashed 25 miles east of Seoul, South Korea, on Saturday. Three onboard sustained severe injuries, while Moon and six others received minor injuries.
Sikorsky has claimed the number-two position among the world’s helicopter manufacturers, declared CEO Jeff Pino here on Monday. “We are the second largest helicopter manufacturer by revenues and we will soon compete with Eurocopter for the number one position,” said Pino, who has seen his company’s turnover grow on a 22-percent trend, against a 13-percent industry average.
Florida is a land with a reputation for competitions with contested results, and that tradition continued at HAI’s 2002 edition of its annual trade show and convention as two major rotorcraft makers debated over who has global domination of the vertical-takeoff flying machine market, while a third major player announced its plans for getting back into the game.
Sikorsky S-92 test pilots John Dixon, company flight operations director, and Bob Spaulding, S-92 chief pilot, performed two full power-off landings last month, passing an important milestone on the medium-lift, twin-engine helicopter’s road to certification. Both landings were performed at slightly above the model’s max gross weight of 26,250 lb.
A Eurocopter AS 332 Super Puma, operated by Bristow in offshore oil transport in the North Sea, on April 9 became the first helicopter to be fitted with a second-generation Traffic Alert and Collision Avoidance System (TCAS II). The operator worked closely with equipment manufacturer Rockwell Collins to install the safety system aboard the 21-seat aircraft, with the assistance of Shell Aircraft.
Bristow Helicopters has taken delivery of all six Sikorsky S-92s it had on order. The 26,500-pound-mtow twins will fly to offshore oil and gas installations from Scatsta Airport in Shetland. The £70 million ($140 million) investment includes the helicopters, training, tools and equipment. The S-92 fleet will support the integrated aviation consortium, the partners of which are Shell, BP, CNR, BP and Petrofac.