The new Eurocopter AS 355 NP Ecureuil on display here at Le Bourget will shortly be delivered to the first customer, Scandinavian Helicopter Group. The Swedish operator uses its fleet of rotorcraft mainly for passenger transport and aerial work.
Here at the Paris Air Show, helicopter engine manufacturer Turbomeca announced three contracts for its support-by-the-hour (SBH) scheme.
Getting in some early practice is this Eurocopter EC 665 Tigre, one of 24 rotary- and fixed-wing aircraft that will be flying in the daily display here. Among other rotary-wing aircraft are the Bell/Agusta BA 609 tiltrotor and NH Industries NH90T.
Since the dramatic cancellation of the stealthy Comanche attack helicopter in 2004, U.S. Army aviation has used the released funds to embark on a major rejuvenation by modernizing and augmenting the existing AH-64, UH-60 and CH-47 fleets, as well as procuring two new types.
Eurocopter AS 350-B3, Apache Junction, Ariz., Dec. 14, 2004–The NTSB could not determine the reason for the loss of control the PHI AS 350 experienced on its final approach. The pilot was attempting to land in a parking lot to pick up an accident victim. The helicopter overflew the landing area in right turns, and during its final approach at 100 feet agl it became unstable.
Eurocopter AS 350-B3, Yellow Pine, Idaho, Aug. 13, 2006–The AS 350 was destroyed and the commercial pilot and three passengers killed when the helicopter crashed 18 miles west of Yellow Pine. The helicopter was being operated by Evergreen Helicopters, of McMinnville, Ore., under contract to the U.S. Forest Service. The helicopter had flown from Krassel Helibase to take a relief fire lookout to Williams Peak lookout tower.
Atlanta-based Precision Aviation Group (PAG) has agreed in principal to acquire Pegasus Aircraft Components of Richmond, British Columbia. The purchase will allow PAG to upgrade services to its customers operating Bell, Sikorsky, Eurocopter and MD/Hughes helicopters in the expanding Canadian market.
Eurocopter is still talking to the Romanian privatization agency, AVAS, about taking over 65 percent of helicopter and light aircraft manufacturer IAR Ghimbav. The state-owned company is based in Brasov. AVAS rejected the helicopter manufacturer’s December bid, a decision Eurocopter challenged. In April AVAS said Eurocopter failed to meet some key criteria, including the commitment to invest.
Eurocopter is to issue a Service Bulletin that should solve a fleet-wide problem with the EC 145’s tail-rotor controls. In April, the FAA had issued an airworthiness directive (AD) calling for inspections and possible part replacement. The AD followed an in-flight incident that caused severe vibrations.
The European general aviation industry on May 22launched a counterpart to the U.S. General Aviation Manufacturers Association (GAMA). Dubbed EGAMA, the European general aviation manufacturer group will be a “high-level sectoral group” inside the AeroSpace and Defense industries association of Europe (ASD).