Feedback from exhibitors at this year’s Helicopter Association International Heli-Expo show–the 63rd annual event–was notably positive, a clear indication that the record attendee and exhibitor numbers signal a strong performance by the rotorcraft industry during the past year. Heli-Expo 2011 attendance reached more than 20,000, according to HAI, and exhibitors totaled 625, up from 15,243 attendees and 596 exhibitors last year.
In an open letter to Canada’s minister of transport, the lawyer representing the families of the passengers killed in, and the sole survivor of, the March 2009 crash of Cougar Helicopters Flight 491 has challenged the certification Transport Canada granted to the Sikorsky S-92A in 2005. The accident helicopter, which ditched 30 nm east of St. John’s, Newfoundland, and Labrador, was carrying 18 people.
Buoyed by steady and solid U.S. government and international work, Sikorsky is demonstrating strong hover performance in challenging economic conditions, and president Jeff Pino’s press conference yesterday morning was one of the more information-rich sessions here at Heli-Expo.
China not only wants to be the world’s largest consumer of helicopters, it intends to be the largest producer. This is a lofty goal for a country that had less than 100 civil-use helicopters five years ago. Yet as early as 2000, executives who ran China’s state-owned aviation companies predicted that the country would be one of the foremost helicopter manufacturers by 2030.
Canadaπs Transportation Safety Board (TSB) issued its final report February 9 on the fatal 2009 accident of a Cougar Helicopters Sikorsky S-92A off Newfoundland that killed 17. The helicopter crashed while attempting to ditch after its main gearbox lubrication system failed due to two cracked oil filter bowl mounting studs.
The UK Ministry of Defence and Department for Transport (DfT) last week canceled the SAR-H search-and-rescue helicopter program after Soteria, the preferred bidder, acknowledged some employee misconduct. The Royal Bank of Scotland has left the Soteria consortium, which now regroups operator CHC, training and aircraft equipment specialist Thales and helicopter manufacturer Sikorsky.
Canadaπs Transportation Safety Board (TSB) yesterday issued its final report on the fatal accident of a Cougar Helicopters Sikorsky S-92A off Newfoundland that killed 17 on March 12, 2009. The helicopter crashed while attempting to ditch after its main gearbox lubrication system failed due to two cracked oil filter bowl mounting studs.
U.S. and European civil aviation authorities have issued new airworthiness directives (ADs) for the inspection and possible repair or replacement of the Sikorsky S-92A’s main gearbox. The updated ADs build on 2009 directives and mandate action on a new gearbox design that was supposed to solve the problem, at least temporarily.
Final assembly of the first production Sikorsky S-76D medium twin has begun in Coatesville, Pa., the helicopter manufacturer announced this week. Czech-based Aero Vodochody delivered the helicopter’s fuselage on November 19–a one-month delay, according to a schedule released in June. The fully assembled fuselage arrived with all electric and cockpit systems having passed acceptance tests, Sikorsky said.