Bell Helicopter announced an upgrade program for its 412EPI that will increase the helicopter’s operational flexibility to meet future regulatory and mission needs. The program will focus on further testing and improvements of the rotorcraft’s Category A certification to provide increased operational flexibility for Cat A Part B procedures with respect to elevated heliports, as well as the use of circular and rectangular elevated heliports. The upgrade program will start next month and conclude early next year, allowing for deliveries of upgraded Bell 412EPIs to begin next year.
U.S. delegate Eleanor Norton (D-D.C.) has proposed an amendment to the Fiscal Year 2014 transportation appropriations bill that would overturn the FAA ban on most civil helicopter operations within the District of Columbia. Norton’s amendment would pave the way for the re-opening of the South Capitol Street Heliport (09W, SCSH), which has been closed to most public traffic since 2005 to accommodate security concerns. The heliport was opened in 1998 and hosted 41 corporate operators. Public access was limited after the terrorist attacks on Sept.
Sikorsky Aircraft Australia has signed a four-year agreement with the Australian Defense Force for ongoing logistics and engineering support for the Commonwealth of Australia’s fleet of S-70A and S-70B Black Hawks. The more than $120 million deal, which includes six annual renewable options, is a follow-on agreement to one that is expiring after an eight-year term. Sikorsky Aircraft Australia does business as Sikorsky Helitech.
The Helicopter Association International (HAI) and the FAA’s Safety Team will host a free, two-day helicopter safety seminar from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. August 24-25 in Des Plaines, Ill. The August 24 seminar is for professional and commercial helicopter pilots and covers rotorcraft accident trends, human factors, wire-strike avoidance, HAI safety initiatives and more. The August 25 session is geared toward GA helicopter pilots. Registration is required.
The Indian Navy has issued a request for proposal (RFP) for 56 light utility helicopters (LUH) to eight OEMs, including government-owned Hindustan Aeronautics (HAL). Submissions are due by January 7 next year, with the winner expected to enter service in 2016.
The navy wants to replace its fleet of HAL Chetak helicopters, a license-built version of the Alouette III. Of the 85 Chetaks that the navy received up to 2002, approximately 60 remain in service. In addition, the coast guard operates 17.
Milestone Aviation Group announced today that it signed a contract to purchase 19 more Sikorsky S-92s. This order is in addition to three S-92s purchased by the aircraft lessor in February, with the first two helicopters scheduled for delivery later this year. In total, the 22-aircraft order is valued at $682 million.
At a public hearing Monday in Sherman Oaks, Calif., Los Angeles-area citizens complained to FAA Western-Pacific regional administrator Bill Withycombe about noise caused by low-flying helicopters.
A test aircraft assigned to Bell Helicopter’s XworX research-and-development division crashed Tuesday morning 10 miles from Avalon, Texas. The two-pilot crew was uninjured.
Wreckage video taken by a Dallas television station shows that the twin-engine Bell 214ST was flying a main-rotor system that had five blades when pilots made an emergency landing in a field and then gently rolled onto its right side. The video does not show any remains of the tail rotor.
The Helicopter Association International is accepting nominations for the 2013 Salute to Excellence Awards program, which honors “outstanding achievements and exceptional merits of individuals and organizations in the international helicopter community.” The awards are open to any individual or organization, according to HAI. Categories include pilots, mechanics, instructors, safety, law enforcement, medevac and more. The awards will be presented on March 6 during Heli-Expo 2013 in Las Vegas.
Astronics acquired Portland, Ore.-based Max-Viz, a developer and designer of enhanced vision systems for fixed- and rotary-wing aircraft, for $10 million in cash last week. The ultimate price could rise to $18 million, if certain revenue targets are met over the next three years. Max-Viz enhanced vision systems are certified for installation on more than 20 business aircraft types, as well as more than a dozen turbine helicopters. The company also holds similar certifications for multiple piston aircraft.
- Page 1