Denver-based Air Methods Corporation has reached a definitive agreement to acquire all of FSS Airholdings’ stock, the parent company of medical helicopter provider CJ Systems. CJ operates 113 medevac helicopters and fixed wing aircraft and employs 800 nationwide. The deal is valued at $25 million and is expected to close by the end of October. Last year FSS posted a net income of $1.2 million on revenue of $128.8 million.
While broadcasting a police chase on July 27 over Phoenix, a pair of Eurocopter AS350-B2 helicopters collided when their pilots apparently lost sight of each other, killing both pilot/reporters and their cameramen. The dead were identified as KNXV Channel 15 pilot/reporter Craig Smith and his cameraman, Rick Krolak, and KTVK Channel 3 pilot/reporter Scott Bowerbank and his cameraman, Jim Cox.
Eurocopter logged orders for 114 civil and military helicopters worth E1.2 billion at this year’s Paris Air Show and says it is on track to sell 700 helicopters this year. This summer the company also logged more orders from U.S. Customs and Border Protection, which bought eight additional American Eurocopter AS 350B3 AStars in July.
Eurocopter AS 350-B2, Meadview, Ariz., Aug.
Eurocopter AS 350B3, San Elizario, Texas, May 22, 2007–The U.S. Customs and Border Protection Air Operations AS 350 was destroyed when it crashed after a loss of control while maneuvering on a routine border patrol mission. The crash site was about 15 miles southeast of El Paso International Airport. The commercial pilot was killed and his observer was seriously injured.
At last month’s Paris Air Show Eurocopter delivered the first upgraded Ecureuil/TwinStar, the AS 355NP, its current light twin offering. According to the Marignane, France-based manufacturer, the helicopter offers better performance, an enhanced cockpit and improved cabin interior. The European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) certified the aircraft on February 15. Transport Canada and Russian certifications are expected later this year.
The new Eurocopter AS 355 NP Ecureuil on display here at Le Bourget will shortly be delivered to the first customer, Scandinavian Helicopter Group. The Swedish operator uses its fleet of rotorcraft mainly for passenger transport and aerial work.
Goodrich has received an FAA supplemental type certificate for its external rescue hoist on the Eurocopter AS 350 B3 light single-engine helicopter. Operators can either order the hoist as original equipment on a new helicopter or install it on an in-service aircraft. Goodrich’s electric hoist uses a translating drum and provides a 500-pound load capacity. It meets FAR 27 requirements.
Honeywell Aerospace has spent the past couple of years restructuring its activities along customer lines. One indication that this approach may be working is the U.S. group’s latest double-win on the Boeing CH-47 Chinook program.
Eurocopter AS 350-B3, Apache Junction, Ariz., Dec. 14, 2004–The NTSB could not determine the reason for the loss of control the PHI AS 350 experienced on its final approach. The pilot was attempting to land in a parking lot to pick up an accident victim. The helicopter overflew the landing area in right turns, and during its final approach at 100 feet agl it became unstable.