The U.S. State Department is still awaiting the delivery of 13 refurbished Sikorsky S-61T Triton helicopters it ordered under a 2010 umbrella contract, initially to support the diplomatic mission in Afghanistan. The department has already received 16 modernized S-61Ns.
Levi Phillips, director of maintenance for Carson Helicopters Services, pleaded guilty on September 23 in the U.S. District Court in Medford, Oregon, for his role in falsifying documents pertaining to a Sikorsky S-61N helicopter owned and operated by Carson.Two company executives were indicted earlier this year in relation to the crash.
Two former Carson Helicopter Services executives, Steven Metheny and Levi Phillips, were indicted by a federal grand jury February 1 for “endangering the safety of flight” by falsifying aircraft documents, including weight-and-balance and performance charts on a Sikorsky S-61N helicopter owned and operated by the company. The helicopter crashed in December 2008 while performing firefighting duties for the U.S. Forest Service (USFS). Nine of 13 people aboard were killed in the crash, while four others received serious injuries.
An Oregon jury has awarded William Coultas, his wife and the widow of pilot Roark Schwanenberg $69.7 million in a damages suit brought in the 2008 “Iron 44” crash of a Carson Helicopters Sikorsky S-61N. The verdict puts General Electric alone on the hook; other parties settled out of court before the trial. The helicopter crashed shortly after taking off from a helispot while conducting firefighting operations in Northern California. Schwanenberg and eight others aboard the helicopter died.
HAI will present its Salute to Excellence Awards tonight in the categories of safety, maintenance, law enforcement, communications, flight instructor, pilot and Lifetime Achievement.
Several established federal criminal investigations are under way into the events surrounding the August 2008 helispot takeoff crash of a Carson Helicopters Sikorsky S-61N operating under contract to the U.S. Forest Service that killed nine near Weaverville, Calif. The pilot, a U.S. Forest Service check airman, and seven firefighters were killed; the copilot and three firefighters survived.
The August 2008 fatal crash of a Carson Helicopters Sikorsky S-61N has triggered several federal criminal investigations and renewed scrutiny of private aircraft on public use contracts.
Heavy-lift helicopters from private contractors and the military are continuing to play a critical role in restoring the Gulf of Mexico's ecosystem in the wake of the BP oil spill. This month, Columbia Helicopters is flying a pair of Boeing Vertol 107-IIs equipped with brush grapples to remove sections of hard and soft boom that had been placed to protect estuaries from encroaching oil.
British International has ambitions to introduce scheduled services in the UK within the next 10 years using the proposed Bell/Agusta BA619 tiltrotor airliner. The company’s managing director, David Hayler, told AIN “The future regional airliner is the tiltrotor,” and his 10-year vision sees use of a 19-seat stretched development of the BA609, soon to begin flight trials.
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