MD Helicopters says it has resolved a reported flexbeam shortage that temporarily grounded a Yorkshire Air Ambulance MD902 in February during an annual inspection. A company spokesman told AIN last month that the supplier of the part, Kaman, had adjusted its production schedule to compensate for an increase in demand for the part over forecast levels and that new flexbeams are now available. MD has had 27 used but serviceable flexbeams available for customers since early this year. MD provided one to Yorkshire in May and that helicopter has been returned to service.
MD Helicopters MD Explorer
The U.S. Coast Guard is reportedly about to reopen for competition the acquisition of shipboard-based helicopters for maritime contraband interception operations, a task it has been conducting with Agusta A109s.
Ten months ago all 16 of England’s and Wales’ air ambulances created the Association of Air Ambulance Charities (AAAC) to lobby the government to consider the needs of the air ambulance community. The AAAC argues that the lives and money the group saves warrant it some influence.
The NTSB has asked the FAA to require MD Helicopters to conduct tests to “enable the full analysis” of all critical loads for tension-torsion (T-T) straps installed in the notar anti-torque fan of MD 500N, 600N and 900 rotorcraft. The recommendations stem from the Safety Board’s ongoing investigations into two nonfatal accidents involving MD 900s in 2004.
Police Aviation Services (PAS), UK distributor of the MD 902 to police forces, has denied British media reports that the helicopters are being grounded for lack of spares.
The FAA has issued a final rule establishing a class of “quiet technology” aircraft to fly commercial tours over Grand Canyon National Park (GCNP). The rule requires no action by commercial air-tour operators; it simply identifies specific aircraft that qualify for the GCNP quiet-aircraft-technology designation.
MD Helicopters will announce today that operators of MD900 series aircraft are to be offered a lengthened tailboom free of charge. The boom modification, developed to improve MDHI’s bid for the US Army’s light utility helicopter competition, will both improve controllability and increase the aircraft’s payload.
The NTSB has asked the FAA to require MD Helicopters to conduct tests to “enable the full analysis” of all critical loads for tension-torsion (T-T) straps installed in the Notar anti-torque fan of MD 500Ns, 600Ns and 900s. The recommendations stem from the Safety Board’s ongoing investigations into two nonfatal accidents involving MD 900s in 2004.
MD Helicopters MD 900, Mesa, Ariz., Sept. 8, 2004–The NTSB attributes the accident during the test flight to the fracture of a tension-torsion strap in the fan because of progressive fiber failure of the composite material from compression and/or transverse shear stresses with repeated manipulation of the antitorque control pedals without the fan operating at full rpm.