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.
American Eurocopter AS 350B2 N613TV/Eurocopter AS 350B2 N215TV, Phoenix, July 27, 2007–The NTSB has released factual information about the midair involving two tv news helicopters in Phoenix. The KTVK-TV Channel 3 (N613TV) and KNXS-TV Channel 15 (N215TV) Eurocopters were operated by KTVK-TV and US Helicopters, respectively.
A fatal midair between two television news helicopters in Phoenix last year has prompted better communications and procedures within the local helicopter community and could spur nationwide reforms, including ending the practice of pilots acting as reporters while flying.
The Swiss civil aviation authority (OFAC) has restricted the use of mobile landing platforms for helicopters with skids. From now on, only operators and pilots with “sufficient guarantees” will be allowed to use such ground equipment. Pilots must be experienced and properly trained.
The only really successful helicopter fractional operator is not in the U.S. as one would expect, but rather in South America–or, to be more precise, in one city in Brazil. That city is São Paulo, the financial capital of the wealthiest state of Brazil. With nearly 20 million people, São Paulo is the most populous metropolitan area in South America and, according to some census compilations, the fourth largest in the world.
EUROCOPTER AS 350B2, VENICE, LA., MARCH 6, 2003–At 7:20 a.m. CST Eurocopter N945PT was substantially damaged when it collided with water while turning to reverse direction after encountering IMC near Venice. The helicopter was registered to Banc One Leasing Corp. of Columbus, Ohio, and operated by Taylor Energy of New Orleans. The commercial-rated pilot and four passengers were uninjured.
Neither of the two medevac Bell 407s that collided in midair June 29 over Flagstaff, Ariz., was equipped with TCAS or any kind of cockpit voice or data recorder, an NTSB spokesman told AIN.
Police arrested Jean-Pierre Bernardini, managing director of France-based Corseus Hélicoptères, in connection with a drug-smuggling operation in late June. The police watched 1,200 pounds of hashish being unloaded from a Eurocopter AS 350 Ecureuil owned by the company and arrested nine people near Béziers, in the south of the country.
Eurocopter AS 350B2, Chickaloon, Alaska, April 15, 2008–Four people were killed and one seriously injured when the ERA Helicopters AS 350 crashed on a steep, snow-covered mountain in mixed VFR and IFR conditions.