Honeywell has released its annual turbine-powered civil helicopter purchase outlook and the news is good, with civil helicopter deliveries up 24 percent in 2005 and likely to rise again this year.
The high price of oil means busy times for helicopter operators in northern Alberta, Canada, as the major oil companies such as Imperial Oil (ExxonMobil), Shell, Petro-Canada and Total remove it from the ground as fast as they can.
Aerospatiale AS 350B/Eurocopter EC 130B4, Homestead, Fla., Nov. 21, 2005– The two helicopters collided near the Homestead-Miami Speedway and the commercial pilot of HelicopterShuttle.com EC 130 N130HS was killed. The commercial pilot of the Biscayne Helicopters AS 350 N264BH was not injured.
AgustaWestland A109S Grand
The order book for this uprated 109 variant currently stands at almost 60. AgustaWestland received EASA approval for the type in June (as its first customer, a Briton, took delivery) and FAA certification is expected by next month. The company planned to have delivered five airframes by press time and 10 more later this year.
A pilot has pleaded not guilty to manslaughter charges following an accident in Hawaii last September that killed three passengers. Glen Lampton, a pilot for air-tour operator Heli USA, was flying a company AStar when it crashed into the sea near Kauai’s Ke’e Beach. Two other passengers and Lampton were uninjured. A trial has been set for July.
Although corporate aviation in the nation is limited, New Zealand boasts one of the highest per capita ratios of aircraft operation, with 9,040 pilots in a population of 4 million flying 3,830 aircraft on the CAA registry. Most of those are general aviation piston airplanes, while Eurocopters dominate the more than 500 turbine-powered aircraft.
Eurocopter test pilot Didier Delsalle (center) and president and CEO Fabrice Brégier (right) accepted the world record verification from Fédération Aéronautique Internationale (FAI) representative Jacques Escaffe (left) for landing the first helicopter on top of Mount Everest (elevation 29,035 feet). Delsalle performed the feat last May in a production Eurocopter AS 350B3 AStar.
Talk about making inroads. The FlightLogic synthetic-vision EFIS from Chelton Flight Systems has received STC approvals in several helicopter models recently, and no fewer than eight of the helicopters on display at February’s Heli-Expo in Dallas were fitted with the system.
The southern African state of Botswana wants to acquire four helicopters for a new law-enforcement unit. Its national police force is currently looking for staff, and by the beginning of next year will be awaiting funds for the purchase of aircraft.
After spending five years flying Eurocopter’s EC 130B4 Ecureuil “EcoStar,” Dave Chevalier, president of Blue Hawaiian Helicopters, still thinks it’s the best choice for pleasing his air tourists and mitigating noise complaints, but he has candid criticisms about elements of the model’s operating costs and performance.