Scottsdale, Ariz.-based Westcor Aviation has been certified a Turbomeca-approved maintenance center.
Papillon Grand Canyon Helicopters has selected Honeywell’s Traffic and Collision Avoidance System (TCAS) for its fleet of helicopters. Said Elling Halvorson, chairman of Papillon, “The initial systems will be installed on our EC 130 fleet of 12 helicopters.
If the Dart Helicopter Services booth (No. 866) here seems more crammed than it did at previous Heli-Expos, chalk it up to success. The Piney Flats, Tenn.-based company reports it added some 1,000 new accessories to its product portfolio last year, increasing its offerings to more than 2,500 aftermarket helicopter accessories. The company has 15 offices worldwide and distributes to customers in 120 countries.
EUROCOPTER AS 350-B2, MEADVIEW, ARIZ., AUG. 10, 2001–At 2:28 p.m. MST Eurocopter helicopter N169PA, operating as Papillon 34, crashed during an uncontrolled descent about four miles east of Meadview. The helicopter was operated by Papillon Grand Canyon Helicopters as an air-tour flight under FAR Part 135. The instrument-rated commercial pilot and five passengers were killed, and one remaining passenger was seriously injured.
American Eurocopter president and CEO Marc Paganini recognized aerial tour-operator Maverick Helicopters for logging 60,000 hours on its fleet of 27 EC 130s, the largest in the world.
During a ceremony yesterday afternoon at Heli-Expo Booth No. 631, Greg Rochna, CEO of Maverick Aviation Group, accepted Maverick’s 28th copy of the EC 130. Paganini said the EC 130 is an aircraft designed for and with the tour operators in mind.
Accessories make an outfit. They also make a helicopter, or at least they make it better. That’s the theory with which Jeff Shapiro launched Dart Helicopter Services (Booth No. 2263) in 2005, and it has apparently been a successful one.
Turbomeca, the French helicopter turbine engine manufacturer, predicts the helicopter market overall will experience continued strong growth for the next two years before cooling somewhat. In that span, the company will be working overtime to keep up with demand.
As evidence of a continual, albeit gradual, increase in the sale of commercial helicopters, multi-ship purchases are on the upswing. One of the most notable in recent months has been Air Methods’ order for a half-dozen Eurocopters–five AS 350B2s and one EC 130B4. All six will be delivered before the end of this year and receive EMS interiors and completion work at the products division of Air Methods in Englewood, Colo.
Air-tour operator Blue Hawaiian Helicopters has ordered four more Eurocopter EC 130B4s to augment its existing fleet of eight AS 350B2 AStars and nine EcoStars. Blue Hawaiian began operations on Maui in 1985 with one helicopter and today is the state’s largest helicopter tour company. The company was the launch customer for the EcoStar in 2001.
Air Methods’ products division has been selected by American Eurocopter to provide medical interiors, avionics and airframe accessories for the AS 350 and EC 130. Air Methods says it is capable of 10 to 20 conversions per year. Each conversion has a market value of approximately $500,000. Air Methods has performed almost 40 Eurocopter EMS modifications over the last four years.