New York City-based Wheels Up launched a partnership with HeliFlite to give Wheels Up members use of that operator’s Bell 430s and Sikorsky S-76s for transfers between Manhattan and local airports such as Teterboro, White Plains and Farmingdale. Under the terms of the December 13 agreement with HeliFlite, Wheels Up members will be able to purchase time in its rotorcraft in blocks of 10 or 20 hours. HeliFlite, based at Newark Liberty International Airport in New Jersey, offers flights within a 250-mile radius of the center of Manhattan and also operates throughout Florida.
News and issues regarding all manner of civil and military rotorcraft and their powerplants, including helicopters, tiltrotors and unmanned air vehicles.
A helicopter emergency services (HEMS) weather summit will be held tomorrow in Washington, D.C. The event is sponsored by the National Center for Atmospheric Research in conjunction with the National EMS Pilots Association, FAA, National Weather Service and the International Helicopter Safety Team. An inaugural summit, held in 2006, resulted in the development of the aviation digital data service HEMS weather tool.
The Eurocopter EC135 light twin that crashed into a busy pub on November 29 in Glasgow, Scotland, was intact when it hit the roof, but neither the main rotor nor the fenestron tail rotor were rotating at that time, the UK Air Accidents Investigation Branch preliminary report reveals. The helicopter had been flying for one hour and 33 minutes when the pilot requested clearance to return to Glasgow City Heliport. No further radio transmission was received.
A Eurocopter EC135T2i light twin helicopter, operated by Bond Air Services for Police Scotland, crashed into a busy pub in Glasgow on Friday night, killing nine and injuring more than 30. Among the nine fatalities are the helicopter’s three occupants–a Bond pilot and two police officers.
The UK Air Accidents Investigation Branch (AAIB) is investigating, along with Eurocopter engineers. Eurocopter asserted that since the four main rotor blades are still attached to the main rotor mast, a crack in the mast is unlikely to have caused the accident.
PHI flew the first operational automated “rig approach” to a platform in the Gulf of Mexico in a Sikorsky S-92 on November 14. Sikorsky and PHI developed the system to reduce pilot workload and the FAA approved its functionality earlier this year. The system is expected to be offered on the Sikorsky S-76D as well.
The Canadian Federal Court of Appeal unanimously upheld Eurocopter’s right to seek punitive damages against Bell Helicopter for patent infringement related to the sleigh-style “Moustache” landing gear design on the Eurocopter EC120 and EC130.
Air Methods, the largest helicopter EMS provider in the U.S., continued its foray into the air-tour business last week when it signed an agreement to acquire Blue Hawaiian Helicopters for an undisclosed sum. Blue Hawaiian operates a mixed fleet of 24 Eurocopter EC130s and AS350s and operates tours on five of Hawaii’s six islands. Blue Hawaiian posted revenues of $47 million in 2012.
Offshore oil-and-gas helicopter operator PHI recently conducted the first operational flights of a Sikorsky S-92 equipped with the new “rig approach” automated system, the U.S.-based rotorcraft manufacturer has announced. Earlier this year, Sikorsky and PHI pilots flew two FAA demonstration operations to oil rigs off the coast of Louisiana.
The Eurocopter EC175 medium twin has set two new time-to-climb records as it zeroes in on certification, four years after its first flight. It climbed to 6,000 meters (19,670 feet) in 6 minutes 54 seconds and to 3,000 meters (9,840 feet) in 3 minutes 10 seconds. The Fédèration Aéronautique Internationale ratified both records, said Eurocopter.
AgustaWestland received an order for 15 AW189s from Qatar-based Gulf Helicopters at the Dubai Airshow yesterday. The first two aircraft are slated for delivery next year and all aircraft should achieve operational readiness in 2017. Gulf Helicopters already operates AW139s. Mohamed Al Mohannadi, CEO of Gulf Helicopters, identified the longer range and “perfect size” of the AW189 as factors in the company’s choice.
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