A Sikorsky RH-4 made the first documented rescue by helicopter on Nov. 29, 1945, so it’s not surprising that Sikorsky sponsors the HAI Humanitarian Award. This year’s award goes to the Gander, Newfoundland-based flight crew of a Royal Canadian Air Force search-and-rescue helicopter for a successful rescue accomplished under extreme weather conditions on Feb. 9, 2013.
Elan Head, recipient of the Helicopter Association International’s 2014 Excellence in Communications Award, had her first helicopter ride in a Bell JetRanger in 2004, while working on a story about a high-end fishing lodge in British Columbia. “It was hands-down the coolest thing I’d ever done,” she told AIN.
Among the many services that Rotor F/X offers from its Van Nuys, Calif., headquarters, the company’s helicopter shipping service is probably of most interest for Heli-Expo attendees. Rotor F/X (Booth No. 3105) also provides helicopter and fixed-wing flight training, helicopter maintenance, air tours, aerial photography and even assembly of kit helicopters such as the Mosquito ultralight and other kit-built rotorcraft.
“We are very bullish on the rotorcraft market, and on the future,” said Milestone Aviation Group managing director Robert Dranitzke.
Keith Storey, CFO for Colorado and Nevada-based Rotor Leasing (Static 1 and 3), will be the first one to tell you that the name of the company is a little bit of a misnomer. In fact, the company does not lease helicopters at all today. Instead, the company, with its own facilities, including a helipad at 7,300 feet agl (66CO), researches, imports and restores French, British and Irish SA341 Gazelles and SA365 Dauphin helicopters in the U.S.
Befitting the vertical lift that members of the Helicopter Association International (HAI) provide to the world, on the eve of Heli-Expo 2014, association president Matt Zuccaro pronounced the state of the industry “very up.”
“Air tours are doing well, corporate operations have re-established themselves and offshore oil and gas work is very busy right now, so it’s a pretty positive picture,” Zuccaro said. Nonetheless, the industry faces challenges including a potential shortage of pilots and mechanics.
HAI president Matt Zuccaro asked his constituents a commonsense question that is at the core of the organization’s new safety program, Land & Live: “We land on mountaintops, buildings, ships, oil platforms….so, why don’t we land the helicopter when an accident chain begins? What is that?”
Long known as the world’s lone operator of the heavy-lift S-64, Erickson Air-Crane announced yesterday that it has rebranded as Erickson Incorporated, reflecting the company’s recent acquisitions and newly diversified portfolio.
Safe Flight (Booth No. 2516) introduced its upgraded digital powerline detection system (DPDS) and provided an update about ongoing development of its icing conditions detector (ICD) at Heli-Expo 2014.
The DPDS adds a digital signal processor to Safe Flight’s previous analog system, allowing the detection of both 60Hz and 50Hz frequencies produced by power lines around the world. Safe Flight director of government and military sales Greg Hilewitz noted testing on an AS355 showed the DPDS detected a 22,000-volt line at more than one statute mile distant.
BLR Aerospace (Booth No. 5743) is known among rotorcraft operators for its conceptually simple, yet highly effective, FastFin aerodynamic tail rotor enhancement for several popular Bell utility helicopters. The company notes that sales have grown by 30 percent among government and military clients over the past two years, with FastFin installations on more than 650 helicopters for approximately 380 customers worldwide.