Sikorsky has scheduled the maiden flight of the first Thales TopDeck-equipped Sikorsky S-76D for the second quarter of this year. The company expressed confidence that it will see the full certification of the product in 2009, according to Phil Naybour, vice president and general manager of Helicopter Solutions at Thales.
The New Jersey State Police (NJSP) aviation unit this spring reached a milestone of successfully flying 25,000 accident-free medevac flights since the program began in 1969. The current NJSP fleet includes four Sikorsky S-76B aeromedical critical-care configured helicopters, which in 2002 transported 1,400 patients, conducted 70 search-and-rescue flights and performed 60 first-responder educational demonstration sessions.
Bristow Helicopters is suing Sikorsky and its parent company, United Technologies, for negligence over a crash in which a Sikorsky S-76A plunged into the North Sea last July, killing all 11 people on board. In a lawsuit brought before a London court, Bristow alleges that faulty repair work was performed on a main rotor blade three years before, when that blade was hit by lightning while on another S-76A, also operated by Bristow.
BELL 407, HIGH ISLAND 443, GULF OF MEXICO, FEB. 22, 2003–At approximately 9:45 a.m. CST N740PH’s main rotor blades struck and killed a passenger during a hot refueling operation on offshore platform High Island 443 (HI 443) in the Gulf of Mexico. The ATP-rated pilot and a second passenger were not injured. The helicopter was registered to and operated by Petroleum Helicopters Inc. of Lafayette, La.
Helicopter services firm CHC Helicopter has stated that third-quarter profit rose nearly 40 percent as higher contract rates and lower interest costs offset reduced activity in its European operations. For the quarter ended January 31, St. John’s-based CHC posted net earnings of $15.6 million, or 70 cents a share, up 39.3 percent from last year’s $11.2 million, or 62 cents a share.
Bristow Helicopters’ insurance companies have started legal action against Sikorsky Aircraft over the July 16, 2002 crash of an S-76A in the UK sector of the North Sea. The aircraft crashed as it was approaching Shell UK’s Santa Fe Monarch drilling rig in its Leman gas field, 45 miles north of Lowestoft. All 11 people on board were killed in the accident, which occurred at 7:44 p.m.
Pratt & Whitney Canada (PWC) has admitted to the beginning of studies intended to result in a new family of light turbine engines derived from the basic PW200 core and intended to power an as-yet unannounced family of new light helos.
After several last-minute delays, Sikorsky delivered the first production S-92 to Petroleum Helicopters, which will use it for offshore service over the Gulf of Mexico. A second was due to be dispatched at press time and further arrivals are scheduled before year-end. Sikorsky plans to deliver an additional 18 aircraft next year. Including options, Sikorsky has orders for 60 S-92s.
Iridium satcom supplier Blue Sky Network last month announced that the Gulf of Mexico’s largest privately held helicopter operator has selected the company’s voice calling and two-way satellite messaging equipment for installation in its entire fleet. Rotorcraft Leasing of Lafayette, La., plans to add Blue Sky’s SkyRouter communications equipment to more than 100 helicopters, enabling voice calls, text messaging and aircraft tracking.
Small but noteworthy helicopter equipment manufacturers found a suitable showcase for their products at Helitech 2007 in Duxford, England, early last month. Big OEMs Agusta-Westland, Bell, Enstrom, Eurocopter, MD Helicopters, Robinson and Sikor- sky (along with accompanying subsidiary Schweizer) were either present or represented, and they had sales to announce.