Columbia Helicopters is to acquire the type certificates for the Vertol 107-II and Boeing Vertol 234 Chinook helicopters from Boeing. Columbia, the only commercial operator of the heavy-lift types in the world, uses the Boeing models for logging, construction, firefighting and petroleum exploration operations. The official transfer will take place after engineering details are completed and following FAA approval.
Salaried pilots who fly air taxis, bush aircraft and crop dusters have the highest occupational death rate–92.4 for every 100,000 pilots–tied with the rate for logging workers, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The agency said the aircraft these pilots fly can be “old and the maintenance less stringent than among the big airliners, adding to the danger.”
Having flown more than 32,000 hours to date on the Kamov Ka-32, British Columbia, Canada-based Vancouver Island Helicopters (VIH) Logging can claim the title of the world’s most experienced commercial operator of the Russian twin. Since taking delivery of two Ka-32s in 1997, it has added another to its fleet and uses them primarily on logging and construction contracts at sites remote from its base.
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