Sion, Switzerland-based operator Air-Glaciers is updating its fleet of light singles and twins in anticipation of eventually phasing out its Aerospatiale SA316 Alouette IIIs.
Aérospatiale Alouette II
Sikorsky Aerospace Services (SAS) has named Ruag Aviation’s Alpnach helicopter facility in Switzerland an authorized customer service center (CSC) to support the Sikorsky S-76. “The Alpnach customer service center will be a key support facility for the future expansion of Sikorsky’s S-76 commercial aircraft fleet in southeast and south-central Europe,” said Frank DiPasquale, v-p of sales and strategic relationships for SAS.
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.
In January the Yelahanka air force base hosted the fifth Aero India show. The event attracted 372 exhibitors, 136 from India and 236 from foreign countries. Few of the more than 60 aircraft at the show were civil helicopters, among them the civilian version of the home-grown Dhruv.
Three people were killed and one seriously injured on the ground when an Aerospatiale Alouette II crashed on Sunday afternoon in the Camargue region in southeast France. The pilot reportedly suffered two broken vertebrae but the three passengers escaped injury. The privately owned helicopter was attempting to take off near a restaurant where the occupants had had lunch.
Eurocopter is celebrating the 50th anniversary of one of its most popular helicopters–the Sud-Aviation (SA) 318 Alouette (Skylark). In May 1955, the second prototype of Sud-Aviation’s new turbine single took to the air for the first time near Paris. The next month, test pilot Jean Boulet took the new helicopter to a record (at the time) altitude of 26,932 feet.