Airbus Helicopters plans to progressively equip all its models with a cockpit imaging and flight data monitoring (FDM) system, in a bid to improve safety with an affordable system. All 181 AS350 AStar/Ecureuil light singles delivered last year were equipped with the device, developed with Appareo Systems (Booth No. 329). Next in line for the FDM installation are the EC130T2 light single and the EC135 light twin.
New HAI member Rusada (Booth No. 3209) is exhibiting at Heli-Expo for the first time. A global aviation software solutions company established in 1987 and headquartered in Switzerland, with operations in the Middle East, Asia, Europe and the Americas, Rusada currently serves 50 major customers worldwide with software that manages more than 1,500 aircraft in 20 countries.
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.
While the safety and practical benefits of simulators are well known to the airline industry, they are still relatively new to civil helicopter pilots, instructors and operating companies. First, the student and instructor do not have to spend time flying to a particular place–for example, a hilly area, an offshore platform and so forth. With one click of a mouse at the instructor station, the helicopter and the crew find themselves teleported.
Keith Storey, CFO for Colorado and Nevada-based Rotor Leasing (Static 1 and 3), will be the first one to tell you that the name of the company is a little bit of a misnomer. In fact, the company does not lease helicopters at all today. Instead, the company, with its own facilities, including a helipad at 7,300 feet agl (66CO), researches, imports and restores French, British and Irish SA341 Gazelles and SA365 Dauphin helicopters in the U.S.
Befitting the vertical lift that members of the Helicopter Association International (HAI) provide to the world, on the eve of Heli-Expo 2014, association president Matt Zuccaro pronounced the state of the industry “very up.”
“Air tours are doing well, corporate operations have re-established themselves and offshore oil and gas work is very busy right now, so it’s a pretty positive picture,” Zuccaro said. Nonetheless, the industry faces challenges including a potential shortage of pilots and mechanics.
Long known as the world’s lone operator of the heavy-lift S-64, Erickson Air-Crane announced yesterday that it has rebranded as Erickson Incorporated, reflecting the company’s recent acquisitions and newly diversified portfolio.
BLR Aerospace (Booth No. 5743) is known among rotorcraft operators for its conceptually simple, yet highly effective, FastFin aerodynamic tail rotor enhancement for several popular Bell utility helicopters. The company notes that sales have grown by 30 percent among government and military clients over the past two years, with FastFin installations on more than 650 helicopters for approximately 380 customers worldwide.
Flight Display Systems (Booth No. 5912) has focused its booth to show off its Smart Cabin cabin management, in-flight entertainment and wireless system for helicopters.
Phoenix Heliparts of Mesa, Ariz. is adding to its supplemental type certificate (STC) offerings, this time by retrofitting an MD 530F with full-digital instrumentation and a modern interior. The aircraft is destined for Robert Reish of El Dorado, Calif., who has used Phoenix in the past for his helicopter refurbishments.