Provincial parliament committee hearings into Ontario’s air ambulance service, Ornge, will continue into the summer, thanks to a last-minute deal struck among Canada’s three major political parties. Progressive Conservatives had accused Ontario’s Liberal-led government of trying to stymie the ongoing probe into Ornge by the Select Committee on Public Accounts and threatened to retaliate by blocking Ornge’s $150 million annual government funding.
Children’s Hospital New Orleans received approval June 18 for a new helicopter WAAS LPV approach to bring arrivals down to a height above landing (HAL) of 270 feet. The new procedure allowing more precise guidance in poor weather was developed by Orange Beach, Ala.-based Hickok & Associates.
Eurocopter’s X3 compound helicopter prototype began its U.S. demonstration tour at the company’s Grand Prairie, Texas campus yesterday. The X3 first flew in 2010 and can reach speeds in excess of 230 knots. Eurocopter CEO Lutz Bertling said the company is “well positioned to bring this type of helicopter to market in the next 10 years.”
Eurocopter has integrated a Tcas II into the EC225 medium twin helicopter’s autopilot, meaning pilot input is not needed for emergency avoidance maneuvers. In the event of conflicting trajectories and after a traffic alert without any resulting pilot action, the Tcas II will issue a resolution advisory (RA) and the autopilot will react immediately by commanding a climb or descent to ensure safe separation. It will then return the helicopter to its original altitude.
The EASA has certified the FastFin tail rotor enhancement and stability system for the Bell 205. It follows recent certification for the Bell 212, and Bell 412 certification is under way. “With FastFin, most operators will receive between a 10- and 90-percent increase in useful load depending on specific model and density altitude,” said Dave Marone, vice president of sales and marketing for BLR Aerospace.
Soloy Aviation Solutions is offering an AS350B engine conversion kit that replaces the Turbomeca Arriel 1B with a Honeywell LTS101-600A-3A. The conversion reduces operating costs by approximately 20 percent, fuel flow by four to six gph, and may be maintained on an on-condition inspection cycle resulting in less down time and lower operating costs, according to Soloy. “The total kit, including factory rebuilt engine, is $440,000 and takes less than 10 days to install,” Nick Parkinson, helicopter sales director, told AIN.
The NTSB has opened the docket on the Dec. 7, 2011, fatal accident involving a Las Vegas tour helicopter. The Eurocopter AS350B2, operated by Sundance Helicopters, crashed in mountainous terrain approximately 14 miles east of Las Vegas. The pilot and four passengers were killed.
Gama Aviation announced today that the Scottish Ambulance Service has again selected the company to be its dedicated provider of air ambulance services, extending its contract for seven more years, to 2020. Gama’s Scottish fleet includes a Beechcraft King Air 200C at both Aberdeen and Glasgow Airports and a Eurocopter EC135T2 at both Glasgow and Inverness. The two EC135s will be replaced with two new EC145T2s next year.
Eurocopter and helicopter support specialist Heli-One Norway have created Team Nordsar to bid in Norway’s competition for an all-weather search-and-rescue helicopter. The Nordsar version of the EC225 medium twin is touted as being well suited for missions in mountainous and coastal areas, as well as long-range operations in the Barents Sea. Eurocopter already has helicopters flying in SAR roles in the country.
The FAA is proposing an airworthiness directive for the Bell Helicopter 412, 412EP and 412CF. It is the result of a reported failure of a collective lever. The proposed actions are intended to detect a crack in the collective lever, which could lead to failure of the collective lever and subsequent loss of control of the helicopter. The FAA is taking comments on the proposed AD until July 23.