Sikorsky S-76C++, Morgan City, La., Jan. 4, 2009–A Petroleum Helicopters S-76, en route to a Shell Oil offshore oil platform, crashed into a swamp just north of the Gulf of Mexico coastline. The helicopter had taken off in VFR conditions seven minutes before the crash from Amelie, La., and there were no reports of problems from the crew.
Six of seven passengers and both pilots died when a two-year-old Sikorsky S-76C++ crashed into a swamp just seven minutes after takeoff from Amelia, La., on Sunday afternoon. The Petroleum Helicopters Inc.-operated helicopter was outbound to Shell Oil’s South Timbalier 300 Block platform in the Gulf of Mexico.
U.S. Helicopter has had to suspend its scheduled service from New York’s Downtown/Wall Street heliport to Newark and JFK airports after the heliport’s new operator, FirstFlight, failed to develop a TSA-approved security plan. U.S. Helicopter serves the airports with Sikorsky S-76Bs.
A spokesman for U.S. Helicopter said the company could resume flights from New York’s Wall Street heliport early next year. U.S. Helicopter was forced to suspend its scheduled, $159-per-passenger Sikorsky S-76B service from New York’s Downtown/Wall Street heliport to Newark and JFK airports after the heliport’s new operator, FirstFlight, failed to develop a TSA-approved security plan.
Falcon Aviation Services is opening a Sikorsky S-76 customer support center in Abu Dhabi, the first in the Middle East. The company is a provider of helicopter charter and maintenance services based in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates.
Elbit Systems of America’s (Booth No. 3113) Kollsman general aviation vision system (GAViS)–a head-down enhanced-vision system–is undergoing installation and certification on both the Piaggio Avanti II turboprop twin and Sikorsky S-76 helicopter. GAViS houses an infrared sensor in a single, aerodynamic line-replaceable unit, which allows for easy installation on an aircraft’s exterior.
As we round the corner past the U.S. Labor Day weekend, thoughts of cold-weather operation begin to make their unwelcome presence felt, especially among operators of unhangared aircraft. Cranking up a mechanically complex aircraft on a subzero morning can put lifetime-limiting stresses on drivetrains. This is especially true when it comes to rotorcraft, with their high number of crucial moving parts.
“What’s the difference between fractional helicopter operations and fractional business jet operations?” asked one fractional sales professional rhetorically. “Well, it’s like comparing a rare tropical orchid with dandelions. The orchid can grow and prosper in only a special and rather rare environment, while the dandelion sprouts up just about anywhere there’s sunlight and water.
Sikorsky S-76, Grand Rapids, Mich., May 29, 2008–The Aero Med Spectrum Health S-76 was taking off from the helipad on the roof of the Spectrum Health Hospital when the tail rotor struck a radio tower; the helicopter crashed
on the roof and was destroyed by fire. No one was injured.
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.