Emergency procedures training is offered by several business aviation OEMs and all of the major simulator training companies as part of their wide array of training products. But two smaller, independent companies–Stark Survival Training and Facts/AirCare–specialize in emergency procedures training, and their programs stand out among all of the offerings.
Survival Systems USA, a company that provides simulated ditching and underwater escape training to military and commercial pilots, crew and passengers, is at Heli-Expo booth No. 2639 displaying video programs and equipment specifically for helicopter operations.
The British Air Accidents Investigation Branch (AAIB) has issued its report on an accident last January. A British-registered Robinson R44 (G-NUDE), ditched and sank on an attempted flight between Cabo de Hornos, Chile, and Teniente Marsh Airbase on King George Island, Antarctica. The two occupants were rescued after 10 hours in seas of 35 degrees F.
French supermarket tycoon Paul-Louis Halley, who had amassed a personal fortune estimated at $3.75 billion and was listed by Forbes as the 104th richest man in the world, died along with his wife and their pilot in the crash of a Socata TBM 700 (N30LT) at Oxford (Kidlington) Airport (EGTK), UK, on December 6. Inbound from Brussels Airport (EBBR), Belgium, the pilot was conducting an NDB/DME approach to Runway 01 at EGTK.
Cabin-safety and service training for business-jet flight attendants is now being offered by Alteon Training, a Renton, Wash.-based subsidiary of Boeing. The five-day course includes training in evacuation, firefighting, first aid, ditching, security, hazardous-materials handling and crew resource management. Additionally, flight attendants receive training in food handling and service.
Raytheon Beech 1900C, Nassau, Bahamas, Oct. 22, 2004–The pilots of Beech 1900 N79YV, operated by Southern Air Charter, a Bahamian certified airline, ditched the airplane approximately 80 yards off the southern shoreline of New Providence Island. The flight was on a VFR flight plan in VMC and was operating, from Arthur’s Town, Cat Island, to Nassau International Airport.
A Eurocopter AS 365N Dauphin, operated by CHC Scotia, crashed on December 27 near an oil rig in the East Irish Sea. None of the two crew or five passengers survived; one body is missing. The 20-year-old airframe had not been recovered at press time. The accident took place at about 6:35 p.m. local time, some 1,500 feet from the North Morecambe platform, on a flight from the Millom West platform.
Following the crash of a Sikorsky S-76 into the Gulf of Mexico, the two pilots and 10 passengers survived several hours in the water before being rescued, despite their injuries and problems with life-saving equipment. On September 6, at about 4 p.m., the Houston Helicopters S-76 ditched into the Gulf some 24 miles southeast of Sabine Pass, Texas, after a dual engine failure.
The need for helicopters and their crews to aid disaster victims in 2005 was palpable, beginning with the devastating Southeast Asia tsunami at the end of 2004, peaking–in the U.S.–with the aftermath of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita in September and culminating with the massive earthquake that hit Pakistan in October.
A UK CAA study says the risk of a helicopter capsizing during a controlled ditching is “considerably higher” than it should be. A report on helicopter ditching and crashworthiness research recommends new tests to establish a reliable computer model of the motion of a helicopter as it is affected by waves and swell.
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