Inspectors waded through flooded refineries and helicopters passed over wounded drilling rigs in the Gulf of Mexico early last month, as oil companies struggled to assess how long it would take to recover from the effects of Hurricane Katrina.
Bell Helicopter has selected Chelton Flight Systems to provide a synthetic-vision EFIS cockpit for the 407 program. The contract has a potential value of more than $100 million.
Bell claims to be the first OEM to offer synthetic vision for all its light and medium single-engine models. Plans call for Chelton equipment to become the “preferred” system offered for the 206B JetRanger, 206L LongRanger and the new 210.
The Helicopter Association International (HAI) has appealed to FAA Administrator Marion Blakey to further collaborate with the industry to improve communications and weather information for flight operations in the Gulf of Mexico.
The TV news might have focused on the contributions of military rotary-wing aircraft– notably hoist-fitted UH-60 Black Hawks from the National Guard and Jayhawks from the U.S. Coast Guard–in the wake of Hurricane Katrina, but commercial helicopters also played an influential and in many cases heroic role in the unfolding drama.
Two years on from the creation of the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA), the ERA remains worried about that new agency’s cash flow problems. “There has been a failure to establish a mutually supported and agreed-upon business model with national aviation authorities,” said ERA director general Mike Ambrose.
Accident investigators have determined that Tunisian mechanics replaced a faulty fuel gauge in the ATR 72 that crashed off the northeast coast of Sicily on August 6 with the wrong model, a mistake that apparently led the doomed airplane’s pilots to upload less fuel than they needed to complete their trip from Bari, Italy, to Djerba, Tunisia.
It was a night tailor-made for flying– smooth air, barely a cloud in the sky and miles of visibility. The center controller had handed the crew off to approach control with a friendly, “G’night,” and within a few minutes the pilots were cleared for a visual approach to the active runway about 15 miles straight ahead. From their position, the crew could easily see the airport, enveloped by the sodium-vapor shimmer of the city’s vast downtown.
Dial the number for Million Air at New Orleans Lakefront Airport (NEW) and there is nothing on the other end. No recorded message about phone lines, no fast-busy tone to indicate a saturated circuit…nothing.
The eerie silence is indicative of the lack of hard information available about the airport on the shores of Lake Pontchartrain, at least as of late last month. Only select personnel have been allowed to visit the site.
The UK’s Air Accidents Investigation Branch (AAIB) implicated crew training in the crash of a Bermuda-registered Falcon 900EX at Stansted Airport on Feb. 9, 2004. The Falcon arrived at Kilimanjaro Airport in Tanzania, from London Luton, with an intermittent hydr#1 pump 3 display. The crew studied the minimum equipment list and determined that it could fly with only two operable hydraulic pumps.
As a result of its investigation into the Executive Airlines ATR 72-212 landing accident in Puerto Rico on May 9, 2004, the NTSB is recommending new procedures for training for recovery from bounced landings. The Board said that the accident was caused by the captain’s failure to execute proper techniques to recover from a bounced landing and his subsequent failure to execute a go-around.