More than a decade-and-a-half after PZL-Swidnik introduced it to the Western world in 1985, the Polish helicopter manufacturer’s Ecureuil-like SW-4 turbine single received Polish certification on November 14.
Aviation International News » December 2002
The French Sécurité Civile (the state rescue arm) no longer has a defined entry-into-service schedule for its Eurocopter EC 145 twin-turbine helicopters. It has officially taken delivery of the first three of 32 ordered aircraft (a $150 million contract) during the last six months, two years after the originally planned date.
With the arrival of its new CEO, American Eurocopter also revealed that it is expanding its “footprint” in the U.S. with the investment of $11.9 million in a new facility to be built at Golden Triangle Regional Airport near Columbus, Miss.
When you think about the U.S. Border Patrol using helicopters, the picture in your mind probably includes cacti, not towering pine trees. That image will have to change as the post-9/11 U.S. homeland defense initiative moves to secure all of the country’s borders, both north and south.
A helicopter owned and operated by U.S. oilfield developer Hunt Corp. made a forced landing at the airport in the Yemeni city of San’a after suffering damage from ground fire encountered shortly after takeoff. Medical workers at the airport said one passenger suffered bruises, but there were no other casualties.
French baking baron Lionel Poilane was killed November 7 when the Agusta 109C he was piloting crashed into the sea off Brittany, France’s northwestern coast. The helicopter was reported missing when it apparently went down in heavy fog while Poilane was attempting to land on Rimains, his private island. Poilane’s body was recovered shortly after the accident, while that of his wife was not.
Ellsworth “Dutch” Kuhlman, the hospital executive who in 1972 founded the Flight for Life medical airlift program at Denver’s St. Anthony Hospital, died October 31 of respiratory failure. He was 84. Kuhlman began the program while he was president and executive director of St. Anthony. He envisioned a medical air evacuation program similar to military medical airlifts during the Vietnam War. St.
Once again, an emergency AD (No. 2002-23-51) has mandated no further flight of the roughly 360 Bell 407 helicopters currently in service. The November 13 AD was prompted by two reported failures of the stud from a swashplate drivelink assembly. One or both swashplate drivelink cup washers may have been installed incorrectly.
The U.S. Coast Guard has selected Bell’s Eagle Eye unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) as its choice to fill the UAV role in the USCG’s overall hardware-improvement program, a plan aimed to make the agency more effective further from shore and, hence, known under the program title “Deepwater.” Bell’s HV-911 Eagle Eye is a full-function tiltrotor, much like its V-22 and XV-15 cousins.
A pair of Bell Boeing MV-22 tiltrotor transports have joined the remedial developmental flight-test program that’s hoped to get the cause of tiltrotor operations back on track following a series of fatal accidents and scandalous revelations concerning performance coverups by high-ranking Marine officers. The two new aircraft are part of a gradual ramp-up to a total of seven Ospreys serving the flight-test program now under way at the U.S.