SERVING MANY INDUSTRIES—SAVING MORE THAN TIME www.nehc.org
A MESSAGE FROM THE PRESIDENT Dear NEHC Members, I am very pleased to announce that your Board of Directors has awarded the NEHC Safety Award to Survival Systems USA. Our safety award recognizes individuals and groups for excellence in rotorcraft aviation safety and honors those who have displayed “outstanding service on behalf of safety, whether it be valor, professionalism or service above and beyond normal expectations.” The NEHC Safety Award was 1st awarded to Robert Girouard in 1985 when our organization was known as the New England Helicopter Pilots Association. Since then we have been pleased to recognize a number of well deserving recipients including Arthur Davis (1987) for his professionalism and contributions to helicopter safety as an Inspector for the Federal Aviation Administration, Boston MedFlight (1988) for their professionalism and industry wide leadership in Helicopter EMS Service and Joe Brigham (1990), for his work to reduce rotary wing accidents through excellence in helicopter training. Survival Systems has created training courses and a simulator to prepare helicopter pilots and their passengers to learn how to survive following an unplanned water landing, a situation also known as ditching. The correct way to survive ditching is not instinctive, and, just like learning correct autorotation technique, reacting to being suddenly and unexpectedly underwater requires a trained response. In aviation we spend lots of time training for events that occur infrequently. System failures and malfunctions are rare, but because of the potential consequences of such breakdowns, we train to react correctly if such an event does occur. Survival Systems’ training program provides these important skills. This training is not just for military aviators. SSUSA’s various courses are offered for everyone from passengers to recreational pilot and professional pilots. NEHC is pleased to recognize Survival Systems’ professionalism and their important contribution to helicopter aviation safety. While I’m on the topic of safety, I’d like to invite everyone to join us for an ‘Evening with Jack Keenan’. Jack’s presentation, focused on helicopter safety, promises to be both informative and entertaining. We plan to start the evening with our Annual Meeting, the election of Directors and a short business meeting followed immediately by Jack’s presentation. I think you’ll enjoy hearing Jack talk about the challenges he’s faced while flying and perhaps learn tips and strategies to help you have a long and safe flying career. By the way, Jack was the 1991 recipient of the NEHC Safety Award. Please join us at the Tewksbury Country Club on April 21. It promises to be a great night, and you won’t want to miss it!
Important Notice Electronic Newsletter Delivery Like all businesses, NEHC is looking for opportunities to go GREEN. One way we can conserve resources is to deliver the newsletter electronically. This edition will be the last one automatically mailed to all members. All future issues will be delivered to the email address associated with your member account. Printed copies will still be mailed to members who request such delivery service. As always, an electronic copy of the NEHC newsletter is available online at www.nehc.org.
W. Gregory Harville President
Bell and the 429: Committed to Customer Success Pilots, operators and crewmembers throughout the U.S. and around the world are experiencing firsthand the impressive performance and design of the Bell Helicopter 429, the world’s newest helicopter and the 21st century standard for light twins. The Bell 429 has demonstrated its performance capabilities and design features for scores of customers at air shows this year in Singapore, India and Chile and visits en route to and from them. In February, the 429 returned to Heli-Expo, this time in Houston, where it performed for more. For its previous Heli-Expo visit (last year in Anaheim, Calif.), the 429 went as an experimental aircraft. Its type certification later in 2009 (by Transport Canada and the FAA in July and the European Aviation Safety Agency in September) makes this helicopter the world’s newest. Certification under the latest amendments of Part 27 airworthiness rules (those in effect in 2007) make the 429 the 21st century standard for light, twin-engine helicopters. The 429 does more than set the standard for helicopters in that class. It represents Bell’s commitment to the success of its customers and to the commercial helicopter market. To say 2009 was a challenging year for all of us is a great understatement. Yet in what was arguably the worst year for the economy since the Great Depression, Bell had a record year for operating profit and cash flow. That performance was based in part of Bell’s strategy of maintaining a balanced business of military and commercial aircraft sales, service and support. As the commercial helicopter industry slumped throughout last year, Bell’s military business picked up. The company accelerated production of V-22s for the U.S. Marine Corps and Air Force Special Operations Command, UH-1Ys for the Marines and upgraded OH-58Ds for the U.S. Army—all aircraft that are vital to combat operations in Iraq and Afghanistan. Aware that military production may tail off down the road, Bell is focused on maintaining balance by growing its commercial and service and support segments, too. “Because we are committed to maintaining a balanced business, I can tell you Bell is absolutely committed to the commercial helicopter market, as is our parent company Textron,” Garrison said. “With Textron, we have made significant investments in our design, test and manufacturing capabilities.” “The 429,” he added, “is the best example of Bell’s commitment to the commercial market.” Bell brought customers into the process of designing the 429 from the start, listening to what they wanted in a new light twin. “Pilots were looking for something easy to fly and maneuverable, something that enhanced their situational awareness and reduced pilot workload—and frankly was fun to fly,” Garrison said. “The folks in the cabin were looking for versatility, size and flexibility, whether it was an EMS operation, oil and gas operation or corporate transport. The folks at HQ were looking for a cost-effective solution. Bell has delivered for those customers. Those who have flown the 429 would tell you they agree. Take a few who have done so for respected aviation magazines. One who penned a pilot report for Business and Commercial Aviation magazine said the 429’s twin Pratt & Whitney PW207D1s “provided plenty of power, and the instrumentation, monitoring and augmentation systems eased single-pilot chores considerably.” (Each engine is rated at 598 shaft horsepower; the 429’s transmission rating—both max continuous and five-minute—is 1,100 shaft horsepower.) Another, writing for Professional Pilot magazine on his experience flying the 429, called the newest Bell product “a very smooth, stable aircraft that should serve its owners well.” A third, in Flight International, wrote “My overriding impressions are the attention to detail, the passenger and crew user-friendliness (even though the 429 is a complex aircraft) and the comfort of all the occupants. The machine is fast, quiet, smooth, has plenty of power, is passenger and pilot user-friendly and comfortable and has a good range and endurance.” Certified as a single-pilot instrument flight rules (SPIFR), Category A helicopter, the 429 has a maximum cruise speed of 150 knots at its max gross weight (internal) of 7,000 pounds and sea level (ISA). At that weight and its long-range cruise speed (average true) of 130 knots, its range at sea level (ISA) is 368 nautical miles with standard fuel and no reserve. The 429’s service ceiling at 7,000 pounds and ISA is 18,714 feet. Its hover ceiling in ground effect at that weight is 14,132 feet and its out-of-ground-effect hover ceiling is 11,282 feet. The useful load (internal) is 2,513 pounds in the 429’s standard configuration. That configuration includes pilot and copilot seats, six-place passenger seating with 18.5-inch-wide seats, a standard interior, headliner and carpet, ELT and provisions for optional equipment (including Category A operations, an inlet barrier filter, air conditioning, a rotor brake and a wire-strike protection system). The 429 takes Bell’s reputation for providing a smooth ride to a new level. In designing the aircraft, Bell used a multi-layered approach to reduce cabin vibrations that minimizes four-per-revolution vibration induced by the main rotor into the airframe, tunes dominant vibration modes out of the airframe and treats remaining vibrations where occupants feel them in the cabin. Key to that approach is use of a patented transmis2
sion-mounting system called LIVE (for Liquid Inertial Vibration Eliminator) that passively minimizes vibration from the main rotor into the cabin (that system is also used on the 427.) The entire approach results in cabin vibration levels that are arguably unmatched in the light twin class and provides related benefits, such as reduced cabin noise. The 429 tail rotor uses four blades on a single shaft that turn slower than a two-bladed variant while generating required tail-rotor authority. (This design also results in a lower—and unique—noise signature on the ground during a 429 flyover.) Bell’s commitment to involving customers in the 429’s design and to listening to their input has been recognized officially. When it issued the 429’s type certificate last September, EASA also approved the 429’s maintenance program. EASA’s approval was based on Bell’s use of a Maintenance Review Board (MRB) made up of customers and regulatory authorities as well as Bell representatives and the Maintenance Steering Group 3 (MSG-3) process that governs how that board works. Lead mechanics from the customers, representatives of Transport Canada, the FAA and EASA and Bell engineers “got together for the first time back when we had a clean sheet of paper and were able to steer the direction of the design,” said Neil Marshall, Bell’s 429 program manager. “How would we route systems through the aircraft? Where would we put maintenance panels? How big would those panels be? We were able to decide all that up front and develop an aircraft that was to be more efficient and easier to maintain.” As a result, all of the 429’s systems are routed outside of the cabin—either above the roof beams or below the floor structure. Under this EASA-approved maintenance program, “the interior of the 429 does not need to be removed during an annual inspection, which is best in class,” Marshall said. That standard-setting design involves two firsts. The 429 is the first helicopter designed using the MSG-3 process and its maintenance program is the first helicopter program approved by EASA. Those are achievements “resulting in safety and efficiency benefits for operators and maintenance organizations,” according to EASA. “This is a first for a rotorcraft," EASA’s certification director, Dr. Norbert Lohl, said in issuing the 429’s maintenance program approval. “We are sure others will follow.” MSG-3 isn’t an experiment with a new approach. The U.S. airline industry set up the MSG process in the late 1960s, when Boeing was designing the first 747—an aircraft that operators couldn’t afford to have grounded for maintenance. The process has gone through three stages of improvement to reach the one applied to the 429. In that evolution, airlines have achieved a level of reliability that is the envy of other industries throughout the world. It is clear MSG-3 works and works extremely well. Bell’s approach to designing the 429 already is paying off. Based on post-certification component testing and the strength of its maintenance program, Bell has revised the 429’s maintenance program two times. Those revisions have cut the number of life-limited parts on the helicopter by more than half, from 87 to 43, significantly reducing direct maintenance costs while fully retaining the light, twin-engine helicopter’s safety and reliability. “The drive to lower maintenance costs for 429 operators is a clear sign of Bell’s commitment to our commercial customers,” Garrison said. “We will continue to invest in developing new and upgraded helicopters that meet the needs of our commercial customers and bring greater value to their operations.
“Bell is on a mission,” the company’s president and CEO, John L. Garrison, said. “Our mission is to make our customers succeed. Everyone on the Bell team is committed to that.” To learn more about Bell Helicopter—Please visit www.bellhelicopter.com 3
Boston MedFlight Celebrates Silver Anniversary A note from one of Boston MedFlight’s younger patients says it all: “Dear MedFlight, Because of you, I turned 7-years old today.” This year, Bedford based Boston MedFlight is celebrating 25 years of excellence in critical care transport. Last month, MedFlight reached another milestone as they transported their 42,000th patient. MedFlight has had a terrific first 25 years, marked most notably by a continuing commitment to quality patient care, training and safety. Boston MedFlight is an accredited, nonprofit critical care transport service, whose mission is to link those patients most critically ill and injured with the life saving resources they require. Licensed as an ambulance service and accredited by The Commission on Accreditation of Medical Transport Services (CAMTS), Boston MedFlight personnel are dedicated to providing expert, efficient, quality care 24 hours a day, seven days a week. They are a high performance team whose services often mean the difference between life and death, or between debilitating injury and the hope for recovery. Boston MedFlight maintains a fleet of three helicopters, a jet and three specially equipped critical care ambulances. They are located at Hanscom Air Force Base in Bedford, MA and at Plymouth Airport in Plymouth, MA. As part of the big Silver Anniversary celebration this year, MedFlight will host a major anniversary gala on Saturday, June 5, 2010 in a hangar at Hanscom Air Force Base – yes, in a hangar! It will be an elegant, fun-filled evening to bring 500 friends and their guests to their “home base” for an unusual and moving celebration. According to Suzanne Wedel, M.D. Chief Executive Officer, the event will be a great opportunity for all of Boston MedFlight’s extended family to celebrate. “It’s hard to believe that it has been 25 years since our first patient transport. So much has happened as this organization has grown over the years, and through it all we have remained committed to quality, training and safety, above all else. All of us at MedFlight owe so much to all of our friends in the extended aviation and health care industries who have been by our side as we’ve grown and developed. We hope now that many of our friends will join us for this special celebration.” The event itself has the aptly named theme, “Above and Beyond” and according to Wedel, it is fitting indeed for a Silver Anniversary celebration. “Over our 25 years, so many people, organizations and groups have gone above and beyond their regular call of duty, in the name of delivering quality patient care to those most critically ill or injured in a highly professional and safe way.” The “Above and Beyond’ Gala will bring together many of Boston MedFlight’s old and new friends from the ranks of aviation, business, health care, first responders, support organizations and many others. There will be many former patients and family members there who want to be a part of this unique organization, which has grown to be one of the most widely regarded and respected critical care transport companies in the country. Members of NEHC, of course, are encouraged to attend. Tickets start at $250 each, and sponsorship opportunities start at $1,000 and up. The evening will begin with a cocktail reception, followed by an elegant dinner provided by Boston’s best caterer, The Catered Affair, a moving and inspirational program, and dancing to a live band. There will be a program book with tribute ads available at $250, $500 and $1,000 for a full page. Invitations containing more information will be mailed in mid-April. For more information, contact Eunice Browne at Boston MedFlight at 781-863-2213, firstname.lastname@example.org ####
For more information about this article, contact: Jay McGovern Boston MedFlight Chief Development Officer Telephone: 781-863-2213 email@example.com 4
Helicopter Ditching and Underwater Egress Training The last thing you remember was a flash of blue. Then impact and the water rushed in. Now it is quiet, and you find yourself strapped in your seat upside down and it is dark. The violent motion has stopped; you are holding your breath. Nothing you have trained for up to this point has prepared you for this experience, the inrush of cold water, and the overwhelming sense of disorientation. Your actions in the next few moments determine if you are going to survive. Do you know what to do to get out? Additionally, do you know what to do to live long enough for help to arrive? Underwater egress training prepares you to react appropriately during and after a water landing. It teaches you how best to protect yourself during the initial crash, how to locate and open your emergency exits, and how to survive at the surface. Like most emergency procedures, preparing for underwater egress and surface water survival begins long before you leave the ground. Communication in the form of safety briefings is a key element. As uncomfortable as it may be, the conversation about what everyone does in the event of a ditching must take place before the emergency unfolds. The time for discussion is not when you are sinking. Communication verifies that everyone knows where the emergency exits are and how they work. Moreover, communication ensures that everyone knows the location of the appropriate safety and survival equipment for the water environment, life raft, PFD (personal flotation devices), flashlights, fire extinguishers, and first aid kits. There are three distinct phases of ditching events categorized by what your actions are during each phase. Impact Phase: the helicopter strikes the water and submerges. During this phase, you must protect yourself from injury. Egress Phase: you are actively working on getting out and up to the surface. Now you focus on opening exits and making a timely egress and ascent. Surface Water Survival Phase: you survive long enough for rescuers to find you and remove you from the water During the Impact Phase, injury is the primary hazard. It follows that during this time you should predominantly focus on preventing injuries. There are several pieces of aircraft equipment designed to minimize injuries, from frame elements and self-sealing fuel tanks to crash attenuating seats and restraints. Generally, aircraft safety equipment is engineered to protect you from rapid deceleration forces. Used with the proper procedures, this equipment enhances your overall survivability during this phase and prevents injuries so that you are in the best shape possible when you begin the Egress Phase. You may wonder what things you should take care of if you have time to prepare for the crash. First, establish communications, mayday call, activate ELT, and follow the emergency procedures relevant to the type of problem you are encountering. Communicate to everyone on board the aircraft; they stand the best chance of survival if they can prepare for the ditching as well. Next, you want to secure loose articles, things as innocuous as a mobile phone or a pen can cause injury when accelerated by the force of the impact. Don your PFD. In an underwater egress scenario, it is likely that you will have only what you are wearing for use during the Surface Water Survival Phase. Without a PFD, you will tread water or cling to flotsam until rescued-this will drastically reduce the amount of time you can survive. If you are flying the aircraft and cannot properly don your PFD, stuff it in your clothing insuring the PFD comes with you during your egress. Properly situate yourself in the seat, verify release mechanism for your seat belt, adjust restraints, and lock the inertia reels. Review your reference points and the jettison mechanism for your emergency exits. Open exit while (Continued on page 6)
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still in the air if possible, hinged exits and exits that run on a track may not function properly after the ditching. Do NOT jettison exits that completely disconnect from the airframe unless explicitly told to do so by the pilot in command as the exit may interfere with a controlled descent. Assume an appropriate brace position for the direction you are facing and the type of harness you are using. The movement of the water is very powerful, it adds to your disorientation and has the potential to injure you, as it will forcefully move any loose articles around the cabin and flight deck. Remain in your brace position until the violent motion stops; in other words, stay braced until after the impact and the aircraft has filled with water. Once the violent motion stops, the Egress Phase begins. There are two primary hazards during this phase. The first hazard is disorientation. Most people rely on their eyes to orient themselves in space. Under water, people lose most of their visual acuity; in addition, confined space, murky water, or nighttime conditions further decrease your ability to see. Remain buckled in your seat; this is the primary way you relate to the aircraft. As long as you are in your seat, you can extrapolate the location of other known objects inside the airframe including reference points and exit jettison mechanisms. In order to navigate throughout the aircraft you will need to use physical reference points to replace the visual cues you ordinarily use. By keeping your feet on the floor, a low center of gravity, while maintaining those reference points you can move around the airframe fluidly, efficiently, and effectively. You cannot rely on your ability to see under these circumstances. The second hazard is disorderly evacuation. The best way to prevent this is for you to utilize an effective and practiced egress plan, and react appropriately to any further problems that arise. Once you locate your emergency exit, open it, pull yourself out, and make your way to the surface. It is very important for you to remember if you have utilized an EBD (Emergency Breathing Device) as an aid to egress, exhale on the way up to prevent any further injuries. Once at the top, inflate your PFD and locate other survivors. The final phase of ditching is the Surface Water Survival Phase. You do not want to go through all the effort to survive the crash, make a successful egress just to not know what to do at the surface. Cold water is dangerous. You need to know how to protect yourself from hypothermia (cooling of the body core temperature below normal functioning levels) and aspirating water or an already bad situation could turn worse, quickly. A PFD is a very important piece of equipment to have with you. Otherwise, you will have to improvise a flotation device or tread water until rescue comes. When you don a PFD, adjust it so the vest is tight. A properly fitted PFD should hold your head and airway above water even if you lose consciousness. When immersed in cold water (below 60째F, 15.5째C or colder) a person will normally exhibit a gasping response followed by uncontrolled breathing for a few minutes. Your PFD will help protect your airway until your breathing is back under control. It is important for you to know how your PFD inflates both manually and orally. With only your head above water, you cannot look down for the inflation handles or the oral inflation tubes you must locate them by touch. Anything that requires you to make finite movements of your fingers i.e. tying knots or inflating your PFD, perform that task as soon as you can. In cold water, your sense of touch and manual dexterity will deteriorate very rapidly. If you are alone you want to get into the HELP (Heat Escape Lessening Posture) position it is an individual hypothermia mitigation technique. If there is other survivors get into a group formation. Group formations have several advantages: Keeping the group together increases your overall visibility to rescuers. Having warm bodies on either side of you is a very effective means of hypothermia mitigation, giving the group 360째 of skyward visibility and you can use the signaling devices that you have. During this phase, a life raft is the best tool for survival. Water moves heat away from the body twenty-five times faster than air does, and if you can leave the water environment, it will increase your survivability. Once you board the raft, hypothermia is less of a threat. However, thermal regulation is still important even aboard the raft, in fact; you may face a new challenge of hyperthermia (body core temperature above normal functioning levels). A raft makes you much more visible to rescuers. Finally, the life raft has water, signaling devices, first aid kit, and other equipment that will aid in your survival. Prepare yourself for life aboard the raft and get as comfortable as you can. A course in underwater egress should address each phase of ditching. (Continued on page 9)
NEHC Spring Membership Meeting Wednesday April 21, 2010 7:00 PM At the Tewksbury Country Club 1880 Main Street Tewksbury, MA 01876 (978) 640-0033
Heavy hors dâ€™oeuvres and Non-alcoholic beverages will be served. Cash bar Free admission NEHC membership available at the seminar
Any members interested in flying into this meeting should contact Marc Ginsburg 978.640.0033 to make arrangements. Happy Flying!
The New England Helicopter Council presents
AN EVENING WITH JACK Special Guest: Jack Keenan
42 YEARS OF FLYING HELICOPTERS FROM THE JUNGLES OF VIETNAM TO THE FAA JUNGLE THIS WILL BE AN INTERACTIVE EVENT THAT PROMISES TO BE INFORMATIVE AND ENTERTAINING WITH THE ADDED POSSIBILITY OF SAVING ONE OF US FROM AN EMBARRASSING OR WORSE INCIDENT IN THE FUTURE
Jack Keenan launched his helicopter career in the US Army and has accumulated 16,000 hours of safe flying, performing a variety of missions from supporting our troops in Vietnam to traffic patrol to corporate to part 135 charter to flight instruction to Designated Examiner to Emergency Medical and currently as a helicopter safety expert for the FAA
This will not be the run of the mill, ho hum safety seminar, Jack has said that we will all try to fly a hangar or something like that. Attendance at this event is a qualified safety seminar for the FAA Wings program 7
Helicopter Puzzles Mystery Helicopter Can you identify this aircraft? The first person to correctly identify this aircraft will win a coveted NEHC ball cap, as well as important bragging rights. Please tell us who built the aircraft and something about its history. Answers can be submitted on line at firstname.lastname@example.org or drop us a note addressed to: New England Helicopter Council P.O. Box 80047 Stoneham, MA 02180-0001 Morris and his wife Esther went to the Pittsfield Hot Air Balloon Rally every year, and every year Morris would say, "Esther, I'd like to ride in that helicopter". Esther always replied, "I know Morris, but that helicopter ride is 50 dollars and 50 dollars is 50 dollars". One year Esther and Morris went to the rally, and Morris said, "Esther, I'm 85 years old. If I don't ride that helicopter, I might never get another chance." Esther replied, "Morris, that helicopter is 50 dollars and 50 dollars is 50 dollars." The pilot overheard the couple and said, "Folks, I'll make you a deal. I'll take the both of you for a ride. If you can stay quiet for the entire ride and not say a word I won't charge you! But if you say one word, it's 50 dollars." Morris and Esther agreed and up they went. The pilot did all kinds of fancy maneuvers, but not a word was heard. He did his daredevil tricks over and over again, but still not a word. When they landed, the pilot turned to Morris and said, "By golly, I did everything I could to get you to yell out, but you didn't. I'm impressed!" Morris replied, "Well, to tell you the truth, I almost said something when Esther fell out, but you know -- 50 dollars is 50 dollars."
H-E-L-I-C-O-P-T-R Sudoku T
Fill the grid so that every row, every column, and every 3 x 3 box contains the letters
O T R
Fill the grid so that every row, every column, and every 2 x 3 box contains the letters
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It is important to note that if you do not know how to protect yourself during the Impact Phase you may not make it to the Egress Phase. If you get lost inside the aircraft during the Egress Phase, you will not make it to the Surface Water Survival Phase. It is not enough for you to make it to the surface; you must know what to do to protect yourself from the environmental conditions long enough for rescuers to find you. Underwater egress training should address proper brace positions for your aircraft, seat, and seat belt configuration. It should help you incorporate physical reference points to aid in making a successful escape. The training should address how best to maintain proper orientation to the airframe, which expedites the egress itself; the faster you find your objectives underwater the faster you make your escape. Training should address hypothermia mitigation, life raft righting, boarding, and equipment. It should emphasize the value of preparation and communication. Egress training can include the safe and effective use of emergency breathing devices. The training should include inverted aircraft scenarios, and exit specific training. This means you open and egress an exit that is like the emergency exits on your aircraft. Exit specific technology adds realism and repetitive behavior that aid your learning and gives you the procedures to react correctly during an actual emergency. Aircraft ditch: The things you experience during that ditching, the inrush of water, the inversion, flooded sinuses, and disorientation can overwhelm an untrained individual. You may know people that have had egress training, in the military, or for a job, and they will tell you that the mental image you have of the inversion and the reality of it, are different. You cannot appreciate how different they are until you experience it for yourself. No one can afford to have that experience for the first time in the local lake, river, or the open ocean. Problem solving underwater is a learned skill and for most people it is not easy. The best place for you to learn those skills is in a safe training environment. Knowing what to expect when that water rushes in means that when the violent motion stops you can put your plan into action. Meet the Author: For the last five years Jon Ehm has instructed life saving techniques with Survival Systems USA Inc., In Groton, Connecticut, USA. He teaches aircraft ditching, underwater egress, and surface water survival techniques. Survival Systems USA trains both military and civilian personnel around the world.
Helicopter Council Gets Emergency Egress Training The New England Helicopter Council and EAA Chapter 106 joined forces on January 30th, 2010 in Groton, Connecticut to spend a day at Survival Systems USAâ€™s headquarters to learn the techniques of emergency underwater egress in a post helicopter/aircraft ditching environment. The day started with a tour of the impressive facility which includes executive offices, classrooms and a massive indoor heated pool which is used for the in-water phase of training. The more than twenty members of NEHC and EAA were treated like VIPs by Maria Hanna, President, Chris Judah, Executive VP and the rest of the SSUSA team. The introduction and history of SSUSA, the current operations of Survival Systems and the explanation of the fundamentals of how to successfully exit an aircraft which has been forced to ditch in open water, were all approached in a consummately professional manner. We learned that, just as in flight, situational awareness is critical. If you find yourself underwater in your ship, staying calm and following a predetermined plan will dramatically increase your chances of survival. After the classroom training, seven mem(Continued on page 12)
The Science of Hull Deductibles Just like your home-owners or auto insurance, if you own an aircraft and purchase physical damage or hull insurance, your insurance coverage has a deductible provision. What is the purpose of that deductible? Well, there are two theoretical purposes in the eyes of insurance carriers: 1) to save the insurance carriers from having to pay for small “nuisance” type losses, and 2) to promote safe actions by the Insured since it is the insured’s money (the deductible amount) which is paid first in any loss. These both sound reasonable and, in the case of promoting safety, a laudable goal. “But, what’s in it for me? Do I save money?” are the questions that most policy holders ask. The answer is simple, at least in theory. Yes, in return for assuming the first portion of any loss (the deductible amount), the Insured does pay a lower premium but only lower than they would if they did not take on this portion of risk. This seems reasonable, too, and is a good example of the positive side of risk = reward. Ok, now that we have gotten the theory out of the way, let’s move to the practical side of hull deductibles. It is true that all aircraft hull insurance coverage has a deductible provision. However, that does not mean that there is an actual deductible amount or a meaningful deductible amount. Hull deductibles can vary widely depending on aircraft make and model, type of use and even which insurance carrier is issuing the policy. While some types of aircraft operations have significant deductibles (Rotorcraft, amphib, cargo and airlines to name a few), many types of aircraft or operations have little or no deductible at all. Light aircraft used for pleasure and business tend to have low deductibles of $250 each loss or $100 each loss or even $0. The same is true for aircraft at the opposite end of the spectrum. Corporate aircraft, such as Gulfstream, Falcon, Citation and other turbofan equipment, typically have a hull deductible of $0. We all know that, unfortunately, even a small amount of damage to an aircraft can cost thousands of dollars to repair so, with deductibles or $100 or $0, the theory of deductibles preventing the insurance carriers from paying attritional losses seems to fail. Many insurance carriers have a provision in their insurance policies which requires annual recurrent training in the make and model aircraft which is insured. Even if there is no such requirement in the policy, most responsible pilots receive recurrent training, attend safety seminars or similar events on their own in the interest of keeping their flying skills sharp. So, the idea of using a $100 deductible to promote safety by having the aircraft owners’ own money at risk really doesn’t hold water either. Now, let’s go to the question of whether or not deductibles save money for aircraft owners. The answer is yes and no. If there were no hull deductibles applicable to any type of aircraft operations, the cost of insurance for all aircraft operators would likely increase (the premium of the many pays for the losses of the few). So yes, by virtue of the fact that deductibles exist, most aircraft owners are saving money. However, if your total annual premium is $2,000, you have a $100 deductible and you ask your underwriter how much money you can save if you increase the deductible to $500, the answer is not going to be “Your premium will go down by $400”. In fact, you would be lucky to save $100 off the premium. This shows us that, in this case, the risk = reward calculation does not work in favor of the aircraft operator. Don’t get me wrong. I am not suggesting that insurance carriers should impose higher deductibles on all operators. Low deductibles are good. Rather, I am trying to point out that there is very little science and a lot of subjectivity in the use of hull deductibles and that you should ask your underwriter about deductible options and the cost/benefit associated with them. If it is possible to get a $0 hull deductible for the same cost as a $250 deductible or a 5% for the same cost as a 10% deductible, I know which one I would choose. It doesn’t hurt to ask.
Darryl A. Abbey Senior Vice President Salem Five Aviation Services 10
A helicopter industry milestone: the new EC175 makes its first flight December 17, 2009 Flight testing has begun with Eurocopter’s new 7-ton-class EC175 helicopter, which has been placed on demand for use in offshore operations, charter flights and other transport duties by customers that include the U.S.-based Bristow Group, ERA Helicopters and the Halvorson Group. The no. 1 EC175 made its “official” first takeoff today from Eurocopter’s Marignane, France headquarters facility, initiating a flight test and certification program that will lead to the startup of deliveries in two years. This new-generation rotary-wing aircraft is designed to complement Eurocopter’s existing product line, and is sized between the AS365 Dauphin (with an operating weight of 4-5 tons) and the AS332/EC225 Super Puma (9-11 tons). A total of 114 EC175s intent orders have been placed by customers in the U.S., Canada, and Mexico; as well as from Europe, Russia, India and New Zealand. Houston, Texasbased Bristow Group was the helicopter’s launch customer, and will receive the first EC175 in 2012. Eurocopter developed the EC175 in cooperation with the China Aeronautics Industries Group Corp. (AVIC). Under their work-sharing agreement, Eurocopter is assigned the main gear box, rear rotor, avionics, automatic flight control system, hydraulic and electrical systems, doors and transparencies; while AVIC is responsible for the helicopter’s structure, intermediate and rear gear boxes, main rotor, fuel system, flight controls and landing gear. The project utilized a cutting-edge digital mock-up that facilitated work-sharing across the thousands of miles between its European and Chinese partners, as well as the key systems vendors. Its successful application in the design and development phases resulted in a fast-paced program with less than four years between the contract signature and first flight. Contributed by: Scott A. Dodge Northeast Regional Tech Rep American Eurocopter
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bers of the combined NEHC / EAA forces (including yours truly) were treated to the in-water portion of the training. For that portion of the training, we donned our flight suits and each of two successive groups climbed into a full size mock up of the main body of a helicopter (in this case a Bell 412 class), strapped in and received our last minute “briefing”. Then, with the call “Ditching, ditching, ditching!”, our ship was dropped into the water and rotated anywhere from 45 to 270 degrees. Following our instructions, our job was to successfully exit the inverted ship and get to the surface using only the air in our lungs and what we had been taught by our Survival Systems instructors. We were confident that we would be successful and, to ensure that success, no less than five members of the SSUSA staff were in the water with us at all times. Part of the Survival Systems philosophy is that there are two ways of doing things: correctly or again. Even though all NEHC/EAA members successfully exited the mock-up and made it to the surface with no problems, we repeated the exercise several times using different seating positions and different exits to ensure that we were all as comfortable as possible and could calmly follow our exit plan. To say that it was an exciting day is an understatement. Even for those who did not get wet, the experience was informative, interesting and beneficial. The attendees who did experience the in-water training were glad that they had received that training. Those who did not expressed a desire to go back to SSUSA, get into the tank and get that training. We all agreed that the skills provided by Survival Systems USA are extremely beneficial for any pilot and could help save the lives of pilots and passengers alike. A visit to Survival Systems facility in Groton should be on every serious pilots’ training curriculum. Contributed by: Darryl A. Abbey
Attention—Military Aviators Specialists in aerial application of dry and liquid materials, power line patrol, rooftop HVAC installation, concrete pouring and construction support, mountaintop radio antenna construction & maintenance, and forest fire fighting.
A number of NEHC members are current, or former, military helicopter pilots. We want YOU to be a member, too. Please join us at the membership meeting on April 21. Identify yourself as a military aviator and be our complimentary guest
Open Invitation to All Helicopter Flight Schools and Flight Instructors
NEHC is proud to count Survival Systems USA as a member Station of our organization FAA Repair # FTYR033E
JBI Helicopter Services is a Bell Helicopter Customer Service Facility for Bell 206B, 206L, 407 and the 427 model helicopters.
720 Clough Mill Road, Pembroke, NH 03275 TEL: (603) 225-3134 FAX: (603) 224-9050
Contributed by: Darryl A. Abbey
Need A Lift? Call JBI Helicopter Services Join the New England Helicopter Council and help grow the New England Helicopter community.
Join us at the membership meeting on April 21. Identify yourself as a CFI-H and be our complimentary guest. 12
Navigation Quiz 1. Dead Reckoning is defined as navigation:
A. B. C. D.
Solely by means of computations based on time, airspeed, distance, and direction. With reference to landmarks or checkpoints. Using the Direct To navigation feature on most GPS navigation units. Flying between VOR’s along pilot defined courses that are not part of the Victor Airway system.
2. Any specific geographic point can be located by reference to its longitude and latitude. Boston, Massachusetts, for example, is approximately 42º 22’ North Latitude and 071º 04’ West Longitude. Regarding latitude and longitude:
A. Circles parallel to the equator (lines running east and west) are parallels of longitude and are measured in degrees north (N) or south (S) of the equator. B. Meridians of latitude are drawn from the North Pole to the South Pole, at right angles to the equator, from which measurements are made east (E) and west (W) of the “Prime Meridian” to 180º. C. The “Prime Meridian” passes through Greenwich, England. D. The equator is an imaginary circle equidistant from the magnetic poles of the earth. 3. Magnetic heading, when corrected for deviation is known as:
A. B. C. D.
True heading Magnetic heading Compass heading Magnetic course
Answers and 7 more ‘Navigation’ questions are posted on the NEHC Website. www.nehc.org
Interested in experimental and homebuilt aircraft? For More Information Contact Penny Bowman EAA106.Penny@.gmail.com. Granite State Aviation LLC Agusta A109E Power Elite Luxury Helicopter Charter Service
Managed by Air Carrier FTYA033E
JBI Helicopter Services For Charter Information 603-225-3134 13
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Stoneham, MA 02180-0001 P.O. Box 80047 THE NEHC ORGANIZATION Board of Directors
Affiliate Members/ Director Designees
Industry Members/ Director Designees
Paul M. Montrone Chairman
President Greg Harville
Aero Club of New England Deirdre Oâ€™Connor
Agusta Aerospace Chris Sirkis
Vice President Bill Carroll
Boston MedFlight Suzanne Wedel
American Eurocopter Scott Dodge
Vice President Wes Verkaart
Friends of Flying Santa Brian Tague
Bell Helicopter Textron Jeanette Eaton
Treasurer Christian Valle
Sikorsky Aircraft Corp. Vaughan Askue
Darryl Abbey Chris Harrington Greg Harville Bob Jesurum Joe Miara Doug Sherman Rob Smith Christian Valle
Helicopter Association International
Life Flight of Maine
Assistant Secretary Laurie Harville NEHC Operating Members Aerial Productions, LLC Avtrak, LLC Cannon Aviation Group Inc. Granite State Aviation LLC JBI Helicopter Services
NationAir Aviation Insurance New York State Police Air Wing Port City Air Inc./New Hampshire Helicopters Salem Five Aviation Survival Systems USA, Inc.