Mission Aviation Fellowship (MAF) and New Tribes Mission (NTM) are working together to deliver food, clean water and other critical aid to remote island communities of the Philippines devastated by Typhoon Haiyan. NTM, which already had three aircraft (two Cessna 206s and a Robinson R44) stationed in the Philippines, was “uniquely positioned to help.” MAF personnel traveled to the Philippines to assist the NTM crew with logistics.
The Robinson Helicopter fleet in service in Brazil is the largest of any country in Latin America, according to the manufacturer’s Brazilian distributor, Audi Helicópteros. Audi is at LABACE 2013 (Chalet 6102) well positioned to take advantage of the growing popularity of rotorcraft in this part of the world.
With a chalet immediately adjacent to the main entrance, Audi has one of each of Robinson’s most popular aircraft on prominent display: the five-seat, turbine-powered R66; the four-seat piston-powered R44; and the two-seat piston-powered R22.
Bristow Academy, a division of Bristow Group, has introduced into service its first four Robinson R44 training helicopters with Garmin 500H glass cockpits with dual 6.5-inch LCDs.
Yet another sign U.S. Gulf Coast tourism has recovered from the impact of the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill: The start of heli-tour operations in Orange Beach, Ala.
Despite a number of recent fatal accidents involving post-crash fires blamed on the Robinson R44’s vulnerable aluminum fuel tanks, and despite the Australian Civil Aviation Safety Authority’s (CASA) publishing an airworthiness directive demanding replacement with improved flexible bladder versions, many operators have failed to comply.
Robinson Helicopter revealed its intention to obtain approval to operate its R44 and R22 piston-engine helicopters on unleaded fuel this week at Heli-Expo. According to Robinson CEO Kurt Robinson, engine maker Lycoming needs to obtain FAA approval to burn unleaded fuels in its engines while Robinson must perform airframe testing with the fuels on board for each of its relevant helicopter models.
Helitowcart unveiled its new dual-wheel assembly for the Robinson R44 and R66 at Heli-Expo ’13, adding to its line of helicopter handling devices and accessories. Like the company’s other dual-wheel assemblies, the Robinson kit caters to personnel operating on rugged terrain, or who wish to distribute aircraft weight on four tires. The wheel assembly offers two possible heights, is constructed from heavy-duty materials and offers long-arm control to ease rotation. The assembly is also designed to maintain solid contact with the helicopter skid.
Robinson Helicopter announced Tuesday at Heli-Expo that it is working with Lycoming and the FAA to have unleaded fuels approved for use in piston engines installed in its R22 and R44 models.
CEO Kurt Robinson said the FAA had issued the company a project code for the effort and made it a priority. He said he hoped to have all the necessary approvals from engine maker Lycoming in the first half of this year. “It’s environmentally the right thing to do and it bothers me that it hasn’t been done,” Robinson said.
Paraguay UNACE party leader and presidential candidate Lino Oviedo died February 2 when the Robinson R44 he was a passenger in crashed on a night flight from Concepcion to Asuncion. Adverse weather was reported in the area at the time of the accident, and the local press reported that the pilot, who was also killed along with Oviedo’s bodyguard, had objected to making the flight.
A Robinson R44 light single is undergoing heavy repairs at UTair-Engineering’s facility in Tyumen, Russia. The complete “inspection and refitting” is expected to take three months, ending next month. In 2012, UTair-Engineering passed the Robinson Helicopter and Russian Aviation Authority performance audits for maintenance, repair and overhaul operations. The company is thus now an authorized service center for Robinson in Russia.
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