Sandel Avionics last month delivered its first HeliTaws helicopter terrain safety system, to Metro Aviation of Shreveport, La., for installation in a Eurocopter AS350. Sandel received TSO approval for HeliTaws on August 16. The 3-ATI HeliTaws includes a high-resolution display that retrofits by removing and replacing an existing radar altimeter indicator.
Germany-based operator Heli Aviation is developing the Heli Trainer, a new kind of simulator for ab initio helicopter pilot training. The device, which uses a real helicopter forward fuselage attached to a moving robotic arm, is designed for better movement fidelity and less expensive operation than traditional sims.
Eurocopter AS350, Tucson, Ariz., July 28, 2010–The NTSB is investigating what caused the Air Methods medevac helicopter to crash on a residential street during a Part 91 positioning flight, killing the pilot, paramedic and flight nurse. According to witnesses, the helicopter was quiet as it descended. Radar data indicate that it fell 600 feet in the final eight seconds before crashing and bursting into flames.
The days of turbine helicopters as preferred police aviation tools might be coming to an end. Record state and municipal deficits have made police helicopters easy political targets for budget slashing and are forcing law-enforcement agencies that want to retain aviation units into more cost-effective innovations that include remotely piloted systems and flying light sport aircraft.
Vista Aviation of Pacoima, Calif., has completed the first helicopter installation of the Avidyne EX600 multifunction display (MFD). The installation was completed in a Eurocopter AStar AS350B and approved under an FAA Form 337. “We have installed quite a few Avidyne MFDs and we were excited about being the first dealer to install an EX600 into a helicopter,” said Bill DeBarmore, Vista Aviation’s avionics manager.
The First Avidyne EX600 multifunction display (MFD) has been mounted in a helicopter. Vista Aviation in Pacoima, Calif., installed the unit in a Eurocopter AS350B under FAA Form 337. The installation included a traffic advisory system, color tactical lightning and a two-way datalink transceiver. Prices for the system range from $9,900 to $16,990 depending on options and interfaces selected.
The European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) awarded a supplemental type certificate (STC) to Soloy Aviation Solutions for conversion of Eurocopter AS350BA helicopters to a Honeywell LTS101-600A-3A powerplant. The upgrade is already approved for operators in the U.S., Canada, New Zealand and Australia.
Loss of engine power during landing approach due to a fatigue fracture in a power turbine blade caused the fatal helicopter crash, according to the Board. N67GE, operated by Island Express Helicopters, was landing on Santa Catalina Island at the end of a Part 135 flight from Long Beach when witnesses heard a “pop” sound and saw flames emanating from the back of the engine. The helicopter then crashed and was consumed by fire.
Vista Aviation of Pacoima, Calif., has completed the first STCed helicopter installation of an Avidyne EX600 multifunction display (MFD)–in a Eurocopter AS350B AStar. “We have installed quite a few Avidyne MFDs, and we were excited about being the first dealer to install an EX600 in a helicopter,” said Bill DeBarmore, Vista Aviation’s avionics manager.
Eurocopter AS350B3, Brownsville, Tenn., March 25, 2010–While returning to base on a Part 91 positioning flight after delivering a patient, the Memphis Medical Center helicopter was destroyed and the pilot and two flight nurses were killed when it crashed in a thunderstorm. Night IMC prevailed at the time of the accident.