Bristow Helicopters is suing Sikorsky and its parent company, United Technologies, for negligence over a crash in which a Sikorsky S-76A plunged into the North Sea last July, killing all 11 people on board. In a lawsuit brought before a London court, Bristow alleges that faulty repair work was performed on a main rotor blade three years before, when that blade was hit by lightning while on another S-76A, also operated by Bristow.
Bristow Helicopters’ insurance companies have started legal action against Sikorsky Aircraft over the July 16, 2002 crash of an S-76A in the UK sector of the North Sea. The aircraft crashed as it was approaching Shell UK’s Santa Fe Monarch drilling rig in its Leman gas field, 45 miles north of Lowestoft. All 11 people on board were killed in the accident, which occurred at 7:44 p.m.
A well known name is returning to British skies with creation of a new rotorcraft operation to support North Sea oil and gas exploration and production activity. The name is Bond, Bond Offshore Helicopters (BOH), and it will be licensed to fly.
Small but noteworthy helicopter equipment manufacturers found a suitable showcase for their products at Helitech 2007 in Duxford, England, early last month. Big OEMs Agusta-Westland, Bell, Enstrom, Eurocopter, MD Helicopters, Robinson and Sikor- sky (along with accompanying subsidiary Schweizer) were either present or represented, and they had sales to announce.
The recently EASA-certified Eurocopter EC 225 Super Puma has a new anti-vibration system that brings more performance, simplicity and lightness to the helicopter. Othertechnological innovations on themedium-twin helicopter include a new autopilot–with an engine-failure mode–and a new cockpit, which the company describes as providing a more intuitive man-machine interface.
The People’s Republic of China (PRC) is generally seen as the next big market for the helicopter industry–OEMs, operators, training schools and maintenance operations alike. But can we expect the skies over China to be black with whirling blades any time soon?
Instrument-rated helicopter pilots are an expensive resource, particularly in the UK. Making the jump to a helicopter instrument rating (IR) has always demanded a significant investment in instructor and aircraft time, primarily because a lack of suitable simulators meant the vast proportion of the training–in the UK at least– could only be carried out aloft.
Bell 412 EP, Eket, Nigeria, Aug. 3, 2007–The pilot of the Bristow Helicopters Bell 412 was killed when the helicopter crashed while maneuvering over Qua Ibom Terminal Airfield in Nigeria. Witnesses reported that the helicopter did a series of “torque turns” over opposite ends of the airfield before going down in a nose-down attitude.
The Alerts (aircraft logging and event recording for training and safety) system, designed jointly by Appareo Systems and Bristow Group subsidiary Air Logistics, is now STC certified. Alerts, which is currently certified only for the Bell 206 and 407, consists of a lightweight inertial sensor suite and a recorder capable of storing more than 100 hours of flight data. It also includes a 3-D graphic flight replay software system.
The first production Eurocopter EC 225 medium twin made its maiden flight in late June. Eurocopter said the “flawless” event lasted just over two hours. The EC 225 is powered by two Turbomeca Makila 2A modular turboshafts, an engine that has just been certified by the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA). Each of the powerplants generates 2,413 shp in contingency mode–14 percent more than the previous model.