Law enforcement helicopters are well represented at Heli-Expo ‘13, and American Eurocopter machines, with several different helicopter models well suited to EMS operations (AS350 B2/B3 and EC130T2, EC135, EC145 and AS332 Super Puma) are easy to spot in the exhibit hall.
HAI Convention News
Bristow Group posted strong financial results for the nine months ending Dec. 31, 2012, reporting net income of $90 million on $993 million in revenues. Revenues for the quarter ending the year were $346.7 million, a 17-percent increase from the same period one year ago.
Bristow, which provides helicopter services to the oil-and-gas industry worldwide, attributed its improved quarterly results to increases in revenues in Canada, Europe, Australia, West Africa and the U.S. Gulf of Mexico.
I strap into the Eurocopter EC135 light twin and head for California’s Cajon Pass. Cajon can deal helicopter pilots some of the worst conditions imaginable. The pass was created by the San Andreas fault and separates the San Gabriel and San Bernardino mountains, not far from the HITOP VFR intersection and the San Bernardino and Rialto airports. The stretch of Interstate 15 and state road 138 that run through the pass are frequent scenes of automotive carnage.
The FAA has issued a policy statement about the installation of non-required safety-enhancing equipment (NORSEE) into rotorcraft and is accepting comments until March 25.
Aviation insurance underwriter USAIG (Booth No. N1916) is highlighting additions and improvements to its Performance Vector aircraft operator safety initiative, which focuses on human factors elements that may lead to aviation accidents.
Helicopter Association International (HAI) president Matt Zuccaro fired back at the White House following its late February call for an end to the alternate depreciation tax plan for corporate aircraft. The tax plan allows buyers of general aviation aircraft to depreciate their purchases over five years rather than the seven-year depreciation mandated for commercial aviation.
Safe Flight Instrument (Booth No. C3932), a supplier of safety and performance products since 1946, made it clear yesterday at Heli-Expo that in terms of safety, avoiding powerlines is much to be preferred over existing helicopter modifications designed to cut powerlines on contact.
Speaking at a media conference yesterday, Safe Flight v-p Thomas Grunbeck promoted the White Plains, N.Y. company’s powerline detection and warning system, which emits a pulsing, audible sound as well as a visual alert when it detects powerline hazards.
The price of a full-blown safety management system (SMS) represents a considerable expense to any flight operation, but can leave an even bigger hole in the budget of a small one- or two-aircraft department, according to Chris Young, vice president of helicopter aviation services at Prism, an arm of information services provider Argus International (Booth No. C1104).
Air Services International and strategic partner Dakota Air Parts International are sharing an exhibit at Heli-Expo ’13 (Booth No. C2106).
ASI has seen an expanded pool of exchange and lease Rolls-Royce M250 engines and modules over the past year, said general manager Steven Van Hemert, and as a result, “We are looking forward to engaging Bell 407 and MD600N operators during Heli-Expo.”
March 6 will be a big day for helicopter OEMs and could shape the future of the industry for decades to come. Phase One proposals are due into the Army Aviation Applied Technology Directorate by tomorrow that likely will lead to the construction of Joint Multi-Role demonstration aircraft (JMR TD) that could fly as early as 2017 and lead to the start of production aircraft between 2025 and 2030.