Metro Aviation has earned FAA Part 145 repair station status to perform maintenance and repair on Bell 407s. With this latest certification, the Shreveport, La.-based company continues to diversify the helicopters approved under a long-standing repair station authorization. Metro has finished several new Bell 407s both for air medical and corporate customers and the company has contracts for completions of the aircraft through next year.
Following Transport Canada certification and FAA validation of the Bell 429 in July, Bell Helicopter Textron of Fort Worth, Texas, delivered the first aircraft, S/N 57006, to launch customer Air Methods on August 1. The current Bell 429 fleet (two prototypes, three flight test and two customer aircraft) has accumulated more than 2,200 hours.
Bell Helicopter has announced plans to reduce the environmental footprint of its products through the new Eco-Innovation initiative that will evaluate them throughout every stage of their lifecycle. The process will start with an assessment of the environmental impact of mining the raw materials used to manufacture the aircraft right through to the end of their service life.
Engine manufacturers Honeywell and Rolls-Royce expressed tempered optimism about the helicopter marketplace at February’s Heli-Expo, where each released its annual industry forecast. Both predicted a dip in deliveries and offered caveats reflecting the precarious state of the economy.
Helicopter sales and services company Hillsboro Aviation (Booth No. 3568) announced a record-setting year for its helicopter sales department. Sales of both new and used helicopters topped $66 million in 2008, including four new Bell 412EPs, five new Bell 407s, two new Bell 206L4s and seven new Robinson R44s.
Honeywell’s annual market forecast for civil turbine-powered helicopters released Saturday is still predicting flat to slightly higher deliveries between 2009 and 2013 compared to the previous five-year period, but there are caveats aplenty.
Honeywell Engines comes to Heli-Expo with five turboshaft models ranging in age from venerable to brand-new and in power from 1,000 shp to 5,000.
Bell 407, Bow, N.H., Dec. 22, 2008–The Speedway Aviation helicopter lost power about 3.5 miles from the destination heliport, Brigham Heliport in Pembroke, and made a forced landing in Bow. The commercial pilot said there were no caution or warning lights, and the fadec remained in automatic mode. He did not notice any unusual noises or yawing of the helicopter before the shutdown.
Texas Aviation Services has been awarded a fourth contract from the police department of Tampa, Fla., to modify one of the city’s new law enforcement helicopters.
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.