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UK AAIB Bulletin – January 2010

UK AAIB Bulletin – January 2010

The monthly bulletin from the Air Accidents Investigation Branch has been released.  This month’s issue covers the accidents of:- Agusta A109A II, G-ELTE – at Redhill Aerodrome, Surry on 02-May-08 Eurocopter EC135 T1, G-CCAU – at Hindlip Hall, Hindlip, Worcestershire on 04-Dec-08

Source: AAIB, 18-Jan-10

UK introduces new law to tackle aircraft laser crime

UK introduces new law to tackle aircraft laser crime

A new law that makes shining a light or laser at an aircraft a specific criminal offence has been introduced. The UK Civil Aviation Authority (CAA), which initiated the new law, said it was in response to the growing number of incidents involving laser devices being shone at airliners and helicopters near British airports

Source: CAA, 18-Jan-10

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Settlement Reached in “The Final Season” Helicopter Crash Lawsuit

Accident involved Bell 206 N2877F on June 30, 2006

Source: KCRG, 18-Jan-10

US Navy Develops Threat Warning System for Rotary-Wing Aircraft

Source: Defence Industry Daily, 16-Jan-10

Bond North Sea AS332 crash families aid 11 charities

Bond North Sea AS332 crash families aid 11 charities

More than £300,000 raised in memory of the 16 men killed in a Super Puma helicopter crash in the North Sea last year is to be distributed to 11 charities chosen by the bereaved families. Funds have also been set aside for a “symbol of remembrance” in a public garden in Aberdeen

Source: Scotsman, 15-Jan-10

Pilot in Meath helicopter crash admits error of judgment

Pilot in Meath helicopter crash admits error of judgment

Accident was on 18-Sep-08 at Bettystown, County Meath, and involved S76B registered N399BH

Source: Irish Times, 15-Jan-10

Helicopter surveillance could save lives in avalanche

Helicopter surveillance could save lives in avalanche

Search-and-rescue officials along the Wasatch Front hope long-range helicopter avalanche-beacon-receiver technology and training will get them to the victim before it happens.

Source: Salt Lake Tribune, 12-Jan-10

Oil companies testify in Cougar S92 inquiry

Oil companies testify in Cougar S92 inquiry

Oil company executives at an offshore helicopter inquiry said safety is their top priority — even as a lawyer representing workers pushed to question them on why it took nine years to introduce underwater breathing devices onboard.

Source: Toronto Sun, 12-Jan-10

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2009 bird strikes may exceed 10,000 – a first

2009 bird strikes may exceed 10,000 – a first

Reports of airplanes hitting birds and other wildlife have soared in the year since a stricken US Airways jet landed in New York’s Hudson River, and the government’s tally for last year could reach or even exceed 10,000 for the first time.

Source: ABC, 12-Jan-10

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Gulf of Mexico controllers start to use ADS-B technology

Gulf of Mexico controllers start to use ADS-B technology

WASHINGTON — Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Administrator Randy Babbitt announced today that Houston air traffic controllers are beginning to use an improved satellite-based system – Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast (ADS-B) — to more efficiently and safely separate and manage aircraft flying over the Gulf of Mexico. “Safety is our highest priority at the U.S. Department of… Read more »

Source: FAA, 12-Jan-10

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FAA issues unapproved parts notification – UH-1H high skid tubes from Isolair

FAA issues unapproved parts notification – UH-1H high skid tubes from Isolair

No.: 2010 – 20080616008 Date: January 11, 2010 AFFECTED PRODUCTS: High Cross Tubes, Part number 9002 installed on UH-1H model helicopters

11-Jan-10

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PHi S76 flight recorder reveals pilot’s last words in Jan-09 accident

PHi S76 flight recorder reveals pilot’s last words in Jan-09 accident

Refers to accident 04-Jan-2009 – HeliHub record of the accident is here.

Source: Daily Comet, 08-Jan-10

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USFS Safety Bulletin: Accident Prevention and Medications, Flying & Fitness

USFS Safety Bulletin: Accident Prevention and Medications, Flying & Fitness

Subject: Medications, Flying, and Fitness Area of Concern: All Aviation Activities Distribution: All Aviation Users

Source: USFS, 07-Jan-10

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NLR tackles helicopter brownouts

NLR tackles helicopter brownouts

Due to blowing sand, a helicopter pilot’s in-flight visibility can be severely restricted during landings in deserts. At the request of the Dutch Ministry of Defence, the National Aerospace Laboratory (NLR) has recently started working on finding solutions to support pilots during these precarious desert landings. Missions in Afghanistan and Iraq have made the issue… Read more »

Source: NLR, 07-Jan-10

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Swiss Air Ambulance doctor killed by avalanche during rescue mission

Swiss Air Ambulance doctor killed by avalanche during rescue mission

On Sunday, a crew member of a REGA Swiss Air Ambulance helicopter was sadly killed while performing his job.  Rega is extremely sad and condolences to the relatives of the deceased doctor and the relatives of the two who were killed also their heartfelt condolences. Rega had been called to an avalanche in Diemtigtal in… Read more »

Source: REGA press release translated and lightly edited., 06-Jan-10

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Sikorsky settles Cougar S-92 lawsuit

Sikorsky settles Cougar S-92 lawsuit

The families of passengers who died in the crash of a Sikorsky helicopter off the coast of Newfoundland last year, as well as the sole survivor of the tragedy, have reached a settlement in their lawsuit against the U.S. company.

Source: Winnipeg Free Press, 06-Jan-10

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FAA Launches New Safety Management System Resource

FAA Launches New Safety Management System Resource

What is a Safety Management System (SMS)? SMS is the formal, top-down business approach to managing safety risk, which includes a systemic approach to managing safety, including the necessary organizational structures, accountabilities, policies and procedures. (Order VS 8000.367) Welcome to the Aviation Safety Organization’s Safety Management System Website! This website was created as a public… Read more »

Source: FAA, 06-Jan-10

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Helicopter industry website HeliHub.com sold to Jeremy Parkin

Helicopter industry website HeliHub.com sold to Jeremy Parkin

01-Jan-10 Weybridge, UK – We are pleased to announce that HeliHub.com has a new owner – Jeremy Parkin, based in the UK.  Mr Parkin acquired all rights to the website from a private investor for an undisclosed sum, and management of all aspects of the site is moved from Florida to the UK with immediate… Read more »

Source: HeliHub.com, 01-Jan-10

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Chopper pilot smoked dope before September 2007 crash

An Australian Transport Safety Bureau investigation said the drug caused “impaired performance of complex tasks such as flying”.  The chopper was also overloaded.

Source: NT News, 23-Dec-09

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Defense Holdings Demonstrates AfterGlo® Photoluminescent Aviation Safety Paint On a VA Police Helicopter

Defense Holdings Demonstrates AfterGlo® Photoluminescent Aviation Safety Paint On a VA Police Helicopter

Defense Holdings is demonstrating its revolutionary, patented AfterGlo® Brand Photoluminescent (PL) Aviation Safety Paint on the main and tail rotor blades of a Bell Helicopter Textron Model 407 helicopter belonging to the Fairfax County, Virginia Police Aviation Division. Sections of the rotor blades were painted in October 2009.

Source: Rotornews, 16-Dec-09

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Probe finds pilot error caused Dhruv to crash in Ecuador

Probe finds pilot error caused Dhruv to crash in Ecuador

In a big relief to Hindustan Aeronautics Limited, pilot error was found to have caused the crash of the defence PSU’s Advance Light Helicopter (ALH) “Dhruv” in Ecuador in October

Source: Press Trust of India, 15-Dec-09

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Six-month suspended term for pilot who landed on Irish shopping centre roof

A HELICOPTER pilot who landed his aircraft on the roof of a shopping centre to collect a set of keys has been given a six-month suspended sentence and fined €5,000. The judge said the man seemed to lack a grasp of common sense.

Source: Irish Times, 15-Dec-09

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NASA tests deployable energy absorber to reduce impact of hard landings

NASA tests deployable energy absorber to reduce impact of hard landings

A deployable energy absorber (think “honeycomb airbag”) may have some promise. NASA recently tested the technology by dropping a helicopter from 35 feet in the air.

Source: Huffington Post, 13-Dec-09

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Attorneys file lawsuits for Italian tourists killed in New York mid-air

Five wrongful death lawsuits have been filed against the pilot of a Piper fixed-wing aircraft that collided over the Hudson River with a helicopter carrying Italian tourists.

Source: NorthJersey.com, 10-Dec-09

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No go for Ingham Hospital helipad

Member for Hinchinbrook, Andrew Cripps, has demanded answers from Health Minister Paul Lucas after concerns were raised the helipad at the Ingham Hospital still does not meet design specifications and Queensland Health will not let helicopters land on it.

Source: North Queensland Register, 09-Dec-09

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Man Charged With ‘Lasing’ DPS Helicopter

The Arizona Department Of Public Safety arrested a man who it said pointed a handheld laser at a police helicopter involved in a robbery pursuit.

Source: KPHO, 09-Dec-09

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Helicopter job that killed four not authorized

An ill-fated powerline inspection with a helicopter that killed four people in Cranbrook, B.C. was technically against federal regulations, according to the Transportation Safety Board of Canada.

Source: TheHook, 09-Dec-09

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Cowichan District Hospital helipad shut down

Transport Canada has shut down the helicopter landing facility at Cowichan District Hospital.  On Nov. 18 the agency closed the helipad due to concerns about trees on a neighbouring property posing a safety hazard to the air ambulances.

Source: Canada.com, 08-Dec-09

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FAA investigating whether helicopter at football game broke regulations

FAA investigating whether helicopter at football game broke regulations

The Federal Aviation Administration is investigating whether an area helicopter company violated federal regulations by circling around the Baylor University-University of Texas football game Nov. 14 at Floyd Casey Stadium. Brazos Helicopters was operating a Bell 47J

Source: Waco Tribune-Herald, 08-Dec-09

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Arrius-equipped Ka226T among the best in class for safety and emissions

Arrius-equipped Ka226T among the best in class for safety and emissions

Kumertau Aviation Production Enterprise (KumAPE) has completed tests of a Ka-226T fitted with Turbomeca engines. The model uses French Arrius 2G turboshafts and a Russian VR-226N gearbox.

Source: http://www.rus-helicopters.ru/en/news/news_company/index.php?ELEMENT_ID=1758, 08-Dec-09

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Flight Safety Foundation Launches Helicopter Work Group in Australia

Flight Safety Foundation announced today the creation of the Australian Helicopter Advisory Group – a subsidiary of Foundation’s Australian Advisory Board and its mission is to pursue the continuous improvement of helicopter safety and the prevention of accidents.

Source: Rotorhub, 07-Dec-09

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CHC launches 2010 Safety & Quality Summit

CHC launches 2010 Safety & Quality Summit

CHC Helicopter has opened registration for the CHC Safety and Quality Summit, scheduled for March 22 through 24, 2010, in Vancouver, British Columbia, with early-bird pricing until the end of 2009.

Source: AOPA, 03-Dec-09

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Eurocopter lightning test results verify finite element analysis

Eurocopter lightning test results verify finite element analysis

Lightning strike tests at Eurocopter’s Donauwörth facility have verified finite element analysis accuracy for carbonfibre structure current flow simulation, according to a European research consortium

Source: FlightGlobal, 01-Dec-09

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Cougar S92 inquiry asks Defence Department for explanation

Cougar S92 inquiry asks Defence Department for explanation

The head of the inquiry investigating last spring’s helicopter crash that killed 17 offshore oil workers and aircrew off the Newfoundland coast announced Wednesday he has asked the Defence Department to send a witness to explain the federal role in SAR

Source: Canada.com, 01-Dec-09

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Lack of safety features cited in California EMS crash

A medical helicopter that crashed this month in the dark hills north of Reno, Nev., killing three, lacked safety features recommended for years by federal experts, including night vision equipment and a system to warn the crew when the aircraft was too close to obstacles or the ground.

Source: Washington Post, 28-Nov-09

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Bond Offshore Helicopters EC225 North Sea ditching report delayed

Bond Offshore Helicopters EC225 North Sea ditching report delayed

An official report to determine why a helicopter with 18 people on board ditched into the North Sea has been delayed, the Government announced on Tuesday.

Source: STV, 26-Nov-09

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Recent crashes fuel push for more regulation of medical helicopter industry

Source: Dallas Morning News, 22-Nov-09

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Sikorsky S92 reportedly failed FAA dry gearbox test by 20 minutes

Sikorsky S92 reportedly failed FAA dry gearbox test by 20 minutes

A test to certify the model of helicopter involved in a fatal crash off Newfoundland showed it would remain airborne for “around 10 minutes” – about one third of the time required – if oil leaked from its gearbox, aviation regulators say.

Source: Canadian Press, 22-Nov-09

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Survival suits could have been safer, Cougar S92 crash inquiry hears

Survival suits could have been safer, Cougar S92 crash inquiry hears

Emergency breathing devices for suits worn by passengers during offshore helicopter flights weren’t installed until nine years after they were first recommended and only after a helicopter crashed off the coast of Newfoundland in March, killing 17 people, an inquiry heard Monday.

Source: CBC, 17-Nov-09

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FAA Finalizes Changes in Hudson River Airspace to Enhance Safety

FAA Finalizes Changes in Hudson River Airspace to Enhance Safety

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) today finalized a federal rule, effective November 19, 2009, that will enhance safety by separating low-altitude, local aircraft flights over the Hudson River from flights transiting through the river airspace.

Source: FAA, 17-Nov-09

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Lightning strike simulation project heralds easy protection design for modern composite structures

Lightning strike simulation project heralds easy protection design for modern composite structures

Lightning strike tests of a helicopter at Eurocopter’s Donauwörth facility have verified the accuracy of finite element analysis techniques for characterising the electromagnetic behaviour of complete and custom-cabled modern aircraft structures constructed using advanced composite materials.

Source: CAD CAM News, 12-Nov-09

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Register for the Fall HAI Safety Forum & Government Contracting Committee Meeting

Register for the Fall HAI Safety Forum & Government Contracting Committee Meeting

The HAI Government Contracting Committee will meet in Boise, Idaho November 18, 19, and 20 at the Hilton Garden Inn Boise Spectrum

Source: http://www.rotor.com/Default.aspx?tabid=510&newsid905=62534, 06-Nov-09

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Mother of woman killed in helicopter crash files suit

The mother of a Tahlequah woman killed last month in a helicopter crash has filed suit against the pilot’s estate, his parents and Robinson Helicopter Co.  See also our Accident data 15-Oct-09 N3234G Robinson R22 Tahlequah, US-Oklahoma

Source: Tahlequah Daily Press, 05-Nov-09

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Crack found in Cougar S92 helicopter

Crack found in Cougar S92 helicopter

Engineers have discovered a hairline crack in the gearbox of a Canadian-based Sikorsky S-92 helicopter, the latest chapter in an ongoing mechanical saga that has cast an investigative spotlight on the high-tech machine.

Source: Globe and Mail, 04-Nov-09

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Now is the safest time to fly in helicopter, says oil executive

Now is the safest time to fly in helicopter, says oil executive

An oil and gas industry leader says now is the safest time there has ever been to fly in a North Sea helicopter.  Bob Keiller feels there is still no room for complacency, however. Mr Keiller is chairman of Oil & Gas UK’s helicopter task group, set up earlier this year to look at helicopter… Read more »

Source: Press & Journal, 04-Nov-09

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Fatal Helicopter Accident Lawsuit Filed Against Robinson Helicopter Co

Fatal Helicopter Accident Lawsuit Filed Against Robinson Helicopter Co

The family of Si Young Lee has filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the three companies allegedly responsible for the August 2, 2007 helicopter accident that killed Mr. Lee and three other occupants when it crashed and erupted into flames in Easton, Washington, setting off a forest fire.

Source: Aviation-Helicopter Accident Lawyers, 30-Oct-09

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Rock allegedly thrown at helicopter in New Zealand

A resident annoyed at frost-fighting helicopters allegedly flashed lights and threw a rock at a helicopter flying near Seddon in Marlborough early yesterday.

Source: Stuff, 13-Oct-09

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Relatives sue over Lake Tapps R44 accident

The relatives of a Lake Tapps-area man who died in a helicopter crash three years ago have filed a wrongful-death lawsuit against the aircraft’s manufacturer and some of its suppliers.

Source: News Tribune, 07-Oct-09

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AAMS Hails White House Nomination of Rosekind to NTSB Board

The Association of Air Medical Services (AAMS) today applauded the White House for nominating Mark R. Rosekind, Ph.D., an expert on fatigue and its effects on productivity and safe flight operations, to the National Transportation Safety Board.

Source: Vertical, 06-Oct-09

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Angel MedFlight Battles Insurance Company for Accident Victim

“Blue Cross did not deny coverage but dragged its feet in response to the family’s request despite federal law requiring health insurance companies to respond to emergency transportation requests within 48 hours,” said Michael Ward, staff counsel at Angel Medflight.

Source: Angel MedFlight, 06-Oct-09

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Family sues after R44 accident in October 2006

The News Tribune of Tacoma reports the surviving children of Russell Lee Tom claim the helicopter he was piloting – a Robinson Helicopter Co. R44 – was poorly designed “defective and unsafe.”  Their suit was filed in Pierce County Superior Court on Wednesday.

Source: Seattle Times, 05-Oct-09

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Fixed Wing Pilot’s Widow Sues Liberty Helicopters and Eurocopter Over Hudson Crash

Pamela Altman sued tour company Liberty Helicopters, helicopter owner Meridian Consulting I Corp., manufacturer American Eurocopter and several of their insurers.  Her suit charges that Liberty and Meridian have a “horrid history of accidents” and that American Eurocopter failed to equip the helicopter with sufficient safety equipment.

Source: Huffington Post, 03-Oct-09

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Helicopter parts vanish in crash investigation

A federal report says that parts from a helicopter that crashed in California last year killing nine people have mysteriously disappeared.

Source: Seattle PI, 01-Oct-09

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Helicopter safety appears to be responding to treatment

After more than 20 years of stagnation, global helicopter safety performance is showing signs of improvement.

Source: Flightglobal, 01-Oct-09

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Study Identifies Key Predictors of Critical Events That Occur During Air-Medical Transport

A new medical journal study, the largest of its kind to date, finds that 5 percent of urgent-care patients experience a critical event such as a major resuscitation, rapid loss of blood pressure, respiratory arrest and even death during air-medical transport

Source: RotorNews, 29-Sep-09

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US pilots reported over 900 laser contacts in 2008

Pilots flying over Massachusetts reported seeing laser beams flashed in their direction eight times during 2008, with the rays hitting everything from commercial airliners landing at Logan International Airport to a State Police helicopter to the blimp floating over a Red Sox playoff game, according to a review of FAA data.

Source: Boston Globe, 28-Sep-09

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Largest US Air Medical Transport Conference to Focus on Patient Care and Safety

Opportunities for improving medical helicopter safety, traumatic brain injury (TBI) awareness and support, and a look at regulatory issues affecting helicopter emergency medical services (HEMS) are among the topics of this year’s Air Medical Transport Conference (AMTC), the largest gathering of its kind in the nation.

Source: Vertical, 28-Sep-09

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FAA Safety Team Presents Erickson Air-Crane with two awards

The FAA presented Erickson Air-Crane with a “Gold Certificate of Excellence” honoring Erickson’s participation in the FAA sponsored Aviation Maintenance Training program in 2008 as well as a “Special Recognition Award” signifying participation with the program for the past five years.

Source: Vertical, 28-Sep-09

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FAA Announces New Efforts to Respond to Safety Concerns

FAA Announces New Efforts to Respond to Safety Concerns

Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Administrator Randy Babbitt today announced a new focus on improving the agency’s response to public safety complaints and whistleblower contributions, as well as renewing efforts to ensure consistent interpretation of agency regulations and policies.

Source: FAA, 25-Sep-09

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Cougar S92 makes emergency landing in Halifax after sensor indicates problem

An official with the Newfoundland-based company said a chip indicator on the Sikorsky S-92 sensed there were lose fragments of material in the oil, which can cause problems in the main gearbox

Source: Amherst Daily News, 24-Sep-09

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New Platform Approach System Offers Enhanced Safety, Reduced Pilot Workload in Sikorsky S-92®

Sikorsky announced the introduction of a new functionality offered on the S-92® helicopter to provide offshore oil operators with an automated approach that reduces cockpit workload and allows safer operations under challenging weather and operating conditions.

Source: Sikorsky, 24-Sep-09

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FAA Launches New Accident Prevention Office

FAA Launches New Accident Prevention Office

As part of a strategy to reduce emerging aviation risks using national safety data, the agency’s Office of Aviation Safety today launched a new Accident Investigation and Prevention Service that integrates the work of the Offices of Accident Investigation and Safety Analytical Services.

Source: FAA, 24-Sep-09

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HeliHub.com builds “The Helicopter Search Engine” with detailed accident data

HeliHub.com builds “The Helicopter Search Engine” with detailed accident data

Duxford, UK – 22 September 2009 – HeliHub.com today launches a major update at Helitech 2009, adding a range of safety-related information including detailed Accident data.  Every known accident from 1st January 2009 is now listed, together with links to relevant web reports.  As with our News data, we have provided “tags” against each key… Read more »

Source: HeliHub.com, 22-Sep-09

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Eurocontrol warns North Sea pilots of kites at 1000′ agl

EUROCONTROL Agency has been informed of an incident that happened on 15 September 2009 over the Southern North Sea:

Source: Eurocontrol, 18-Sep-09

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TUC joins BALPA call for North Sea air safety summit

The TUC, meeting in Liverpool threw its weight behind a call from the pilots’ union BALPA (British Airline Pilots’ Association) for a North Sea oil and gas Safety Summit.

Source: BALPA, 18-Sep-09

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NTSB: New York fixed wing pilot had incorrect radio frequency

he pilot of a small plane involved in an Aug. 8 midair collision over the Hudson River read back the wrong radio frequency to an air traffic controller but was not corrected by the controller, a federal safety official said yesterday.

Source: Philadelphia Inquirer, 18-Sep-09

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Report finds discrepancies in helicopter’s documented weight

A report issued Wednesday on a 2008 helicopter crash that killed seven Southern Oregon firefighters revealed discrepancies in documents that recorded the weight of the helicopter.

Source: Mail Tribune, 18-Sep-09

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NTSB Chairman testifies before Congress concerning Hudson River airspace

NTSB Chairman Deborah A. P. Hersman testified  on the status of the ongoing investigation into the mid-air collision over the Hudson River. The collision occurred on August 8 between a helicopter and an airplane.  All 9 persons on board both aircraft were killed.  Chairman Hersman provided an overview of the ongoing investigation based on facts… Read more »

Source: NTSB, 17-Sep-09

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FAA Emergency AD 2009-19-51 – AgustaWestland AW139

Source: FAA, 16-Sep-09

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New helicopter surveillance system boosts North Sea offshore flight safety

The new system enables air traffic controllers to see helicopters on their radar screens at Aberdeen Airport at a far greater range from the shore than has previously been possible using solely shore-based radars.

Source: Oil & Gas UK, 09-Sep-09

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UK MoD refuses to reopen inquiry into 1994 Chinook crash

The disaster over the Mull of Kintyre, in which 25 of the top MI5, Army and RUC Special Branch officers combating terrorism in Northern Ireland were lo;;ed, has been blamed on the “gross negligence” of the pilots.  But a document obtained by The Daily Telegraph indicated that those in charge of RAF helicopter safety gave… Read more »

Source: Telegraph, 04-Sep-09

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FAA Announces Plan to Enhance Safety for New York Airspace

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is planning to modify the airspace over the Hudson River by revising procedures to create safe, dedicated operating corridors for all the aircraft that fly at lower altitudes around Manhattan.

Source: FAA, 03-Sep-09

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Safety Honours For Queenstown Helicopter Company

Over the Top picked up four awards at the recent Aviation Industry Association Conference which also signalled the official launch of the New Zealand Helicopter Association (NZHA).

Source: Scoop, 02-Sep-09

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NTSB issues recommendations for EMS industry

The NTSB issued 19 recommendations regarding Helicopter Emergency Medical Services (HEMS).  These recommendations address various safety issues including pilot training; safety management systems to minimize risk; collection and analysis of flight, weather, and safety data; flight data monitoring; development of a low altitude airspace infrastructure; and the use of dual pilots, autopilots, and night vision… Read more »

Source: NTSB, 02-Sep-09

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The strange case of the AW139 tailboom that came off

An AW139 aircraft had an occurrence resulting in major damage to the aircraft tail boom while ground  taxiing.  There were no injuries to the crew or passengers.

Source: Flightglobal, 28-Aug-09

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