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2•14•2012 Vol. 44 No. 5

HAI Convention News Today on

GA Leaders Meet

K-Max at War

Heroes Honored

Focus on...

Town Meeting on Stage

An Unmanned Warrior in Afghanistan

A Special Sikorsky

Helicopter Market Segments

Eight of general aviation’s advocacy groups’ presidents met on stage here at Heli-Expo yesterday, and the message was one of solidarity and cooperation.  Page 12

Kaman’s ‘Unmanned Aerial Truck’ delivers supplies to U.S. Marines where it’s unsafe for soldiers to venture.  Page 6

Parked at the Singapore Air Show is a singular search-and-rescue S-92. It’s one stop on the Legend of Heroes tour, honoring those who dedicate their lives to saving others.  Page 16

The roles for rotorcraft are as varied as the imaginations of those who create them. We examine Heli-Expo’s offerings in law enforcement, EMS, training and more.  Inside


> Recap of the show’s most newsworthy events > Heli-Expo attendees discuss their favorite takeaways > Exhibitors express their gratitude and thanks

Sikorsky logs largest S-92 order in history by Amy Laboda Bond Aviation Group signed a contract to purchase 16 Sikorsky S-92 helicopters at Heli-Expo 2012, the largest single order for S-92s ever recorded. Sikorsky will begin delivering the aircraft in groups of four- to five a year starting in the second quarter of 2013. Carey Bond, chief marketing officer for Sikorsky, welcomed the Bond (no relation) Aviation Group to the Sikorsky family with a celebratory contract signing and a toast at the Sikorsky exhibit booth (No. 6148). Continued on page 21 u

Instructor pilots give guidance on autorotation training


by Mark Huber

Judging from the number of people tramping through the exhibition halls and corridors between the halls, HAI’s 64th annual convention and exposition was the rousing success the association had predicted. Now let’s roll the dice and prepare to head to Las Vegas next year.

“Infrequent autorotation training is dangerous,” Chad Oakley, chief pilot at the Bell Academy, said yesterday at a Heli-Expo training session called “Autorotations, Reality Exposed.” Other participants at the one-hour session–pilots, instructors, and representatives from the FAA, NTSB, OEMs, and several fleet operators–agreed. Oakley said that about one-third of all his landings in the course of his instructing are full autorotations. “You need to have a program that goes over these emergency procedures

< Scan for the latest news and videos from the Singapore Airshow

Continued on page 21 u

Your Mission: go farther and do more

Bell 429 Gets Performance Boost. The world’s newest and most advanced light twin just got even better. With Transport Canada’s approval to increase the maximum gross weight to 7,500 lbs., the Bell 429 now has enhanced range combined with exceptional speed. The 429’s quiet and spacious cabin also assures comfort as you go farther and get more done. © 2012 Bell Helicopter Textron Inc.

Visit Us At HELI-EXPO速, Booth #9846




Milestone’s financing model brings new capital to industry

Convention News An independent publication solely owned by the Convention News Co., Inc., Midland Park, N.J. FOUNDED IN 1972 James Holahan, Founding Editor Wilson S. Leach, Managing Director

by James Wynbrandt

Noordzee Helikopters Vlaanderen (NHV) has signed a deal for 10 new Eurocopter EC175 medium helicopters. The deal was announced here yesterday at Heli-Expo. Deliveries will begin this year and continue into 2015. NHV currently operates a fleet that includes 17 Eurocopter Dauphins and one EC145. NHV was founded in 1997 to provide business-to-business helicopter transport. It also provides services for the Belgian and Dutch Maritime Pilot Service, search-and-rescue missions for the Dutch Ministry of Defense, EMS airlift for various European hospitals and oil and gas sector transportation in Africa, Europe and South America. The EC175s will be used to support NHK’s long-term oil and gas contracts.  n

4  HAI Convention News • February 14, 2012 •

Paul Lowe Robert P. Mark Kim Rosenlof Ian Sheppard Dale Smith Harry Weisberger James Wynbrandt

the production team R A T Mona L. Brown E B I N L Joseph W. Darlington Patti Keipe John T. Lewis John Manfredo Lysbeth McAleer O Colleen Redmond R R T Y Y E A web Developer – Mike Giaimo ONLINE EDITOR – Chad Trautvetter Photographers – Bill Bernstein & Mariano Rosales

Bond Buys Birds from AgustaWestland Bond Aviation Group announced yesterday “a framework agreement” with AgustaWestland for 10 helicopters, with options for another five. The agreement includes a mix of AW139s, AW169s and n AW189s 

Greenwich AeroGroup announced at Heli-Expo 2012 that it now owns 60 percent of Helivia Aero Taxi, S.A., of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, which services offshore and onshore clients in the oil and gas industries with a diverse fleet of helicopters. “The Brazilian oil and gas industry is booming and we see an opportunity to invest up to $50 million in Helivia over the next few years,” said Jim Ziegler, president and CEO of Greenwich AeroGroup since 2009. “We have already acquired four helicopters that will become part of Helivia’s fleet, and we are providing additional funds to support the company’s operational growth.” Ziegler tasked his executive vice president of business development, Gerry Goguen, to spearhead the investment. Goguen is working closely with Helivia’s founder, Helio Ribeiro, to develop and implement strategies that will take advantage of the growing market for the company’s services. Greenwich AeroGroup companies including DAC International, Matrix Aviation, Summit Aviation and Professional Aviation Associates will provide logistical support to Helivia.  –A.L.


many of his NetJets colleagues with him, which he said gives the company an unparalleled ability to size up all facets of a potential client’s operation. As for what it’s like to start Milestone after the huge success of NetJets, Santulli said, “We’re delighted with where we are. To build something again is a nice thing.”  o




Richard Santulli, Milestone Aviation chairman

Greenwich AeroGroup Enters Brazilian Marketplace


the editorial team Charles Alcock Bill Carey Thierry Dubois Kirby J. Harrison Mark Huber Amy Laboda David A. Lombardo


only requirement is that the helicopters be used in revenue-generating missions rather than executive transport. The oil and gas industry is playing a large role in Milestone’s growth. When petroleum companies put out tenders or solicitations, operators bidding on the work must include the serial number of any helicopter they intend to use to provide the service. If the operator doesn’t have the lift capacity in its fleet, it may not have the wherewithal to put down a deposit for a delivery position for the helicopter–or take the risk of not getting the contract. But Milestone does. Milestone will place the order for the needed helicopter, and finance the transaction, if the bidding company gets the contract. If the operator doesn’t get the contract, Milestone is happy to take possession of the aircraft for its leasing business. “These very good operators around the world can now bid on tenders,” Santulli explained. CEO William Kelly added, “A lot of the oil and gas companies like that. It gives them other people to compete [for the contract].” For Santulli, the move to Milestone from NetJets has been something of a homecoming. “I started in helicopters. In 1980 I started RTS [Santulli’s initials] helicopters.” And he brought


Milestone Aviation Group (Booth No 7010), a helicopter financing company, made a splash at Heli-Expo this year, announcing a $480 million deal with Eurocopter (Booth No. 1917) for 16 EC225s, a contract with Sikorsky Aircraft (Booth No. 6148) for three S-92s (terms not disclosed), and a $125 to 135 million leasing agreement with major operator Bristow Group for five large helicopters. Milestone chairman Richard Santulli is used to catching the aviation industry’s attention. His previous job was as founder and CEO of NetJets, which developed the fractional ownership model for business jets. Milestone has provided $500 million in financing for helicopters since opening its doors in 2010. Santulli said Milestone’s model is different from that of the leasing companies that have been a staple of the airline world for years. “They buy 50 airplanes. That’s all they do,” he told AIN. “Our business is developing partnerships and relationships with operators. Our major paradigm is to provide financial capital to good operators.” Milestone can offer either lease arrangements or 100-percent financing for helicopter purchases, and works with large operators seeking more flexibility in deploying capital or small operators without the capital to grow. The

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The Convention News Company, Inc.– AIN Publications President – Wilson Leach Executive Vice President – John F. McCarthy, Jr. Vice President of Operations – R. Randall Padfield Treasurer – Jane L. Webb Secretary – Jennifer Leach English HAI Convention News is a publication of The Convention News Co., Inc., 214 Franklin Ave., Midland Park, NJ 07432; Tel.: (201) 4445075. Copyright © 2012. All rights ­reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part ­without permission of The Convention News Co., Inc. is strictly prohibited. The Convention News Co., Inc. publishes Aviation International News, AINalerts, AIN Air Transport Perspective, AIN Defense ­Perspective, AINmxReports, Business Jet Traveler, BJTwaypoints, ABACE ­Convention News, Dubai Airshow News, EBACE Convention News, Farnborough Airshow News, HAI Convention News, MEBA ­Convention News, NBAA Convention News, Paris Airshow News, Singapore Airshow News. Printed in Dallas by ColorDynamics Computer Services: Rentfusion

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A Coast Guard Eurocopter H-65 touches down on the rooftop heliport at the Dallas Convention Center. It flew from Coast Guard Air Station Houston to help commemorate 1.25 million flying hours by the entire Coast Guard Dauphin fleet.

D.C. heliport ekes out its living, while in Big D the living is easier by Paul Lowe This could be a called a tale of two cities, but it’s a little more complicated than that. First, you have Washington, D.C., which has had a viable heliport since early 1998, but it depends on your definition of the word “viable.” Then you have Dallas, which

has had Garland/DRW Heliport since 1988, one of fewer than a dozen stand-alone public-use heliports in the U.S. It was joined in 1994 by 49T, a heliport on the roof of the Dallas Convention Center. Garland just added a new hangar and more ramp space.

And for its part, 49T was a humming little rooftop sanctuary when AIN visited Sunday morning. Eurocopter was using the elevated landing pad to fly demos in one its EC145s. A Dauphin from Coast Guard Air Station Houston had just landed.

The Coasties were visiting Heli-Expo to help Eurocopter celebrate the fact that the powerful Coast Guard Dauphins were about to roll over the aerial chronograph on 1.25 million flight hours since the first of 102 H-65s joined the service in 1984. Heady stuff for a facility that was built and owned by the City of Dallas to cater to fans of America’s football team, the Dallas Cowboys [we know where we are–Ed.], as well as various Texas college teams and visitors to the famous Texas State Fair. The heliport also is used by performers and producers of television and films. Of course, business people use it too, which is one of the reasons the Omni Hotel was built next door. Contrast that with the South Capitol Street Heliport in the nation’s capitol, which was authorized by Congress in 1984 to be part of a constellation of heliports up and down the East Coast and westward. 09W was literally built on an abandoned fuel oil storage facility, surrounded by a stone quarry in a sketchy part of Washington. But 09W motored along, trying to start helicopter service to Philadelphia, New York and Boston. It was used as a fueling and staging area by Washington-area law enforcement, EMS, ENG and some public-use operations, including military. Then came 9/11, and the wheels came off. South Capitol Street Heliport was eventually shut down (it scud-ran under the radar for a little

Unmanned K-Max has joined the U.S. Marines

One of the displays at Kaman Helicopters’ Booth No. 5222 is a composite rotor blade for the U.S. Special Operations Forces’ AH-6 “Little Bird.” They have tapered tips that improve hot-andhigh capability for the six-blade helicopter.

and saves lives,” he said, compared with road convoys that require aerial support and are more prone to attacks, both by gunfire and improvised explosive devices (IEDs) hidden in dirt roads. Kaman, which developed the unmanned helicopter in partnership with Lockheed Martin, is awaiting a potential order from the U.S. Marines for more pilotless ships. If this contract materializes, Bordonaro said the company will restart K-Max production, and it is now readying to do so. The last K-Max came off the production line almost 12 years ago, but for now there is no firm date set


by Chad Trautvetter Kaman Helicopters’ (Booth No. 5222) K-Max “unmanned aerial truck” has delivered nearly 200,000 pounds of cargo since the helicopter entered service in Afghanistan with the U.S. Marine Corps on December 17. Two of the pilotless, heavy-lift helicopters have logged about 100 hours over the skies of Afghanistan on cargo missions. During a recent mission on Sunday, an unmanned K-Max delivered 14,000 pounds of cargo in Afghanistan over four sorties in less than 24 hours, Kaman Helicopters division president Sal Bordonaro told AIN. “This helicopter delivers cargo more cost-efficiently,

while). It eventually reopened, but it remains extremely limited in what it can do. Donald Scimonelli, who has been with the operation from the start is down to himself and one part-time student employee, where there had been six people. Scimonelli has been doing the Texas Two Step with the Transportation Security Administration virtually since the attacks, with little success. While he has been eking out a living, he needs more firepower. He’s gained some allies, most notably D.C. Delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton. Now some heavy hitters from the rotarywing industry and business are weighing in. In a letter to Rep. Peter King (R-N.Y.), chairman of the House Committee on Homeland Security, and Rep. John Mica (R-Fla.), chairman of the House Transportation and Infrastructure committee, HAI chairman Matt Zuccaro wrote, “We are extremely sensitive to homeland security concerns and are willing to work with TSA and other governmental agencies to ensure the maximum safety of general aviation helicopter operations in the District and hope that your offices will be able to assist in opening a dialogue with TSA on this subject before the only public heliport in Washington, D.C., is permanently closed. “After nearly 10 years, we believe a plan should be formulated to allow GA helicopter operations to and from the District of Columbia.”  o

to restart manufacturing. Meanwhile, Kaman is conducting flight tests and initial production of small composite rotor blades for the U.S. Special Operations Forces AH-6 “Little Bird.” The graphite epoxy blades, which are lighter and

6  HAI Convention News • February 14, 2012 •

stronger than the metal ones they replace, have tapered tips that help improve hot-andhigh capability for the six-blade helicopter. According to Bordonaro, the composite blades are interchangeable with

the AH-6’s existing hub system, meaning retrofit is fairly easy. There also will be a civil application for the new rotor blades for MD Helicopters’ MD500 and 600 series, given that the AH-6 is derived from this family.  o

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Thinking without limits

For VIP helicopters, it’s all about the amenities by Kirby J. Harrison According to Alessandra Pasqua, When it comes to executive helicopters, it’s what’s inside that counts. Inside the head of the MAG Design Studio, the cabin that is. And these days, the interior interior “features exquisite materials, amenities in an executive helicopter go refined woods and sophisticated ambient well beyond leather seats and plush carpet. cabin lighting.” Hillaero Modification Center (Booth At Heli-Expo 2012, Mecaer Aviation No. 7752) has been in the Group (Booth No. 5924) business of interior complegarnered considerable attentions for more than 30 years tion with a mockup of a new AW169 interior that COMPLETIONS and that experience shows. While most of Hillaero’s highlights passenger comwork is in medical interiors, fort, noise reduction and “a state-of-the-art, in-flight entertainment the Lincoln, Neb.-based company is well known for its executive fixed-wing execsystem.” It is designed to be equipped with utive cabins, and it carries over nicely to MAG’s Silens cabin noise- and vibration- the helicopter community. Sales execreduction system, and to accommodate utive Doug Hill told AIN, “We would MAG’s IFeel cabin electronics package, be delighted to take on more executive which includes a fully customized cabin cabin work.” Lesser known is SureFlight (Booth management and entertainment package.

No. 6417), a newcomer to the executive-helicopter cabin business, though not to helicopter aviation maintenance and overhaul. The Coatesville, Pa.-based company is already known for its exterior paint work, however. In fact, the company did the outside paint on one of Donald Trump’s helicopters. But cabin completion and refurbishment work seemed “a natural extension” of the exterior paint business, said Andy Waynick, manager of interior completions. SureFlight already has a soft-goods shop in operation and plans to open a cabinetry shop “in the very near future.” Flight Display Systems (Booth No. 2811) doesn’t do helicopter cabin completions, or any interior completion work at all. But the Alpharetta, Ga.-based electronics specialist provides pretty much everything else, from cabin-management to cabin-entertainment systems. One of its more impressive jobs was installation of its Select cabin management systems in an Eurocopter EC145. The system allows passengers to control XM radio, Blu-ray video, cabin lighting, air conditioning and moving-map display

SureFlight, long known for its exterior paint expertise, has expanded into the executive helicopter cabin completion/refurb area.

from the comfort of their seats. “The cabin alone is very nice, but it’s what we add to the cabin that makes it come alive,” said Nick Gray, Flight Display Systems marketing manager. In times gone by, executive helicopter interiors were often an afterthought, and whatever went into them was an adaptation of what had been originally designed for fixed-wing aircraft. That line of thinking has changed dramatically, and helicopter cabin designers and completion centers now work from a clean sheet, creating quieter cabins, designing wet bars, toilets and even showers. The end result is a new generation of executive helicopters that provide the same comforts and amenities and electronic features as their executive fixed-wing brethren. For those non-believers, visit the Mecaer exhibit here at Heli-Expo 2012 and settle back in the executive seats of their AW169 cabin mockup.  o

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8  HAI Convention News • February 14, 2012 •

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To rotorcraft values, OEMs to take greater role in helicopter MRO by James Wynbrandt Operators’ emphasis on controlling lifecycle and direct operating costs (DOC) has thrust maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) into a lead role in rotorcraft operations, expanding the boundaries of MRO far beyond wrench turning. And with declining aircraft sales, OEMs that formerly ceded large segments of aftermarket services to third-party companies are increasing their involvement in the MRO arena. These trends are on full view here in Dallas at Heli-Expo. With parts traceability and documentation so critical in the aftermarket, MRO providers are seeking solutions to improve

and reduce the costs of record keeping. Freedom Aero Services of Lincoln, Calif. (Booth No. 1120), which repairs electrical accessories and instruments for turbine-powered helicopters, announced it has received FAA authorization to apply digital signatures to work orders and store maintenance records digitally. “The approved procedures improve our efficiency and reduce our consumption of paper products,” said Kevin Sherman, Freedom’s QA Manager. “We are a small company, but take pride in our use of advanced technology throughout our operations, which now includes record keeping.”



Operators are using high-tech tools to reduce MRO costs. RLC, the largest privately held helicopter operator in the Gulf of Mexico, is using software from San Diego-based Component Control (Booth No. 7321) to implement trendbased preventive maintenance programs. “This real-time information enables us to identify maintenance trends and options, increasing our overall fleet efficiency and allowing us to quickly and accurately respond to our customers,” said Joyce Cornett, RLC’s inventory systems manager. Meanwhile, OEMs are buying or partnering with MRO providers, working to fend off competition from aftermarket competitors like PMA parts providers. Last year Eurocopter (Booth No.


Malea Dixon (1) shows an Elastomeric 206 tail rotor trunion from Lord, which replaces a greased trunion, saving time on routine maintenance; Mike Kozelka (2) showcases a pitot static tester by Cobra Systems; Colt Mayhan (3) is eying AW139 VRLA AGM RG batteries to replace nicad main batteries; Able Aerospace’s business developer Jim Miller (4) holds before and after blue-coated Bell 407 main rotor hub drives, done with proprietary repair.

1917) bought global MRO services provider Vector Aerospace (Booth No. 7139), an acquisition Eurocopter President and CEO Lutz Bertling called “a major milestone” at Eurocopter’s annual Heli-Expo press conference, describing Vector as “one of the key players in helicopter maintenance,” Summit Aviation of Middletown, Del. (Booth No. 8051), which provides aircraft and engine maintenance on Bell, Boeing, Eurocopter, MD and Sikorsky helicopters, announced at the show a long-term agreement with Sikorsky Global Helicopters (Booth No. 6148) that includes aftermarket support for the Sikorsky-owned Schweizer 300 C helicopter line. Bell Helicopter (Booth No. 9846) announced here a new torsion tension (TT) strap for Bell 206-series helicopters with a calendar life extension to 36 (from 24) months, on the heels of aftermarket provider Airwolf Aerospace (Booth No. 10243) announcing the expanded availability of its recently PMA-approved, and lower-cost 24-calendar-month TT Strap for the same Bell model. Operators’ growing options for MRO products and services make customer service more critical to providers’ success than ever. Here at Heli-Expo, Standard Aero Helicopter Programs (Booth No. 9446) is touting its no. 1 rating in customer satisfaction, based on data from independent market research firm Ducker Worldwide. Survey results indicate that more than 98 percent of customers who used StandardAero in 2011 would recommend their service to others. But more than just thumping its chest, StandardAero analyzes the survey results and uses the data to initiate corrective actions where necessary. o




10  HAI Convention News • February 14, 2012 •


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Visit us at booth #6944 and Technical Services at booth #3717.

GA leaders advocate unity and cooperation at town hall by Mark Phelps The leaders of eight general aviation advocacy associations shared one stage yesterday morning here at Heli-Expo. They included: Ed Bolen, National Business Aviation Association (NBAA); Pete Bunce, General Aviation Manufacturers

Association (GAMA); Peggy Chabrian, Women in Aviation International (WAI); Jim Coyne, National Air Transportation Association (NATA); Paula Derks, Aircraft Electronics Association (AEA); Craig Fuller, Aircraft Owners

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12  HAI Convention News • February 14, 2012 •

and Pilots Association (AOPA); Rod Hightower, Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA); and Matt Zuccaro, Helicopter Association International (HAI). The group held a town hall-type forum in which they presented summaries of their particular missions and their current concerns, and also discussed how they overlap in the best interests of all GA. They then took questions from the audience. Though their individual constituencies’ issues may vary, the combined message from the leadership was one of unity and cooperation. HAI president Matt Zuccaro anchored the panel, and shared some of the cooperative efforts that members of the individual association might not be aware of. Later, he gave the example of Matt Zuccaro HAI’s first visit to EAA AirVenture in Oshkosh, Wis., and how that experience broadened his appreciation of the roles EAA, and all the other advocacy groups, play in supporting rotorcraft. Ed Bolen (NBAA) suggested that supporters of general aviation at all levels embrace this election year as a chance to reach out to those who support aviation, and also use Ed Bolen “our voices and our votes” to send a message to those whose positions are not consistent with aviation’s best interests. “Over the past five years, we’ve faced several challenges,” said Bolen. “User fees, economic challenges and image issues; we’ve faced those challenges in a coordinated and cohesive manner, and those who tried to divide us have not been successful.” Bolen said that, overall, one in three members of Congress of the House and Senate aviation caucuses, and two out of three governors have actively shown their support for general aviation in their states. Pete Bunce (GAMA) said his association had decided last year to open its organization to rotorcraft manufacturers for the first time. He suggested that funding issues Pete Bunce with the FAA have compromised its ability to keep pace with the certification process. Technological progress is being compromised by a lack of ability to receive approval for new and improved products. “We can demand changes in how the FAA works,” Bunce said. “We can demand that they streamline the process of bringing a product to market. No one is more concerned with safety than those who fly and manufacture these machines.” Jim Coyne (NATA) characterized his organization as representing general aviation’s smaller businesses. “We’re like the small business chamber of commerce for general aviation,” he said.

After expressing his frustration with the current Administration’s well-publicized negative characterization of general aviation, Coyne stressed how much of the general public does Jim Coyne not realize the benefits GA brings to the country as a whole. “We need to bring that message to Washington,” he said, “and we won’t succeed unless we work together.” Craig Fuller (AOPA) warned that the pilot population is declining, even as the general population is increasing. “From a business standpoint, we’ll be facing a pilot shortCraig Fuller age,” he said. According to AOPA research, between 70 and 80 percent of student pilots do not receive a pilot certificate. “That is not acceptable,” he said. AOPA conducted follow-up research that revealed 47 specific factors that increase the likelihood of successful completion of flight training. AOPA then added a section to its Web site that “spotlight the things that work,” Fuller said. Paula Derks (AEA) discussed advances in avionics over the past decade, with a proliferation of glass panels and other exciting technology for all aircraft types providing ever-more situational Paula Derks awareness. She said, “The economy slowed, but avionics research didn’t. The challenge, now, is in getting certified.” Peggy Chabrian (WAI) remarked that this is the first year WAI is exhibiting at Heli-Expo. Over the past three years WAI has co-opted with EAA to form a “WomanVenture” Peggy Chabrian element to AirVenture Oshkosh; AOPA’s Summit has “Women’s Wings;” and WAI has initiated a “Bring your daughter” program in relation to several aviation events. “We need more pilots,” said Chabrian. “So we need to reach out to 10- and 11-year-old girls to show them what is possible for them in aviation.” Rod Hightower (EAA) stressed EAA’s role as a champion of outreach, much of it on a volunteer basis. Over its 20-year history, EAA’s Young Eagles program has provided Rod Hightower first flights for 1.6 million youngsters, which “has generated 18,000 pilot certificates, 2,900 CFIs, 1,900 A&Ps and 356 air traffic controllers,” Hightower said. He also stressed the importance of EAA’s Chapter Network (900 groups strong) in local outreach to the non-aviation public. “EAA’s chapters are a social center, but also a key enabler of outreach efforts at all levels.”  o

Simplex cleans up with new aerial power-wash system

Simplex Developing High-rise Firefighting System

by Chad Trautvetter Simplex Aerospace (Booth No. 6917) recently received FAA STC approval for its third-generation, high-pressure Aerial Cleaning System (ACS), used in the cleaning of power-line insulators and windmill blades. The ACS, which consists of a 180-gallon belly water tank and a side-mounted nozzle boom, is certified for use on Eurocopter AS350 and AS355 helicopters. (The 120-gallon second-generation ACS is also certified for the Bell 407.) Routine cleaning of power-line insulators and windturbine blades significantly enhances power transmission and generation, noted Simplex. “This new system will allow operators to accomplish the power-line and wind-turbine-blade cleaning mission with enhanced productivity and safety,” said Simplex president and CEO Mark Zimmerman. “This product represents several years of refinement resulting in the most efficient and effective solution for utility cleaning.” While the system was intended just for cleaning, the launch customer of the AS350/355 system, Canadian Helicopters, is using it for de-icing of wind-turbine blades in Canada with its AS350B3. Because of environmental regulations, Canadian Helicopters cannot use glycol to de-ice the blades, so it simply uses hot

Simplex Aerospace’s Aerial Cleaning System is available for both the Bell 407 (above) and the Eurocopter AS350/355 series. The system allows operators to clean wind turbine blades and power line insulators.

water to melt away the ice, which can be as thick as eight inches, Simplex vice president of sales and marketing Larry Lichtenberger told AIN here at Heli-Expo. The power-wash system for the AS350/355 with its 180-gallon water tank, significantly increasing operating times between refills. This capacity allows operators to clean at least all three blades of a wind turbine or about 100 power line insulators, Lichtenberger said, though he added that it really depends on how dirty the blades or insulators are. According to Simplex, the system’s boom nozzle extends past the rotor tips, providing extended washing distance, permitting operators to clean hard-to-reach insulator strings. The power-assisted operator control reduces operator fatigue, facilitating safer and longer operating days, the company said. The boom’s radius of action is also limited to avoid contact with the mainand tail-rotor blades. o

Simplex has also adapted its power-wash system into another new product–an aerial firefighting system for high-rise buildings. Ground-based firefighting equipment can reach only the first 11 floors of a high-rise, leaving an obvious gap in the ability to contain fires in higher up floors, Lichtenberger said. Called the Hydro Foam Cannon, the device actually merges the company’s power-wash boom with its high-capacity water tanks and incorporates a patented compressed air/foam technology to create enough pressure to effectively fight fires. The patented pressure system, developed by partner Heliap Aviation Products, is key to the water cannon. While it weighs only 20 pounds, the chemical-reaction pressure system allows delivery of 1,000 cubic feet per minute of a water/foam mixture (0.4 percent foam) at 500 psi, with a resultant 120-foot wash range. Simplex president and CEO Mark Zimmerman told AIN that a comparable mechanical pressure system would weigh nearly 2,000 pounds, much too heavy for aerial applications. Like the power-wash system, the water cannon’s power-assist boom extends past the tips of the main-rotor blades, allowing the water/foam mixture to maintain its integrity to fight fires. Zimmerman said the Hydro Foam Cannon can also be used to apply dry foam to the outside of the building to prevent the fire from spreading upwards. The tank capacity of the water cannon system will vary on the helicopter, ranging from a 400-gallon tank on a medium Bell to a 2,000-gallon tank on an Erickson Air-Crane. At a flow rate of 150 gallons per minute, the 600-gallon tank on a Eurocopter EC225 would provide four minutes of high-rise firefighting capability. Simplex is currently ground testing the Hydro Foam Cannon and plans to fly it later this year on an as-yet undetermined helicopter platform. STC approval is expected later next year, with deliveries immediately following.–C.T.

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App parade marches on by Amy Laboda Location, communication and safety version is available as an update. management were buzz words among the Sextant Readings Solutions intronewest batch of app-makers at the 2012 duced its Q-Pulse Audit app for iPad and Heli-Expo in Dallas. iPhone with a special show price that Helicopter Association International includes implementation and training on led off the bunch with an app to help you the product for any company purchasing find exhibitors, and find out about them, its fully IS-BAO (H) compliant app. too. But that was just their convention app. “We built the IS-BAO audit quesThe organization has also turned its tions and guidance right into the app,” Helicopter Annual printed industry direc- said Bob Trevelyan, president of Sextory into HAI Mobile, a tant Readings Solutions. smartphone app that gives “The idea was to use the instant access to the entire simple interface of the database, in its most curApple product to make rent form. The app also the audit process everylinks to FAA databases one’s business in your for up-to-date notams and company,” he continued, regulations. Links are included to TSA, explaining that Q-Pulse Audit replaces NTSB and even a directory of aviation paperwork onsite and through simple officials in the U.S. guided checklist gives each employee in SkyTrac Systems, a flight-following and the company the ability to be the prosatcom supplier, released its RDA user vider of integral data necessary to cominterface for the iPhone at the Expo. “RDA plete the audit process. allows users to increase the functionality of “It’s really a document-distribution their system,” said SkyTrac president and system in an app,” he said. “Say someone CEO Kathleen Wallace. RDA provides a spots an issue. They can sign onto an iPad, simple interface for passengers to have air- enter the Q-Pulse app, and immediately to-ground text and voice calls. document the issue, even send an ASAP Blue Sky Network is offering a free HTC Android smartphone Latitude Technologies or Visio Android tablet to the first demonstrated the newest 10 purchasers of its new Hawk- version of its WebSentinel eye Link. “We chose a Bluetooth- app. Registered users can now view live and historic based system so that voice calls can flight tracking data. be made while the user is wearing a Bluetooth-capable headset,” said Matt Caldwell, sales representative for Blue Sky. “You can dial Iridium satellite phone calls right from your smartphone, without the need for a satellite phone,” he continued. The program also handles text messages and email. “The nice part about it is that the user interface, the smartphone report that can be exported to ASIS.” or the tablet, are completely familiar to all The app and laptop versions of Q-Pulse users,” said Caldwell. The Hawkeye Link is are IS-BAO, SASO and IOSA compliportable and can be carried from BlueSky ant.’s CEO Pierre Rouequipped aircraft to aircraft. leau has taken the concept of an app just Latitude Technologies Corporation a little further, designing an entire managedemonstrated the newest version of its ment solution for flight operations that can WebSentinel app at the Heli-Expo 2012. be run through an app on an Apple iOS Registered users of Latitude’s SkyNode device. “We’ve put flight department mansatcom products, who have a WebSenti- agement into the cloud,” said Rouleau. nel service account, can view live and his- “The iPad is an approved device in the toric flight-tracking data, adjust reporting cockpit, which is why we chose the platparameters and do two-way text messag- form for the FlightOffice product.” ing with their SkyNode products. The product can be used for dynamic Mikey McBryan, general manager for real-time monitoring of flight department Buffalo Airways in Yellowknife, Can- crews, maintenance, training, scheduling, ada, was the first customer to use the new communication, SMS, tracking of key perapp. “We operate 18 aircraft and fly to formance indicators and accounting. Durthe northernmost airport in the world. I ing Heli-Expo 2012 the company is offering have less stress when I am away from the a free iPad (with 3G and WiFi) for every office, because I have the convenience of aircraft in one’s fleet for each new customer tracking aircraft from anywhere. Now signing up for a three-year contract.  o the plane information is always in my pocket,” said McBryan. The app is freely available in the Apple App Store and functions on the iPad, iPhone, and iPod Touch. For users of Latitude’s existing iOS app, the new


14  HAI Convention News • February 14, 2012 •

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news clips z Line Shack Wins Government Fuel Contract The Line Shack, an already popular stop for military helicopter cross-country hops, has been awarded a contract to fuel government aircraft. Located at Ardmore Airpark in Oklahoma, and pretty much in the geographic center of the country, it is known for its rustic appearance and museum dedicated to the thousands of airmen who trained at the facility during World War II.

z HAI’s Charity Golf Tournament Tees Off Despite cloudy skies, chilly temperatures and a threat of rain, sunshine broke out just before tee time to signal the start of HAI’s third annual Scholarship Fundraising Golf Tournament. The session represented the perfect kickoff to Heli-Expo 2012 and took place at the Cowboy’s Gold Club, the only NFL-themed facility of its kind in the world. Prizes were awarded for the four lowest scoring groups, as well as for the most accurate drive for both men and women. Winners were also chosen for nearest the pin on all Par 3s for both men and women. The winning foursome consisted of Frederick Kong, Production Resource Group, LLC; Jackie Dickson, Airport Courier, LLC; Joel Baudon, Heli Dax SAS and Paul Bradtmueller, Seyer Industries.

z Spectrum Aeromed Hires Ricky Reno Ricky Reno has joined Fargo, N.D.- based Spectrum Aeromed as vice president and account representative for military and government initiatives, where he is responsible for global sales and service. “Ricky Reno knows and understands every aspect of helicopter flight operations, most notably HEMS and SAR interior modifications,” said Spectrum CEO Dean Atchison. Reno retired from the U.S. Army National Guard in 2009 after 22 years of service. As an officer in the military he worked with Special Forces, served as a medical evacuation pilot, and maintenance technician. Spectrum Aeromed specializes in designing and manufacturing custom air medical and air ambulance equipment for fixed- and rotary-wing aircraft. It holds more than 55 STCs covering more than 390 models of aircraft.

z Two Police Airborne Units Accredited The Columbus Police Division Helicopter Unit and the Houston Police Department Air Support Division today became the first two airborne units to become accredited through the Airborne Law Enforcement Accreditation Commission (ALEAC). Certification is awarded after an assessment of the entire air support operation according to professional standard guidelines applicable to all airborne law enforcement units. The new standards were adopted two years ago by ALEAC at Heli-Expo in Anaheim, Calif., as a guide for the creation of new airborne units, as well as to share industry best practices.

Sikorsky Heroes S-92 symbolizes founder’s vision to help people by Matt Thurber from the Singapore Airshow The schedules for international aviation conventions and airshows being what they are, it is inevitable that some events overlap. As many attendees at Heli-Expo 2012 already know, the Singapore Air Show officially opens today, February 14 (which, due to the time difference, occurred yesterday here in Dallas). So AIN’s show staff in Singapore has already been hard at work for about half a week on the other side of the world. (AIN editor Matt Thurber sent us this story from Singapore, thinking it might interest our Heli-Expo readers. We agree.) The Sikorsky S-92 on the static display at the Singapore Airshow is a civilian helicopter, even though from the distance the gray paint job makes it look quasi-military. But step a little closer and the gray isn’t uniform, in fact, the helicopter is covered with signatures by visitors from all over the world who have viewed this unique S-92. This helicopter embarked in October on a nine-month Legacy of Heroes Tour, “to celebrate everyday heroes and touch the lives of the people they serve and protect.” “Igor Sikorsky’s desire was to build an aircraft to help people,” said Joel Vigue, a Sikorsky production test pilot who flies the Heroes S-92 with production test pilot Jamie Wittmeyer. Since the first civilian helicopter rescue on Nov. 29, 1945 in a Sikorsky R-5, Sikorsky helicopters have saved an estimated two million lives. “This tour is to honor our roots,” Wittmeyer said. The Heroes S-92 started

from Sikorsky’s factory in Pennsylvania and made stops along the U.S. eastern seaboard before being shipped to Malaysia. Stops then followed in Thailand and Indonesia before the crew flew the S-92 to the Singapore Air Show. Following the show, the helicopter will be shipped to India where it will fly from Chennai to Bengalaru, Hyderabad, Pune, Mumbai then New Delhi. More than 150 S-92s are now in service, and naturally the S-92 Legacy of Heroes crew is showing off the helicopter’s searchand-rescue capabilities during the tour. One of the unique features of the S-92 in SAR configuration is the ability to fly itself to a predetermined spot during a rescue and hold that spot while the crew saves the endangered people. Once hovering over the desired spot, the crewmember operating the Goodrich rescue hoist in the cabin can position the helicopter using a control button next to the hoist to move the helicopter fore, aft

and sideways at up to 15 knots. These features lower the workload on pilots during SAR missions dramatically. “It’s very capable in demanding situations,” Wittmeyer said. Sikorsky is developing an automatic oil-rig approach as part of the automatic flight control system. Testing has been completed and certification should take place shortly. A tail-rotor pedal hold function keeps the ball centered as long as the pilots keep their feet off the pedals, but shuts off when a microswitch senses a foot touching a pedal. The S-92 can carry up to 19 passengers in civil configuration or 22 in military dress and flies at 137 knots (long-range) or 147 knots (maximum cruise speed). The S-92 is equipped with a built-in rotor blade and highspeed shaft tracking and balancing system, which eliminates the need to hook up track and balance tools to dial out excessive vibrations. Two GE CT7-8A turboshafts power the helicopter, each with dual Fadecs. The main rotor blades are composite, and flight into known icing capability is an available option. Three floats allow the S-92 to handle emergency water landings up to sea state four, and two additional floats are an optional feature. Avionics are a four-display Rockwell Collins Pro Line 4 suite.  o

This Sikorsky S-92 on static display at the Singapore Airshow embarked in October on a nine-month Legacy of Heroes Tour “to celebrate everyday heroes and touch the lives of the people they serve and protect.” The helicopter is covered with signatures of those who viewed it on tour.

Trevor Frase joined West Star Aviation as maintenance manager at the company’s Dallas Love Field location. In his new position, Frase is responsible for all aircraft maintenance operations at West Star DAL. He has 14 years of aviation experience, including work in quality assurance, fleet management and Part 135 certificate operations. Before joining West Star, he was a Part 145 maintenance supervisor. West Star Aviation also has facilities in East Alton, Ill., Grand Junction and Aspen, Colo., Columbia, S.C., and Chesterfield, Mo.

16  HAI Convention News • February 14, 2012 •


z West Star DAL Adds Maintenance Manager

Successful EMS involves the right mix of aircraft, people and equipment The latest generation of said the obstruction warning air medical helicopters is feature of the helicopter’s synmeeting with enthusiasm thetic vision system proved itself from both pilots and med- in the 7.5-hour flight from Utah ical crews. An example, at to Dallas for Heli-Expo, pointthe AgustaWestland exhibit ing out a tower at five miles (Booth No. 5602) is the which didn’t become visible A109SP GrandNew medevac until much closer. “The glass cockmachine operated pit takes a little getby Intermountain ting used to, but HealthCare’s Life Flight out of Salt AIR MEDICAL then it makes flying very easy, and much Lake City. safer, especially at “There’s nothing I don’t like about this heli- night,” he noted. “We all fly with copter,” said Denny Patterson, night-vision goggles,” Patterson who has flown with Life Flight added, pointing out that panel for 18 years. He flew the A109K2 instrumentation with NVG combefore Life Flight acquired the SP patibility comes standard from last year, the first of that mark in the factory. “They put the best of everythe U.S. “The K2 was a great aircraft, especially in the hot-and- thing into their product,” he went high conditions where we are,” on. “This helicopter has been Patterson noted, but he added very reliable and really fun to fly.” that the SP’s all-glass instrument Patterson said the medical crews panel with TCAS and TAWS appreciate the A109SP’s roomy, is a vast improvement in situa- well-equipped cabin, especially tional awareness compared to the the low deck entry level that “steam gauge” instrumentation in minimizes the effort in loading patients. “The medical crews like its predecessor. The GrandNew has flown it a lot, especially because it has about 335 hours since Life more cabin and leg space.” Flight took delivery. Patterson Crew Training

Field) and its sister company, Specialized Response and Training. Christian Gadbois, himself a certified EMT-paramedic and EMS pilot with more than 30 years of aviation experience, is president and CEO of both, and a member of the HAI Flight Training Committee. He said that about 20 percent of the training his companies give is EMS-related. The SRT course for new EMS pilots involves 10 flight hours and 24 hours of ground school. SRT also certifies emergency medical technicians (EMT) and provides instructors to local colleges for flight paramedic certification education. “EMTs perform basic life support, mostly in the ground environment. The paramedics provide advanced life support, and they’re the ones on

the helicopter missions,” Gadbois explained. SRT’s varied ground school curriculum includes flight physiology and air medical resource management, which Gadbois explained as “cockpit resource management with an air medical focus, involving both pilots and medical crew.” EMS equipment

Here at Heli-Expo, United Rotorcraft is at Booth No. 8063 with a new air-ambulance product, the Medical Transport Module (MTM), an inclusive cabinet that mounts on an aircraft floor and contains life support items including oxygen, compressed air, vacuum

Life Flight pilot Denny Patterson says the medical crews appreciate the A109SP’s roomy, well-equipped cabin, especially because it has more cabin and leg space.

and AC/DC power. Its pivoting loading system greatly simplifies loading into an EMS helicopter. Designed for airframes with flat floors, the MTM provides space for a standard litter. It is on display in the AW169 mockup at the AgustaWestland exhibit site. United Rotorcraft is also showing a re-engineered product that can be loaded onto the developmental AW169 without lifting. The “roll-on, roll-off” solution is already available for the Bell 429 and Eurocopter’s EC145 and EC139. o


Intermountain Life Flight flies an AgustaWestland A109SP GrandNew medevac from Salt Lake City. “There’s nothing I don’t like about this helicopter,” says pilot Denny Patterson.

Training of EMS pilots and medical crew is a specialized business, and one of the busiest is SRT Helicopters at Bakersfield, Calif., (Meadows


by Harry Weisberger


bivy bag LifeBlanket (Booth No. 7105) is promoting its Original Pocket Rescue Bivy here at Heli-Expo 2012. Before we all get confused, a bivy is an abbreviated version of the term bivouac; what civilians call “camping out.” Hence the term bivy sack, or bivy bag. The company is also promoting its new Pocket Tech Tarp Personal Survival Equipment. So at this point it seems vaguely appropriate to point out that LifeBlanket is also offering a special for Heli-Expo visitors–buy one cowboy blanket and get a second one free. And before you ask, the answer is no; cowboys most certainly did not refer to them as bivy blankets.–K.J.H. • February 14, 2012 • HAI Convention News  17

The company you may never have heard of is a world leader in aviation by Amy Laboda The merger that is Safran produced a potent aerospace company, which in the U.S. alone, participates in joint ventures with 31 different companies and employees 7,000 workers. “The number of people we employ in the U.S. has doubled in just three years, and we are actively hiring engineers right now to continue growing,” said Lengyel. With subsidiaries in aerospace, defense and security, you would think that Safran was extremely diverse in its products, and it is. However, there is one strong commonality that ties every subsidiary together, Lengyel told AIN.

“We are an engineering company,” he said. “We spend 11 percent of our annual revenues on research and development. This is because we are a tier-one supplier our customers depend on to supply them with the best technology available.” So, where can you find Safran products in the U.S.? “If you flew to the conference, you probably flew here on [an aircraft powered by] our engines,” said Lengyel. “Every 2.5 seconds an aircraft with our CFM engines, Labinal wiring or Messier-Buggati-Dowty landing gear takes off or lands somewhere.”


Peter Lengyel, president and CEO of Safran USA, understands why most Americans aren’t familiar with his company. After all, it is only six years old. But Safran is a huge global company with 57,000 employees worldwide and a global presence, with products aviation-industry people and air travelers probably use, one way or another, almost every day. “We are the merger of Snecma and Sagem, which occurred in 2005. Sagem is avionics and optronics and Snecma is the largest propulsion company in the world,” said Lengyel, at the Safran display (Booth No. 7517).

checking out the robinson Roost Dennis MacBain kicks the skids of the Robinson R66 at the company’s booth. R66 serial number 0100 rolled off the production line one year and two months after the turbine received FAA certification. As of Saturday, the n company has received orders for more than 380 R66s.

18  HAI Convention News • February 14, 2012 •


The newly introduced e-APU60 is on the AgustaWestland AW189. Here, Safran is touting Tubomeca, which the company calls the most prolific helicopter engine maker in the world. Safran expects to break ground on a new factory in New Hampshire this spring.

Safran is in 22 states in 58 loca- helicopter engine maker in the tions. In Seattle it provides services world today. He is also particand equipment to Boeing. In the ularly proud of Safran’s contriDallas/Ft. Worth area it includes bution to the U.S. Army’s light, Turbomeca and Sagem for civil utility helicopter. Sagem Avionand military aviation, Labinal ics is involved in the avionics, aerospace for wiring harnesses while Labinal is doing the wiring and designs. Microturbo builds on it (and the V-22). Safran expects to small propulsion units, break ground on a APUs (such as the newly new factory in New introduced e-APU60 on Hampshire this spring, the AgustaWestland which will be providAW189), targets and ing the fan blades for drones. Messier-Bugthe LEAP engine. The gati-Dowty is located new plant will have 400 near Ft. Lauderdale, new employees to proFla. duce these blades. In the northeast“We are already in ern U.S. the compa- Peter Lengyel production in a temny’s security holdings include MorphoTrak biometrics porary facility there,” Lengyel and fingerprint analysis; Mor- said. “I’m particularly proud of pho Detection provides TSA the partnership we’ve developed baggage screening; while Mor- with the community colleges in pho Trust USA creates secure the region. We are providing them biometric-protected identifica- with training modules to help tion used by 45 of 50 states to educate their students, with whom create biometric protected driv- we hope to staff the factory.” “Our long-term vision here in ers’ licenses. At Heli-Expo 2012, Safran the U.S. is to grow. Our growth is is touting Turbomeca, which a strong commitment to the U.S. Lengyel calls the most prolific market,” Lengyel concluded.  o

Eagle Copters nears 407 HP certification by Mark Huber Eagle Copters of Calgary, Alberta (Booth No. 3717) said development and testing of its Bell 407 HP engine-conversion program was proceeding and that the company expected Transport Canada and FAA approval next year. Mike Mallon, Eagle Copters director of maintenance, said the company had yet to set a price for the conversion, but was striving to keep costs down by using as many original 407 components as possible, including cowling inlets and drive shafts. “We’re doing everything we can to keep the costs down and simplify certification,” he said. Mallon used the engine inlets as an example of this philosophy. “By retaining the original cowling inlets, we don’t need to do icing testing on them. We can still use the original (tail rotor) drive shaft, too, although we do put spacers in them.” Mallon said Eagle plans to conduct flight testing later this year. Conversions will be installed at Eagle and conversion kits will be shipped to qualified maintenance shops of a customer’s choosing. “Just about any shop with competent engine, structure and avionics

capability can do this,” he said. The conversion requires minor changes in engine monitoring instruments. The Eagle 407 HP program was announced at Heli-Expo 2010 and allows operators to replace the standard Bell 407 Rolls-Royce 250-C47, 813shp engine with a Honeywell dual-channel Fadec, 970-shp HTS900 engine. The conversion is expected to yield a 26 percent increase in shaft horsepower, a 40 percent increase in hover-outof-ground-effect performance, overall better high/hot performance, increased useful load and a 10 percent reduction in specific fuel consumption. At this year’s Heli-Expo, Rolls-Royce announced a VIP upgrade kit for the series 250 engines on the Bell 407 and MD600. The M250 kit was certified in late 2011 and reduces fuel burn by 2 percent and increases engine performance by 5 percent. Mallon said he expected some customers to opt for refreshed avionics, such as the Garmin 500H system, when the engine conversion is installed, but that most of them “just want more power.”  o





Amparo Calayud, FlightSafety International center manager, and Mike Schimek, manager of product services, demonstrate the graphical flight deck simulator.

Helicopter sims come in all shapes and varieties by James Wynbrandt With safety the key focus of rotor operations, Heli-Expo is showcasing a wide range of training products and programs, and training providers have announced major news here in Dallas. Ensuring that pilots train properly from day one, Embry Riddle Aeronautical University (Booth No. 10637) added an Aeronautical Science Rotary Wing degree program at its Prescott, Ariz. campus in 2010. Helicopter instruction is provided through long-time rotor training school Universal Helicopters. “We have no grads from our program that are not flying turbine [helicopters] somewhere,” Universal Helicopters

President Gordon Jiroux told AIN at the Embry Riddle booth. FlightSafety International (FSI; Booth No. 5305) is showing a Graphical Flight Deck Simulator, designed for self-paced and instructor-led training, and driven by the same software that runs the company’s level D fullmotion simulators. FSI said here that its new levelD-qualified AgustaWestland AW139 full-flight simulator will feature advanced technologies, including a 220-degree-by-60-degree field of view glass mirror display, providing superior optical performance, sharper image clarity, and are night vision capable, according to the company.

“Incorporating FlightSafety’s A Frasca CPT (crew pilot latest advances in technology training) simulator for the Bell into our level-D qualified simu- 407 is drawing crowds at the lators will significantly enhance Bell Helicopter display (Booth the training we provide,” said No. 9846), helping bring attenBruch Whitman, president and tion to Bell Helicopter’s TrainCEO. FSI also announced it ing Academy. will be adding new level-D simThe Academy, which proulators for the AgustaWestland vides training for both pilots AW139 in Lafayette, La., and and maintenance technicians, the Sikorsky S-76D in West Palm announced here it has received Beach, Fla. The EASA approval for company will also maintenance trainadd 17 simulators ing courses on Bell and advanced flight 212 helicopters TRAINING training devices for enabling the facilhelicopters to half ity to offer EASAa dozen of its worldwide net- approved training on all variants of the Bell 206 product line. work of training facilities. Training provider Frasca As Bell’s training acadInternational of Urbana, Ill., emy indicates, more than pilots announced that Korea Forest are benefiting from the focus Service, Republic of Korea, has on training. Peters Software completed factory acceptance of of Cologne, Germany is disits level-7 AS350B2 Helicopter playing its HeliSys 135 sysFlight Training Device (FTD), tems trainer, providing detailed which will be installed in its graphical views of all systems, ideal for training maintenance training facility this month.

At CAE, aircraft maintenance instructor Jim Saia shows the professional trouble shooting skills training tool to a representative of Eurocopter.

technicians as well as pilots. Instructors need training, too. Sky Helicopters of Garland, Texas announced at Heli-Expo it has been awarded a contract from the FAA to provide initial and recurrent training awareness ground school and flight training for helicopter-rated FAA inspectors/pilots in the Robinson R44. The training is for FAA flight standards operations inspectors and aircraft certification pilots, and will be conducted at Sky Helicopter’ facilities at the Garland Airport. Meanwhile, All American Helicopters is living up to its name. The company announced here that the FAA and Veterans Administration have approved the company for a Part 141 helicopter ATP course, allowing qualified veterans up to 25 hours of flight instruction and 40 hours of ground school, with the VA covering all costs but the checkride.  o

Heli-Expo is a world of gadgetry If Harry Potter’s was a world pounds and offers dual controls, of wizardry, Heli-Expo 2012 is a with pilot priority switching. world of gadgetry. Hundreds of We’re almost certain that such them. Some lesser, some greater. brilliant, high-tech snoop-ology Some serious, and some down- would never be abused. Almost. right amusing. In the interest of You say you’ve used those ensuring items both serious and old borescopes that, as proceamusing, we use the term “gad- dures go, are about as enjoyget” loosely. able as your last The Trakkaendoscopy. Olympus NDT Canbeam A800 from ada, has something Trakkabeam TacGADGETS tical Searchlights better, or at least (Booth No. 3017) lighter and more offers high performance and convenient. It’s the iPlex Ultrareliability in a compact package. Lite, a palm-sized video-scope The Xenon lamp is half the size that is extremely lightweight, is of traditional searchlights to held in one hand and operated deliver a more intense and con- via a thumb-toggle. Perfect for sistent beam on target, accord- those cramped spaces, eh? Test ing to the Albuquerque, N.M. it today at the Olympus booth company. It weighs just 44.2 (No. 7535).

What the heck is a Hazebuster? You may not know, but hundreds of thousands of pilots can tell you in a heartbeat. Hazebusters are sunglasses, which Bob Hurd, founder and owner of Hazebuster, the Tillamook, Ore.-based manufacturer, emphasizes are the only sunglasses made exclusively for pilots and marketed only to pilots. He also points out that the average age of a general aviation pilot is 52, “So we offer Hazebusters in bifocals.” Gee, thanks a lot for reminding us, Bob. Hurd also claims that at the AirVenture show in Oshkosh, he sold more than 1,500 pairs. Maybe you’ve got something there, Bob. Finally, Aircraft Technologies (Booth No. 6627) has been

20  HAI Convention News • February 14, 2012 •


by Kirby J. Harrison

The A800 from Trakkabeam Tactical Searchlights uses a Xeon lamp half the size of traditional searchlights to deliver a more intense and consistent beam.

in business more than 40 years, providing composite ducting, avionics panels and other components for helicopters. All in all, rather pedestrian fare. But this year, for the first time at Heli-Expo, or anywhere else for

that matter, the San Antonio company is showing its “Clean Flush” self-contained helicopter-cabin toilet. Now that’s a gadget worth checking out. Abandon all modesty, ye who enter here.  o

Instructor pilots give guidance

Sikorsky scores big on S-92 order The sale is a milestone for the S-92 program and Sikorsky, which sold a total of 19 units in all of 2011. Bond Aviation Group is a subsidiary of World Aviation Group, which operates more than 300 helicopters worldwide flying oil and gas and EMS missions. Bond Aviation Group is a new Sikorsky customer for the S-92. The company has been highly successful in the last decade and is expanding into Australia and the Far East. The S-92, according to Carey Bond, is to be the foundational backbone of that expansion. “The S-92, as it is now, is a first-generation helicopter,” he said. “We’ve designed in the ability to continue expanding its capabilities, such as increasing gross weight [useful load], giving it the capability to make auto approaches to platforms and so on. The auto-approach capability is simply waiting at the FAA


uContinued from page 1

Carey Bond, chief marketing officer for Sikorsky, shakes hands with James Drummond of Bond Aviation Group after the signing.

for approval and we expect to be installing it on production S-92s in the second or third quarter 2012,” he continued. Sikorsky CEO Jeffrey Pino said in his “State of Sikorsky Briefing” earlier in the day that the offshore oil and gas industry segments were currently driving the large-helicopter market and that with the average age of the worldwide fleet around 30 years,

Highlights from Jeff Pino’s State of Sikorsky Briefing Jeffrey Pino, CEO of Sikorsky Aircraft, was all smiles as he delivered the State of Sikorsky Briefing at Heli-Expo 2012. Orders are up overall, as of December 2011, and with the worldwide fleet of large helicopters now averaging 30 years old, or older, he expects more helicopter orders are imminent. Here are a few of the highlights from Pino’s briefing. •S  ikorsky sold $7.4 billion in helicopters in 2011. • The company will deliver its first S-76D model in the third quarter of this year. The S-76D currently meets the tough proposed ICAO noise standards (as well as current ICAO standards). It will be equipped with new de-icing capabilities for its main and tail rotors. An expanded fuel-capacity option has been developed for the helicopter and will be available soon. The S-76Ds delivered in July should include Sikorsky’s all-glass TopDeck cockpit. •S  ikorsky has replaced 66 percent of the gearboxes in the S-92 fleet with new equipment, and expects to reach 100 percent of the fleet within the next two months. • In the small-helicopter market, all but five S300C helicopter delivery positions for 2012 are sold. • In the military arena, Sikorsky expects 20 percent compound growth annually of the military systems. Sikorsky claims it has U.S. government commitments going forward for the next 15 to 20 years. The CH-53K program has been fully funded by Congress and it is expected to fly in 2014, with 200 aircraft programmed to be built. • T he S-97 Raider, derived from the revolutionary X-2 technology demonstrator, will fly in 2014. The helicopter has a projected top speed of more than 250 knots and a turning radius 50 percent tighter than an Apache helicopter. According to Pino, engineers on the project are learning about drag reduction and rotor dynamics that will lead to ground-breaking technologies applicable to other Sikorsky helicopters. • T he company has completed construction and is now producing helicopters for foreign military forces in Poland, took in more than $1B in international military orders in 2011, and expects to close on $5B more this year. •S  tate-side, the company has retooled its Elmira, N.Y. facilities to train international military pilots and technicians. • Finally, the company has, according to Pino, challenged itself to reduce customer operating costs by 10 percent annually. –A.L.

he expects that more large-helicopter orders are forthcoming. He also noted that Sikorsky helicopters will soon be able to make auto-approaches to points in space, and that self-aware helicopters that can help the pilot to avoid dangerous obstructions, as well as fully-autonomous (read: no pilot needed) helicopters are on the horizon. James Drummond, director of Bond Aviation Group, said of the order, “We see continued, sustained growth in the markets we serve, and our customers need to have confidence that we can supply them. We chose the S-92 because of United Technologies’ commitment to quality. The aircraft is designed specifically for our missions and Sikorsky is committed to expanding the S-92’s capabilities and performance parameters to our specifications going into the future.” Drummond continued, “We are excited about our relationship with Sikorsky, as it takes us into the next phase of our growth. The S-92 is a high-quality, capable helicopter that has proved its missions in oil and gas. We are delighted to have the aircraft coming on-stream, and expect the first delivery coming around the middle of 2013. The first S-92 will go to our North Sea operation.” As for Bond Aviation Group’s other helicopter requirements, Drummond remarked, “We are also looking at Eurocopter to supply our medium-helicopter fleet and we’ve got A139s and A169s coming from AgustaWestland,” he continued. “We have to have a diverse fleet of helicopters to meet our range of missions.”  o

take an aircraft full of aeromedical equipment, that costs $3 million to $10 million” and do groundcontact autorotations. “But they’re uContinued from page 1 important,” Prater said. Air Methon a regular basis.” He said that he ods solved this dilemma by signing does not pre-announce to his stu- a three-year, 1,000-hour-per-year, dents the simulated engine failures contract with American Eurocopter he initiates under a variety of situ- for training in its new AS350 simuations, including takeoff, landing lator. The company plans to send and crosswind conditions. Students all its AS350 pilots there. begin their autorotation training The FAA’s John Gordon, from a low hover. rotorcraft directorate test pilot, Students commit numerous presented several simulator videos errors while practhat showed a variety ticing autos, Oakley of entries to survivsaid, but the key one, able and unsurvivregardless of pilot AUTOROTATION able autorotations in experience, is failboth rural and urban TRAINING ure to immediately environments. The lower the collective videos demonstrated the second power loss is detected. the benefits of entering autoroFollowing close behind is failure to tations from higher altitudes and establish proper pitch attitude. slowing the rate of descent. He said the academy teaches In one fatal simulation, an minimum-rate-of-descent autos. AS350 flying low over Los Ange“It’s important to have the abil- les crashed just 3.2 seconds after ity to slow things down and be power failure. “When you are flyable to have the time to evaluate ing over a city, give yourself some a landing area,” he said. He also options by climbing higher or stressed the importance of having going around,” Gordon advised. the helicopter skids aligned in the Shawn Wildman, with the direction of the landing to prevent FAA’s AFS 60 of the flight stanrollovers. Airspeed and rotor rpm dards division–the office that sets must be constantly monitored, and pilots must always be aware of wind direction. “Do these things and odds are good you will walk away,” Oakley concluded. “Obviously it costs a lot of money to do the training we are talking about,” said Jon Prater of the Denver FSDO, the FAA’s principal A full-cabin simulator of a Eurocopter AS350 is invaluable operations inspector in practicing autorotations. Sim training could sharpen for Air Methods. “As autorotation skills by the risk of a “live” maneuver. a regulator, I am saying you, you will spend a lot more the policies for the pilots who fly in the wake of a crash as opposed for flight standards–strongly advoto spending [training] money up cated that everyone involved in front. The long-term benefits of practicing autorotations have a risk proper training are unbelievable.” management program or safety Prater added that many autoro- management system, no matter tation accidents occur when an how informal, to govern the coninstructor is overzealous. duct of these practice maneuvers. NTSB investigator Jim Sill“At the FAA,” he said, “before man said that of the 308 auto- anyone does an autorotation, we rotation accidents that occurred require that they have a specific between 2005 and 2011, 19 were plan. What’s the objective, stanfatal and almost all of them listed dard, the actual conditions they low altitude as a contributing fac- are going to fly in, and what are tor. Many of these occurred dur- the actual procedures, step-bying the course of flight training. step, that they are going to do?” Prater said that advanced simWildman explained the FAA’s ulator training could sharpen internal standards require that autorotation skills by cutting the practice autorotations only been inherent risk in doing a “live” done to an airport, with crash resmaneuver. “If you train prop- cue, and in daylight. “We all know erly, it breeds standardization and this is a high-risk maneuver,” he safety.” He said that Air Methods said, noting the importance to has 1,200 pilots, 450 of them who mitigate risk through recognition, fly the Eurocopter AS350 series. identification, and assessment “We certainly don’t want to prior to entry. o • February 14, 2012 • HAI Convention News  21


Just like the rest of us, police pilots want the very latest in high tech by Amy Laboda

High-tech add-ons for police aircraft (from left): a FLIR (forward-looking infrared); a Cobham wireless video surveillance system; and a Nightsun spotlight. Companies brought avionics, airborne computer location equipment and air-to-ground microwave receivers.

at the FLIR booth (No. 3305), according to maintenance manager and pilot Pat McNamara. “We are unique in law enforcement in that we order our helicopters completely green, stripped down to the bare minimum. We decide what mission capabilities we want to have, and we try to find the right fit of equipment to do the job we need. This year we’ve changed out the Sagem EFIS for a Cobham EFIS, and we now have an Aerocomputer moving-map system that is just fantastic,” he said. “We wanted a turnkey proven system, and that is why we went to the Cobham EFIS. We manage 475 square miles and the way we used to do it was literally with a map book. The Aerocomputer allows our officer to simply type in the

address of the radio call and it gives us coordinates and guides us right to the house where the call came in from.” At the Cobham booth (No. 3122) AIN found the Helicopter TX System, which consists of a standard-definition or highdefinition camera installation in the helicopter, and a portable microwave receiver to be used by the law enforcement on the ground to transfer the video signal from the camera on the helicopter to the pursuit personnel on the ground, so that they can see what the airborne officers are seeing. Cobham offers several renditions of this system, ranging in price upwards of $80,000. Around the corner at Booth No. 3017 is the Trakkabeam A800, the first searchlight with

John Hendricks with the Gateway Canyons AirTours’ AS350, which is on display at Heli-Expo (Static No. 1).

John Hendricks, Discovery Channel Founder, Tours Heli-Expo 2012


iscovery Channel Founder John Hendricks, who appears on the February/March 2012 cover of our sister publication Business Jet Traveler (, was in Dallas on Sunday to take in the show and help promote one of his latest ventures, Gateway Canyons AirTours. Hendricks’ nephew, former U.S. Marine Alan Sisson, runs the Grand Junction, Colo.-based company. –J.L.E.


stabilization. The A800 uses a xenon lamp half the size of traditional searchlights and is the only searchlight with internal, selectable filters including infrared, amber and red. But the gyro-stablization on the A800 truly sets it apart, if you ask Shawn Mitschelen, vice president of business development for Trakka Corp. “As the aircraft pitches and yaws, the initialization of the system corrects for all the movement of the aircraft. That way the searchlight stays on target,” he said. There are 130 A800s currently installed on aircraft. They are on J-Hawks for the U.S. Coast Guard, Black Hawks for U.S. Customs and Border Patrol, and AS350s for Customs as well.  o

Gateway Canyons AirTours CEO Alan Sisson (left) with Chief Pilot Michael Gullotti.

22  HAI Convention News • February 14, 2012 •


This year at Heli-Expo there Avionics 1000H modular EFIS, were plenty of examples of heli- which drops right into existing copters dressed up with law holes in the instrument panel. The Garmin retrofit runs enforcement credentials of every flavor, but it took a keen eye $28,000 to $40,000, while the to spot what was new equip- Aspen EFIS can be installed ment on these hard-working for $18,000, according to Karl machines. For 2012, compa- Gardner, president. Why do they upgrade? “It’s the nies brought avionics, airborne safety features,” he computer location said. “They are flyequipment, airing around at 500 to-ground microfeet or lower, and wave receivers and LAW sophisticated, highENFORCEMENT EFIS gives them power searchlights. tower and terrain Gardner Aviinformation, and for ation Services, (Booth No. some, traffic information,” he con4110) a PAG Company based tinued. “With these retrofits you in Peachtree City, Ga., near take a reliable airframe and catAtlanta, has been retrofitting apult it into the 21st century. We law enforcement helicopters with did a Bell 407 this past year, as well effective, cost-efficient EFIS as the Fayette County Sheriff’s technologies. The company has Department’s AS350 panel with a installed several Garmin 500 ret- Garmin G500 and Garmin 530.” The LAPD has also been rofits, plus TCAS and TIS in several law enforcement helicopters, swapping EFIS systems in its as well as the economical Aspen 2009 model AS350B2, located


Shanghai, China March 27, 28, 29, 2012

Shanghai Hawker Pacific Business Aviation Service Centre on Hongqiao International Airport Exhibits, Dozens of Aircraft on Side-by-Side Display and Education Sessions All in One Location


The Asian Business Aviation Conference & Exhibition is co-hosted by The National Business Aviation Association (NBAA), the Asian Business Aviation Association (AsBAA) and The Shanghai Exhibition Center, in Partnership With Shanghai Airport Authority.

Training for Operational Success.

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AIN HAI Convention News 2-14-12  

AIN HAI Convention News Day 3 2-14-12 Issue