American Eurocopter (Booth No. 2546) has arrived at NBAA’12 with a pocketful of recently announced orders and deliveries.
Russian operator UTAir has secured a seven-year loan from British bank HSBC, on a security of French insurance agency Coface. It has thus become “the first Russian airline receiving insurance wrap from an international export agency for purchasing helicopters,” claims UTAir. The contract is for 19 Eurocopter AS350/AS355 Ecureuil/AStar singles.
Having acquired a Eurocopter full EC135 flight simulator from Thales, French helicopter operator SAF Hélicoptères inaugurated its “training academy” on June 15, bringing access to flight simulators to pilots of light helicopters. The €5 million ($6.3 million) training center, located near Albertville in the French Alps, will be available to pilots from other operators next year. SAF anticipates running the simulator 2,000 hours annually.
Riding a Brazilian economy that continues to grow, fractional ownership and aircraft management company Avantto is finding a ready market and looks forward to more of the same.
In less than two years, with the backing of Brazilian asset management and private equity firm Rio Bravo, Avantto has signed more than 350 customers and assembled a fleet of 24 jets and 23 helicopters.
According to founder and president Rogèrio Andrade, Avantto’s fractional business model fits the needs of the country’s expanding economy and growing dependence on aviation.
The FAA issued an AD–Docket FAA-2012-0222– on September 6 for some versions of the Eurocopter AS350. The directive, which is effective from October 11 this year, was issued after an in-flight fire caused by the ignition of hydraulic fluid leaking from a damaged forward servo-control hydraulic hose. The AD is intended to prevent the forward servo-control hydraulic hoses from becoming damaged and leaking hydraulic fluid that could ignite in flight.
Behind the youthful face and quick smile, 36-year-old Rogério Andrade is an entrepreneur who has already held the position of CEO of a major helicopter operation and is now president of Avantto, a fractional ownership operation that is slightly less than two years out of the blocks and already boasts 350 members and a fleet of 24 jets and 23 helicopters.
The NTSB has opened the docket on the fatal crash of a Las Vegas tour helicopter late last year.
Soloy Aviation Solutions is offering an AS350B engine conversion kit that replaces the Turbomeca Arriel 1B with a Honeywell LTS101-600A-3A. The conversion reduces operating costs by approximately 20 percent, fuel flow by four to six gph, and may be maintained on an on-condition inspection cycle resulting in less down time and lower operating costs, according to Soloy. “The total kit, including factory rebuilt engine, is $440,000 and takes less than 10 days to install,” Nick Parkinson, helicopter sales director, told AIN.
The NTSB has opened the docket on the Dec. 7, 2011, fatal accident involving a Las Vegas tour helicopter. The Eurocopter AS350B2, operated by Sundance Helicopters, crashed in mountainous terrain approximately 14 miles east of Las Vegas. The pilot and four passengers were killed.
RTE (Réseau de Transport d’Electricité), the company managing France’s network of electric power lines, took delivery of its second medium twin, a Eurocopter EC225, last month. It recently created a new subsidiary, Airtelis, that offers specialized aerial-work operations to third parties. In more than 250,000 flight hours over decades of operations, RTE claims to have developed patented techniques to use helicopters in power-line building, maintenance and surveillance.