The U.S. Court of Appeals has unanimously upheld the FAA’s right to impose the mandatory overwater North Shore Route on helicopter traffic over New York’s Long Island. Writing for the Court, U.S. circuit judge Richard Roberts rejected a legal challenge (petition for review) to the route filed by the Helicopter Association International to overturn the mandate.
News and issues regarding all manner of civil and military rotorcraft and their powerplants, including helicopters, tiltrotors and unmanned air vehicles.
On June 13, Todd Reichert and the AeroVelo team (mostly students at the University of Toronto) entered the history books, winning the American Helicopter Society’s Igor I. Sikorsky Human-Powered Helicopter Competition. The competition requires flying above three meters for at least one minute within a 10- by 10-meter space.
Macquarie Group has launched a new helicopter leasing company, Macquarie Rotorcraft Leasing, headquartered in San Francisco. The new company is headed by CEO Jeffrey Pino, formerly president of Sikorsky Aircraft. James Clarke, most recently CFO at Air Lease, is COO of Macquarie Rotorcraft Leasing. The leadership team also includes chief marketing officer Steve Estill and chief technical officer Greg A’slinger, former owner of Uniflight. The new company specializes in supplying helicopters for oil and gas, medical transport, search-and-rescue and executive transport.
The Maryland State Police (MSP) Aviation Command has begun the process of integrating its new fleet of 10 AgustaWestland AW139s into operations, beginning at its Frederick Section or district. MSP has seven sections or bases throughout the state currently served by an aging fleet of 11 Eurocopter Dauphins. MSP aviation provides medevac and aerial law enforcement support throughout the state and in the national capital region.
A helicopter air ambulance belonging to Ontario’s provincially funded service, Ornge, crashed shortly after takeoff May 31, killing its four-man crew of two pilots and two flight paramedics. The 1980 Sikorsky S-76A took off from rural Moosonee along St. James Bay at 12:10 a.m. en route to the remote First Nation village of Attawapiskat for a patient pick-up. It crashed almost immediately after takeoff into a densely wooded area less than 3,000 feet off the airport and burned.
Industry wisdom that civil aerospace is continuing its super-boom while defense prospects waiver was clearly confirmed in the headlines from last month’s Paris Air Show (June 17 to 23). The 50th staging of the biennial event was dominated by yet more airliner orders, plus breakthroughs in new aircraft coming to market and significant deliveries.
Offshore oil helicopter operator Bristow Group is retrofitting all 44 of its helicopters with Rockwell Collins Tcas II systems. Working with the avionics manufacturer, Bristow has already retrofitted the Collins TTR-4000 Tcas II system on 24 of its helicopters. Within the next year Rockwell Collins is to install its next-generation TTR-4100, which adds traffic computer capability and enables ADS-B IN applications, on 20 of Bristow’s helicopters.
Helipartner Thailand and Eurocopter’s South East Asia affiliate signed an agreement on Tuesday at the Paris Air Show for 10 AS350B3e light-single helicopters for delivery from 2013 to 2015. “After our first AS350B3e delivery in May and its successful leasing in Indonesia, we are delighted to expand our fleet with this new order and pursue our leasing market development with the helicopter type,” said Tisanu Ratanarat, CEO of Helipartner Thailand.
Bell Helicopter (Static W24, T23 & 27) president and CEO John Garrison announced improved specifications for the in-development Bell 525 Relentless medium-lift helicopter at the Paris Air Show. Cruise speed at max continuous power and max gross weight has been increased from 140 knots previously specified to 155-plus knots, range from more than 400 to 500-plus nautical miles, useful load from 4,000 pounds to more than 7,400 pounds and maximum gross weight from 18,000 pounds to 19,300 pounds.
The Sikorsky UH-60 Blackhawk conjures visions of combat troops, pilots wearing night-vision goggles and bare-bones, utility cabins. Rarely does one find executives flying in a Blackhawk.
But earlier this year Sabreliner, with locations in Perryville, Ste. Genevieve and St. Mary, Missouri, delivered two highly-modified UH-60M Blackhawk helicopters to the Royal Jordanian Air Force. The helicopters feature Sabreliner-developed executive entry systems, VIP seating and cabin entertainment systems.