The Pilatus PC-12 turboprop single is gaining ground as a cost-effective alternative to helicopter air ambulances.
Royal Jet will celebrate its tenth anniversary next May, and the company is reporting significant growth and its busiest year so far. Last year Royal Jet operated 3,135 flights to 370 cities in 136 countries, and this year already is set to exceed this figure. Revenues in the first quarter of 2012 were up 15 percent, while the company’s summer performance saw a 19-percent increase in flying hours over the same period in 2011.
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.
The first of two multi-role Bell 429 light twins delivered to the Fairfax (Virginia) County Police Department helicopter unit is already logging long hours with demonstrably better performance than the 407 it replaced, according to tactical flight officer (TFO) James Greeves, a 13-year veteran of the unit. “It really has been a game-changer for us,” he said. Compared with the 407, the 429 can insert into tighter landing zones and arrive on scene more quickly. Crews are seeing speeds of 144 to 146 knots despite the added drag of the external searchlight and camera.
The medevac unit of Abu Dhabi’s Royal Jet evacuated 31 Chinese workers injured in explosions in the Republic of Congo on March 10, transporting them on a Boeing Business Jet from Maya Maya Airport in Brazzaville, Congo’s capital, to Beijing, China, in 16 hours following a brief stop
Ricky Reno has joined Fargo, N.D.- based Spectrum Aeromed as vice president and account representative for military and government initiatives, where he is responsible for global sales and service. “Ricky Reno knows and understands every aspect of helicopter flight operations, most notably HEMS and SAR interior modifications,” said Spectrum CEO Dean Atchison.
Sikorsky Aircraft, a subsidiary of United Technologies, recognized Vancouver-based Helijet International as operator of the world’s highest time Sikorsky S-76 airframe. Helijet’s S-76A (serial number 760074) has logged 37,025 flight hours. It entered service in July 1980, and then flew 2,287 hours during nine years’ service as a corporate transport in the northeastern U.S.. Helijet acquired the aircraft in January 1990. In scheduled service, it has carried more than 500,000 passengers 3 million miles between Helijet’s passenger terminals in Vancouver and Victoria, British Columbia.
Bell Helicopter is exploring new markets and missions for its Bell-Boeing Osprey V-22 military tiltrotor.
The EF5 tornado that struck Joplin, Mo., on May 22 packed 200-mph winds and tore a three-quarter-mile-wide, 14-mile-long path of destruction that killed 154 and leveled 8,000 structures. The storm took dead aim at Joplin’s St. John’s Regional Medical Center, rendering the building unusable and forcing a post-storm evacuation of 183 patients. Five others suffocated when back-up power failed and their ventilators shut down.
A new University of Illinois study found that only 1.4 percent of the 27,697 medevac flights it studied from 2009 were “medically inappropriate.” All of the flights were performed by Air Evac Lifeteam, a helicopter EMS company operating in 14 states.
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