Corporate Angel Network, the Westchester County, N.Y.-based public charity that arranges free flights for cancer patients to treatment by using empty seats on business aircraft, reached a new milestone last month when it transported its 31,000th and 31,001st patients, from treatment at Houston’s MD Anderson Hospital to their homes in Florida.
Aviation International News » April 2009
The crash of a Colgan Air Bombardier Q400 that killed 50 people outside Buffalo in February once again has the industry group that represents U.S. regional airlines fielding some familiar questions about the level of safety its members guarantee to the traveling public.
Examination of wreckage from the March 12 crash of a Cougar Helicopters S-92 prompted manufacturer Sikorsky to recommend the grounding of all S-92 helicopters unless their titanium main gearbox oil bowl mounting studs had already been replaced with steel ones.
The UK’s Air Accidents Investigation Branch (AAIB) issued four safety recommendation as a result of the Sept. 15, 2007 fatal crash of a Eurocopter AS 350B2 Squirrel in Lanark, Scotland. The accident killed all four aboard–the pilot (world champion rally car driver Colin McRae), his young son, a friend of the son and an adult friend of the family.
The European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) is continuing its search for a lightweight and affordable low-speed indication and warning device for use in the civil helicopter market. The agency launched the tender in October, citing the need for accurate speed measurement and the poor performance of current pitot tubes.
You can’t find a solution until you’ve defined the problem. That’s the motivation behind a survey launched by Raymond A. Syms Associates intended to pull together heliport general information and create a database that will help improve heliport safety.
Eurocopter is working on a compound helicopter with a single main rotor, a fixed wing with two propellers in puller configuration and no tail rotor, probably in response to Sikorsky’s X2 and Bell/Agusta Aerospace’s BA609 Tiltrotor, which are attempts to create a faster rotorcraft. The Marignane, France-based helicopter manufacturer in May last year filed a patent application at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.
The UK’s Air Accidents Investigation Branch (AAIB) is investigating the ditching of a Eurocopter EC 225 Super Puma in the North Sea on February 18. All 16 passengers and two crewmembers were rescued with minor injuries after the Bond-operated helicopter ditched near its destination oil platform. The accident took place in the ETAP field, about 130 nm east of Aberdeen, Scotland.
Williams International last month completed extended testing of a coal-based, alternative fuel in an FJ44-3 engine. Two thousand gallons of the synthetic fuel powered the turbofan for 118 cycles over 21 hours. According to Williams, the fuel, which was developed by a team at Penn State University with help from Intertek-PARC and Duquesne University, performed well.
AgustaWestland last month unveiled a special variant of the A109S Grand light twin, dubbed Da Vinci, with improved avionics. Launch customer Rega, Switzerland’s air rescue organization, has placed firm orders for 11 copies of the light-twin helicopter and has options for four more. The Da Vincis will succeed the agency’s A109K2s.