A Sikorsky RH-4 made the first documented rescue by helicopter on Nov. 29, 1945, so it’s not surprising that Sikorsky sponsors the HAI Humanitarian Award. This year’s award goes to the Gander, Newfoundland-based flight crew of a Royal Canadian Air Force search-and-rescue helicopter for a successful rescue accomplished under extreme weather conditions on Feb. 9, 2013.
The Netherlands Oil and Gas Exploration and Production Association has chosen operator Noordzee Helicopters Vlaanderen (NHV) for search-and-rescue (SAR) services. The contract took effect January 1 and has a minimum duration of six months. NHV will operate from Den Helder Airport with two Airbus Helicopters AS365N Dauphins. The supplemental availability of AS365Ns from the Botlek area means that in emergencies at least three helicopters can be operational simultaneously, providing the capacity to rescue crews operating in the Dutch continental shelf area.
The AgustaWestland AW101 won Norway’s competition for a new search-and-rescue (SAR) helicopter. The win could be worth more than €1 billion if Norway buys 16 aircraft as planned and exercises options for another six. The AW101s will replace Sea Kings provided by Westland in the 1970s.
Bell Helicopter signed an agreement with Avincis Group for the sale of up to 20 helicopters today at Helitech International 2013 in London. The deal includes a mix of 429s, 412s and 412EPIs, largely for use in search-and-rescue operations. Avincis Group provides aerial services for mission-critical operations, such as medical emergency, civil protection, search-and-rescue, coastal and urban surveillance, firefighting and energy support services.
A rescue officer fell from a Bell HH-1H on July 22 during a search-and-rescue operation at 9.50 p.m. near Mount Charleston, Nev. The Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department was operating the helicopter under Part 91 and was in the process of hoisting a stranded hiker off the side of a mountain at the time of the accident. Night VFR conditions prevailed at the time of the accident. The rescue officer died in the accident; the hiker was rescued safely.
Last month the Australian Transport Safety Board (ATSB) published its report of a Dec. 24, 2011, helicopter rescue that went wrong after the crew attempted to improvise in a mission to save a man where no other options appeared suitable.
The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey has agreed to pay the FAA $3.5 million in fines for numerous violations of airport rescue and fire fighting (ARFF) standards that occurred between December 2010 and June 2012 at John F. Kennedy (JFK), Teterboro (TEB), La Guardia (LGA) and Newark (EWR) airports.
Two Bond Offshore Helicopters search-and-rescue crewmen, winch operators Paul Walters and Andrew Cowx, have been awarded the 2012 Billy Deacon SAR Memorial Trophy, in recognition of their role in a dramatic North Sea rescue last December. Their Eurocopter AS332L2 Super Puma was first to reach the rig standby vessel Vos Sailor, which had lost power in darkness and poor sea conditions. Despite an injured foot, Cowx volunteered to remain on the deck of the stricken vessel for an hour. There, he managed the rescue of three remaining members of the ship’s crew.
AOPA “vigorously opposes” the U.S. Federal Communication Commission’s plan to prohibit the future use of emergency locator transmitters (ELTs) that use a 121.5-MHz signal. The proposal will have a negative effect on aviation safety, according to AOPA, and the association told the FCC it should immediately abandon its proposed rule changes and defer to the FAA on matters of aviation safety. According to AOPA, there are more than 200,000 general aviation aircraft still carrying 121.5-MHz ELTs.
Priority 1 Air Rescue Services (Booth No. N5012) announced Monday the opening of its new Search and Rescue–Tactical Training Academy (SART/TAC) in Mesa, Ariz. The company says the 6,000-sq-ft facility is the first instructional center focused on providing helicopter SAR and tactical mission aircrew training for government agencies and commercial operators.
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