Eurocopter has voiced concerns about the safety of supplemental type certificates (STC), claiming three times more accidents are caused by STC’d hardware than by the original aircraft. The European helicopter manufacturer is concerned that some STCs cover such a wide array of major modifications that certifying a new version of the helicopter would be a more prudent course.
Eurocopter (Booth No. 2754) has endorsed Canadian Helicopters Ltd.’s mountain flight training program with a memorandum of understanding. “This endorsement is a significant step and part of the Eurocopter strategy to further develop advanced helicopter mountain training for pilots in Canada and around the world,” said Lutz Bertling, president and CEO of Eurocopter Group.
Canadian-based Villeneuve Helicopters has ordered three Eurocopter EC 175s and two AS 350 B2s. Villeneuve is the second Canadian customer to order the medium-twin EC 175. It will be configured to seat up to 16 passengers. More than 175 AS350 B2s are already in service in Canada.
Honeywell is at HeliExpo’09 with its Eurocopter AStar, which it uses to develop, test and demonstrate the company’s wide range of avionics for helicopters. During the convention, Steven Kilbourne, Honeywell chief pilot rotary-wing, is flying demos out of Fullerton Airport for interested customers and media representatives.
Honeywell’s annual market forecast for civil turbine-powered helicopters released Saturday is still predicting flat to slightly higher deliveries between 2009 and 2013 compared to the previous five-year period, but there are caveats aplenty.
Honeywell Aerospace (Booth No. 1310) announced the selection of its LTS101-700D2 turboshaft to replace the existing engine in the Chinese Z-11 helicopter. New production engines will begin leaving the Honeywell Engines Phoenix plant for China in the first quarter of next year, said Doug Kult, director of helicopter and surface systems sales.
For an elite band of thrill-seekers and the pilots who fly them, heli-skiing is the ultimate adrenaline rush.
“We change people’s lives,” said Mike Olson, one of the three owners of Wasatch Powderbirds, a leading heli-skiing tour operator. “Anyone who does this has a sense of adventure that we respect.”
Last month the Aviation Unit of Miami-Dade Police Department took delivery of the first of four new Eurocopter AS 350B3s. The remaining three helicopters will be delivered at the rate of one annually over the next three years. In Texas, the Department of Public Safety took delivery of its first EC 145.
Eurocopter has received orders for 10 EC 155 Dauphins and five AS 350B3 Ecureuils from two Chinese companies. Citic Offshore Helicopter will operate the EC 155s, the deliveries of which will start next year. Meanwhile, the AS 350B3s will be delivered over the next two years to Allyway and leased to various Chinese operators. This is the first order for the B3 variant in China.
In Portugal, state-owned helicopter operator Empresa de Meios Aéreos (EMA) seems happy with the six Kamov Ka-32 A11BCs it acquired for firefighting and search-and-rescue operations (SAR). The 12-metric-ton Russian design, relatively rare in the Western world, can carry four tons of water. And it is much less expensive than its competitors, according to pilot and media officer João Manuel da Silva dos Santos.