BELL 206L-4, AURORA, COLO., MAY 8, 2003–At 5:15 p.m. MDT Bell N70TV, registered to Helicopters Inc. of Cahokia, Ill., and flown for KMGH-TV in Denver, was destroyed when it collided with terrain during a simulated engine failure in Aurora. The ATP-rated check airman received minor injuries and the commercial pilot and a mechanic passenger were uninjured. The aircraft was operating in VMC and was not on a flight plan.
The ongoing investigation into the fatal crash of a Bell 407 following a loss of engine power during a low-altitude hover has prompted the NTSB to ask the FAA to address an allegedly “catastrophic failure mode” with the full-authority digital electronic control (FADEC) system.
Sikorsky S-92 test pilots John Dixon, company flight operations director, and Bob Spaulding, S-92 chief pilot, performed two full power-off landings last month, passing an important milestone on the medium-lift, twin-engine helicopter’s road to certification. Both landings were performed at slightly above the model’s max gross weight of 26,250 lb.
MD 369D, Columbus, Mont., May 28, 2007– The commercial pilot and one crewmember were seriously injured and a second crew-member was killed when the Dylan Aviation MD 369 crashed during an attempted forced landing, after the helicopter had lost power.
For the helicopter owner, operator or flight program looking to cut costs while simultaneously maintaining or expanding existing levels of service, Agusta’s A119 Koala may be the answer. Certified in 1999, the single-engine Koala has many of the same capabilities of, and in fact is faster than, most light twins.
In aviation, like most other industries, success breeds regulation. The bigger an industry becomes, the more the government perceives the need to regulate it, often citing reasons such as safety, unfair competition and environmental protection. Yet, in typical Darwinian fashion, most industries adapt–or die. In aviation, hush kits quiet noisier jet engines, airplanes are made RVSM compatible and helicopters are flown neighborly.
Three aeromedical helicopter accidents claimed three lives in just 12 days in August and September, representing a cluster of successively serious mishaps in what otherwise had been a fairly uneventful year in terms of EMS safety.
Sikorsky’s S-92 medium-twin program has passed another milestone on its way to certification as prototype number four performed two flawless autorotational landings to touchdown recently at the company’s flight development center in West Palm Beach, Fla.
ENSTROM F-28C, NEAR MEDICINE BOW, WYO., JUNE 10, 2002–N5694Z, operated by Falcon Helicopter and piloted by a commercial-rated pilot, was substantially damaged during a hard landing at 9:45 a.m. near Medicine Bow. The pilot sustained serious injuries, and the passenger received only minor injuries. The weather was reported to be VMC for the flight, which originated in Laramie, Wyo., at 7:30 a.m.
BELL 206BII, NEAR NHULUNBUY, AUSTRALIA, JUNE 5, 2002–About 4 p.m. Bell 206BII VH-PHA, operated by Laynhapuy Homelands Association of Nhulunbuy (Gove), Northern Territories, crashed while on an aerial survey mission about 87 nm southwest of Nhulunbuy. Four of the five people on board were killed, and the helicopter was destroyed.