The FAA adopted an airworthiness directive for Eurocopter Deutschland MBB-Kawasaki BK117C2 helicopters requiring inspection of the long tail-rotor drive shaft assembly for blind rivets. If any blind rivets are located, the shaft assembly must be replaced. The AD was prompted by the discovery that some helicopters have blind rivets installed in place of solid rivets, which could lead to failure of the tail rotor drive shaft and subsequent loss of control of the helicopter.
MBB/Kawasaki BK 117
HEMS Academy, the simulator training arm of German air ambulance specialist ADAC, has announced that it will add a new Eurocopter EC145T2 full-flight simulator in 2015. This follows ADAC’s order last September for 14 new EC145T2 helicopters to replace its aging BK117 B2 fleet. The new helicopters will be equipped with the EuroAvionics EuroNav7 navigation system upgrades, which will also be included in the simulator. Meanwhile an EC145T2 systems training device will be brought online in mid-2014, allowing for web-based training on the type.
A Eurocopter BK117 operated as an emergency medical service (EMS) flight by Air Methods crashed into a farmer’s field near Compton, Ill., at about 8 p.m. on December 11. The three people on board–the pilot and two flight nurses–were killed. There were no patients on board at the time of the accident. The crash occurred shortly after the pilot radioed he was returning to base due to poor weather where light snow had been reported. The helicopter was registered to Rockford Memorial Hospital, located 90 miles northwest of Chicago.
American Eurocopter’s blade shop in Grand Prairie, Texas, is a busy place. The 20 craftsmen repair and refurbish 1,000 helicopter main and tail rotor blades every year. That translates into 95 percent of all Eurocopter blade work in the U.S.
Much of the work is done by hand. “It is a slow process,” acknowledges shop manager Jim Tully. “It would be nice if we could find a way to go faster, but it has to be done the same way. With fiberglass, it wouldn’t take long to scrap out a blade completely” if a mistake were made.
Atlanta-based Precision Aviation Group (PAG) and its subsidiary Precision Accessories & Instruments (PAI) have been approved as an authorized repair center (ARC) for Eurocopter.
Atlanta-based Precision Aviation Group (PAG) has launched a rotorcraft services division at subsidiary Gardner Aviation Services. It will provide helicopter-specific avionics upgrades/installs, airframe maintenance and MRO services at Gardner Aviation Services 35,000-sq-ft facility on Atlanta Regional Airport in Peachtree City, Ga.
Rescue organization DRF Luftrettung of Germany ordered 25 Eurocopter EC145 T2 light twins in November, thus becoming the largest customer for the new type. The contract is valued at EUR200 million ($270 million).
The aircraft will replace the DRF Luftrettung’s BK-117s. The first five red and white EC145 T2s will be delivered between December 2013 and late 2015. The remaining 20 helicopters are to be handed over in phases throughout 2022.
Geisinger Medical’s recent delivery of its fourth EC145 is part of an overall fleet replenishment program for the Pennsylvania-based helicopter EMS provider, which operates as Geisinger Life Flight. Geisinger has been operating Eurocopters since 1983 and was the first customer for a hospital-based BK117. Air Methods is completing the medical interior for the helicopter, which is to be based in Danville, Pa.
With dry ice, bright lights, loud music, CEO Lutz Bertling in the cockpit and four glamorous passengers in helmets and flight suits, Eurocopter rolled out its newest helicopter here at Heli-Expo shortly after the convention opened yesterday morning. The EC145T2 introduces a fenestron, new engines, a new main gearbox and what Bertling described as “25 percent more mission performance” than its predecessor.
With dry ice, bright lights, loud music, CEO Lutz Bertling in the cockpit and four glamorous passengers in the cabin wearing helmets and flight suits, Eurocopter rolled out its newest helicopter here at Heli-Expo shortly after the convention opened today (watch video).
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