The FAA handed over two certification documents to Robinson Helicopter founder Frank Robinson and his son and company president Kurt yesterday at a ceremony at the helicopter manufacturer’s Torrance, Calif. factory.
Frank Robinson, 80, has retired from the iconic helicopter company he founded in 1973, just weeks before the company expects to receive certification of its R66 turbine single. The company announced on Friday that Robinson’s son Kurt, 53, currently a Robinson vice president, would take the titles of president and chairman. Kurt Robinson has been with the company since 1987 and holds an MBA, a law degree and a commercial helicopter rating.
The FAA has agreed to pay $4.5 million in damages to Gavin Heyworth, the sole survivor of a Nov. 6, 2003, midair between two helicopters operating at Zamperini Field in Torrance, Calif. In a trial held in May, U.S. District Court Judge Florence-Marie Cooper found the FAA liable for the accident. Heyworth was piloting the Robinson R22 that collided with an R44 flown by Robert Bailey and Brett Boyd, who perished in the crash.
U.S. District Court Judge Florence-Marie Cooper has overturned the NTSB’s probable cause of a November 2003 midair between two helicopters at Zamperini Field in Torrance, Calif. Cooper ruled that the government, “acting by and through the conduct of its ATC, their supervisors and the FAA,” caused serious injuries to Robinson R22 student pilot Gavin Heyworth and the death of R44 pilots Robert Bailey and Brett Boyd.
Robinson Helicopter delivered its first R22 piston single in October 1979. Exactly 24 years later, the Torrance, Calif. manufacturer delivered its 5,000th helicopter. This milestone represents the production of 3,489 R22s and 1,522 four-seat R44s. The 5,000th machine, an R44 Raven II, was shipped to National Airways, a Robinson dealer based in Lanseria, South Africa.
Universal Avionics Systems Corp. of Tucson, Ariz., announced that Charles Edmondson, one of the founders of the company along with the late Hubert Naimer, has retired. The two men founded the company in Torrance, Calif., in 1980. As executive vice president, Edmondson had responsibility for Universal Avionics’ worldwide operations. More recently, he served as senior corporate vice president and as a member of the board of directors.
Robinson has handed over its 6,000th helicopter–an R44 Raven II–to a Canadian customer. John Wadlow of Alberta, Canada-based Airborne Energy Solutions flew the new acquisition from Robinson’s Torrance, Calif. facility for use in the company’s charter fleet.