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AEM’s new 900W Loud Speaker System has been installed and certified by AgustaWestland on the AW139 helicopter.
PHI has purchased Britannica Knowledge Systems’ commercial-off-the-shelf (COTS) software platform, the Fox Training Management System. The system went live last week as a production environment for managing training and scheduling.
Pelican Products has introduced the feature-rich Pelican ProGear 2780 LED Headlight.
Pelican Products, Inc. has introduced the Pelican 1670 Case as legendarily tough, watertight and versatile protection for those who want to defend their sensitive gear on the go.
POP Avdel has introduced NeoBolt, a non-breakstem lockbolt fastening system for heavy-duty structural applications. The two piece NeoBolt fastener features a collar and a pin with fine pitch locking grooves that, when installed, provides unmatched vibration resistance and fatigue performance.
March 2, 2015, Toronto - Discovery Air Technical Services (DATS) has announced that it has developed a retrofit kit solution that allows for the installation of an EO/IR turret onto the Agusta AW139.
March 5, 2015, Orlando, Fla. - Donaldson Aerospace & Defense has announced that Finmeccanica-AgustaWestland has received European Aviation Safety Agency approval for installation of Donaldson’s Inlet Barrier Filter (IBF) system on the AW139.
March 4, 2015, Victoria, B.C. - Latitude Technologies has launched WebSentinel 5, a significantly enhanced new version of Latitude's very popular web-based flight tracking, mapping, and event messaging platform. WebSentinel 5 is available now for all WebSentinel customers.
March 4, 2015, Orlando, Fla. - Conklin & de Decker is offering special savings on their most popular products during the HAI Heli-Expo 2015 Convention. Visitors to the Conklin & de Decker exhibit booth #4719 will see live demos of the entire family of helicopter operating cost programs, life cycle budgeting tools, and can enter to have a chance to win an iPad mini or Google Nexus 7 tablet.
March 4, 2015, Orlando, Fla. - McMurdo Group has announced the launch of the Kannad Integra Smart Pack, a first-of-its kind aviation Emergency Locator Transmitter (ELT) bundle with both GPS and antenna redundancy.
March 3, 2015, Orlando, Fla. - Sagem (part of Safran) is calling on its 25 years of expertise in flight data analysis to offer its proven and state-of-the-art safety tools – Analysis Ground Station (AGS) and Cassiopée Flight Data Monitoring (FDM) services - to every Bell Helicopter commercial platform currently in production.
March 2, 2015, Orlando, Fla. - StandardAero has introduced a new custom solution for operators of Rolls-Royce M250-C47 engines to improve starting performance by lowering starting temperatures on engines that are currently experiencing warm starting conditions. 
I took a day off from the continuing hunt for Amazon’s secret Canadian drone testing facility for a reality check. That would be the opportunity to attend a recent Vancouver Entrepreneur Forum on the subject of UAVs
The Laflamme Aero Inc. company has announced the launch of a $2.3 million project for the development and the demonstration of a 300 kg. unmanned helicopter called the LX300. This new aircraft will become one of the largest civil unmanned aerial vehicule (UAV) to be commercialized in the world. The two-and-a-half-year project will culminate in demonstration flights by 2017. This project is funded in part by the Consortium for Aerospace Research and Innovation in Canada (CARIC).
MULTIROTOR service-drone has announced the upcoming availability of its Recon One multirotor Unmanned Aerial System (UAS). Specifically developed for reliable, autonomous long-duration flights of up to 90 minutes, the Recon One is capable of carrying payloads of 500g and up under special configurations. Application-specific sensors (thermal infrared, multi-spectral or mirror-less RGB) make it an ideal platform for hotspot detection (solar farms, wild fires, industrial buildings), aerial monitoring & surveillance and advanced vegetation analysis.
Russian Helicopters has launched a 3D modelling app for computers and laptops with Windows and Mac OS. This unique app makes it possible for people to find out more about the range of different models of Russian Helicopters, and also to go on virtual tours, including of a VIP helicopter. This is the first development of its kind in Russia and the CIS.
After getting a glimpse of the future through robot and drone demonstrations at the University of Toronto Institute for Aerospace Studies (UTIAS), Minister of State Ed Holder made a funding announcement Wednesday, May 20 to further support university training programs.
Anyone who uses an unmanned aerial vehicle, or drone, for hunting in B.C. risks a minimum fine of $2,500, a provincial wildlife official warns.
May 12, 2015, Marignane, France - Airbus Helicopters has achieved another key milestone in more eco-friendly rotorcraft operations by successfully demonstrating low-noise helicopter instrument (IFR) approaches at an airport with commercial airline traffic.
May 8, 2015, Virginia Beach, Va. -  LORD Corporation has received the 2015 American Helicopter Society (AHS International) Grover E. Bell Award as part of the Hub Mounted Vibration Suppressor (HMVS) team.
Jeff Bezos set the world on its ear in December 2013 when he coyly asked Charlie Rose of CBS’ 60 Minutes if he would like to see something. Replying in the affirmative, Rose was then led into the depths of Amazon’s very own skunkworks and thus Amazon’s Prime Air drone program was unveiled to the world.
May 7, 2015, Atlanta, Ga. - Aeryon Labs Inc. and Dejero have announced a strategic technology partnership to enable secure, real-time distribution of HD video captured by Aeryon sUAS through the Dejero LIVE+ platform to allow remote, simultaneous, real-time access from any internet-connected or mobile device.
In April, I participated in the UAV Working Group, where members of the UAV community and their Association (Unmanned Systems Canada) met with other stakeholders and Transport Canada (TC) to discuss the future of UAV operations in Canada – but with a special emphasis on Commercial Beyond Line-of-Sight (BLOS) operations for UAVs under 25 kg, referred to as Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems (RPAS).
May 7, 2015, Washington, D.C. - The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has announced a partnership with industry to explore the next steps in unmanned aircraft operations beyond the type of operations the agency proposed in the draft small unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) rule it published in February.
A few years ago, I was working off at a camp in northern Quebec for a major multinational mining company. The camp was one of the best I have ever been in. Two five-star chefs, warm waterproof accommodation, pleasant customers and hot showers. I didn’t want to go home.
Bell Helicopter has announced it has sold the first Bell 429 in Russia outfitted with the Bell 429 MAGnificent luxury cabin interior created by Italy-based Mecaer Aviation Group (MAG).
About 5,000 people have been evacuated from the path of a wildfire that has prompted the northern Alberta hamlet of Wabasca to declare a local state of emergency.
Carter Aviation Technologies is ramping down its developmental flight test program and refocusing on moving the CarterCopter into production.
Peter Voss, president, CEO and owner of Shimco, has been recognized by Worldwide Branding for showing dedication, leadership and excellence in specialty product design and manufacturing. Shimco is a worldwide leader in the manufacture of precision parts, laminated and edge-bonded shims, tapers and spacers, in materials ranging from aluminum and titanium through to synthetics and composites.
Erickson Incorporated has announced the appointment of Glenn Johnson to the Company’s Board of Directors effective immediately. Johnson will serve as a Director and will replace Gary Scott as Audit Committee Chairman.
Erickson was contracted by the Government of Nunavut and Qulliq Energy Corporation to transport generators to Pangnirtung, Nunavut, to restore power after a fire extensively damaged the community’s power plant.
May 11, 2015, Victoria, B.C. - VIH Aerospace has announced an introductory pricing program for its Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and Transport Canada (TC) approved and Supplemental Type Certificated (STC) replacement Master Caution Panel (#:MCP001) for the Bell 212 series helicopter.
Ah, spring. It’s the perfect time to retool and clean the slate for the season ahead. And for western Canadian operator Highland Helicopters, spring is also an ideal time to continue one of its most important new projects – a brand “refresh” and integration of all things Highland into one neat intellectual package.
Spring arrived early on the west coast of North America while central Canada and the Maritimes were still locked in winter’s embrace. Ski hills on Vancouver Island and southwestern British Columbia closed by the middle of February for lack of snow when they would normally be open until Easter.
May 7, 2015, Wilmington, Ma. - Operators who support global oil and gas producers are known for their high standard of helicopter operations.  In recent years, the desire to increase connectivity to the aircraft coupled with the sharp decline in world oil prices has posed a particularly difficult economic challenge to those companies.
May 7, 2015, Vancouver - CHC Helicopter has announced that Lee Eckert will be succeeding Joan Hooper as Chief Financial Officer effective July 16, 2015.
Having recently returned from the U.K., I was struck by a number of interesting observations – the Guinness tastes better, there are video cameras EVERYWHERE and there is a pervasive presence of “safety” equipment. Safety vests are worn by virtually every worker on a job site, by bicyclists and motorcyclists alike and many workplaces have visible elements of safety promotion. Now, I can’t say for certain that the U.K. is a safer place to work than Canada, but it is striking for sure.
CAE has announced that it has won defence contracts valued at more than C$150 million to provide simulation products as well as training services for global military customers.
May 7, 2015, CFB Trenton, Ont. - More than 70 personnel from 424 (Transport and Rescue) Squadron with their CC-130H Hercules aircraft and CH-146 Griffon helicopters, supported by more than 100 civilian search and rescue (SAR) partners, are conducting a SAR exercise called TIGEREX 2015 in the Barrie/Orillia, Ont. area from May 4 to 7, 2015.
In military operations and training, standardization, consistency, and commonality are highly desirable. The more consistently routine tasks can be repeated, the better able warriors are to then manage complexity as well as recognize and respond to abnormal situations.
You may have seen the story that has been circulating media channels regarding how little money the federal government has been allocating our military to meet the obligations we put on them at home and abroad.
April 24, 2015, London, U.K. - With an expected market share of more than 33% in 2025, the Asia Pacific region is set to become the largest military helicopters market, growing at a CAGR of 3.1% over the next decade.
April 21, 2015, Marignane, France - Airbus Helicopters and its partner Heli Invest Services welcome the decision of the Polish Ministry of Defence to pre-select the H225M Caracal from Airbus Helicopters.
April 15, 2015, Petawawa, Ont. - In 2013 and 2014, The Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) took delivery of 15 new Boeing-built CH-147F Chinook helicopters, among the most capable and advanced variants of the legendary Chinook family. Now, the RCAF and Boeing have unveiled an equally advanced training facility for those helicopters.
April 14, 2015, Victoria, B.C. - Canada’s Pacific coast helicopter unit has moved into a $155-million facility at Victoria International Airport, bringing together operations that had been spread among aging structures.
April 8, 2015, Summerside, P.E.I. - On October 21, 2010, the Minister of Canadian Heritage officially declared April 6 as Tartan Day. We celebrate on that date because it is the anniversary of the signing of Declaration of Arbroat, the Scottish declaration of independence, in 1320. In Canada, Tartan Day originated in the late 1980s in Nova Scotia, where it was declared an official day by the provincial government. It then spread across the country, with many provinces joining in.
March 26, 2015, Yeovil, U.K. - AgustaWestland has announcd that it has signed a contract with the UK Ministry of Defence (MoD) covering the third five year period of the 25-year Integrated Merlin Operational Support (IMOS) contract.
March 19, 2015, Vancouver Island, B.C. - Mass casualties litter the rigid terrain in a remote location on northern Vancouver Island, British Columbia. Two hikers lie injured in a mountainous region inaccessible by road. And a small multi-engine aircraft is still missing along the coast of mainland British Columbia, the next of kin anxious for positive news of its location.

MRO

AAR has won an endorsement from Pratt & Whitney to enhance the U.S. Army contract to upgrade and overhaul Auxiliary Power Units (APUs) for its UH-60 Black Hawk helicopters. The new certification augments work being performed at AAR’s Aircraft Component Services facility in Garden City on Long Island as part of a five-year contract, which began in 2014.
April 7, 2015, Delta, B.C. - Customers flying commercial and governmental helicopters in the Republic of Korea now have access to extensive maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) service capabilities from Heli-One’s operations in Canada.
March 25, 2015, Langley, B.C. - Vector Aerospace has announced that it has been selected to perform a 7,500 hour major inspection (G check) and 12-year inspection on one of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department’s three AS332L1 Super Puma helicopters.
March 16, 2015, Richmond, B.C. - Vector Aerospace Corporation has announced that Vector Aerospace Helicopter Services – North America (HS-NA) has been awarded a 2015 Total Quality Award from Rolls-Royce for the M250 engine product line on Monday, March 2 at the Rolls-Royce FIRST Network Recognition Reception, held as part of Rolls-Royce's attendance at this year's HAI HELI-EXPO in Orlando, Florida.
March 5, 2015, Richmond, B.C. - Vector Aerospace has announced that Vector Aerospace Helicopter Services – North America has been selected by Miami Dade County to provide dynamic component MRO support for the Miami Dade Police Air Support Unit for their fleet of Airbus Helicopters AS350B3 aircraft.
March 4, 2015, Orlando, Fla. - Vector Aerospace Corporation has announced Vector Aerospace Helicopter Services – North America has signed an accordance to provide Rolls-Royce M250 engine overhaul support to Helisul Taxi Aereo Ltd.
March 2, 2015, Langley, B.C. - Vector Aerospace Corporation has announced that Vector Aerospace Helicopter Services – North America (HS-NA) has recently conducted  three 12-year inspections with plans to conduct a fourth this month.
March 4, 2015, Richmond, B.C. - Vector Aerospace Corporation has announced Vector Aerospace Helicopter Services – North America (HS-NA) with the assistance of their local representatives, Naher Trading, has signed a contract to provide the Colombian Air Force with Pratt & Whitney PT6T and JT15D engine MRO support over the next three and a half years.
Dec. 8, 2014, Langley, B.C. - Vector Aerospace Corporation has announced that Vector Aerospace Helicopter Services – North America has received FAA and EASA certification for development and installation of the Helicopter Terrain Awareness System (HTAWS) for AS332 C, L and L1 aircraft.
Oct. 8, 2014, Richmond, B.C. - Vector Aerospace Corporation has announced that Vector Aerospace Helicopter Services – North America, has signed an agreement with the Royal Thailand Air Force to provide PT6T engine accessories including fuel control units and governors and combining gearboxes for the RTAF’s fleet of  Bell 412 aircraft.
Oct. 3, 2014, Richmond, B.C. - Vector Aerospace Corporation has announced the signing of a five-year agreement with Orange County Sheriff’s Department to conduct maintenance, repair and overhaul on their AS350 and UH-1H helicopters.
Sept. 23, 2014, Langley, B.C. - Vector Aerospace Helicopter Services – North America has announced that it is an Airbus Helicopters D-Level certified repair center for the AS350/AS355 and EC130 helicopters.
The more we do things, the easier they become and, more importantly, the more normal they seem. Pushing the limits has been something pilots have struggled with since 1903, and none are immune.
The Flight Safety Foundation (FSF) has announced the expansion of its Basic Aviation Risk Standard (BARS) suite of documents aimed at managing aviation risk for contracted aircraft operations. The Basic Aviation Risk Standard for Offshore Helicopter Operations (BARS OHO) continues the theme of presenting a standard in a risk-based format using applicable threats and controls. 
CAE has announced that a comprehensive suite of CH-147F Chinook simulators and training devices have completed on-site acceptance testing at Canadian Forces Base (CFB) Petawawa and are now ready-for-use by the Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF).
May 11, 2015, Langley, B.C. -  Vector Aerospace has announced that it has added EASA certification to its Cockpit Voice and Flight Data Recorder (CVFDR) FAA STC applicable to AS332 C, L and L1 helicopters.
May 8, 2015, Oshawa, Ont. - It sounds like a problem out of a sci-fi movie, but Durham Regional Police are warning the public about the dangers of hitting their aircraft with laser beams.
May 8, 2015, Kelowna, B.C. - A Letter of Affiliation between the Air Cadet League of Canada, British Columbia Provincial Committee (BCPC), and British Columbia Aviation Council (BCAC) was signed by representatives of the organizations on April 30. The signing ceremony took place in the Delta Grand Okanagan Resort at 1 pm.
For a nice change of pace in this issue, Helicopters Safety and Quality columnist Walter Heneghan selected three books from his personal collection that have influenced, in one way or another, his passions towards aviation.
May 7, 2015, St. John's - A Cougar helicopter taking eight oil workers offshore from St. John's had to abort a takeoff earlier this week after an engine failure.
The well-known economist Milton Friedman said something that is near and dear to my heart. It resonates on many levels and aligns with our right to refuse unsafe work and our duty to ignore and attempt to change stupid or shortsighted laws.
Earlier in my repertoire with this column, I wrote about the IMSAFE checklist for pilots to consider each day before showing up to go flying.
April 30, 2015, North Bay, Ont. - Last week, Essential Helicopters celebrated its 2015 graduates at a convocation ceremony held at Canadore College’s Aviation Technology Campus.
April 17, 2015, Calgary - Finding the perfect career in aviation and aerospace takes passion, flexibility and the ability to capitalize on opportunities – and learning how to “wear your tie” and treat every day in a professional manner goes a long way, too.

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