Drallim Industries Ltd. has announced that Bell Helicopters, a Textron Inc. company, has selected the HAWK 8,000 lb. cargo hook system for its Bell 525 Relentless.
RAMM Aerospace has expanded its Frameless Seat Cushion (FSC) product offering for the Bell 206/407 aircraft. The HELIFAB FAA STC SR09522RC eliminates the 206/407 seat frame entirely for all FWD facing passenger seats and will be available for all seating positions in the near future. TCCA/EASA Approvals are pending.
For manufacturers looking to improve productivity and increase their return on investment, POP Avdel has introduced the new ProSert XTN20 blind rivet nut installation tool.
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.
L-3 Communications has announced that its WESCAM division has launched its smallest and lightest electro-optical/infrared (EO/IR) airborne imaging system, the MX-8.
When it is deployed in early 2018 to the Transport Canada training centre in Ottawa, the new flight simulator for the Canadian Coast Guard (CCG) Bell 412 EPI and Bell 429 helicopters may be the most technologically advanced non-military rotary-wing training system in the world.
There is rarely a week goes by that we don’t see something in the mainstream media about drones, drones, drones and just in case you missed it, there’s always another drone somewhere else on the verge of doing something new and exciting.
Boeing has opened a new research laboratory to test hardware and software that will make a new generation of autonomous air, sea and land vehicles work together more effectively as a team or unit.
Drone Aviation Holding Corp. has announced that it has been awarded a contract to upgrade existing U.S. Government-owned Winch Aerostat Small Platform (WASP) tactical aerostat systems from Department of Defense (DoD) prime contractor BAE Systems.
A bright, sunny day couldn’t deter an overflow crowd that descended on the Sportsplex at BCIT’s main campus in Burnaby, B.C., for Drone Fair 2016, Saturday Feb. 20.
With more than 100 fixed wing and rotary engines certified in the last 25 years, Pratt & Whitney (P&W) must be part of the sustainability initiative, according to Robert Cadieux, environmental and sustainable development manager with Pratt & Whitney Canada (P&WC). And he questions P&W’s contribution to increased consumption as the planet continues to consume more and more resources.
Cobham SATCOM has developed the world’s smallest and lightest Inmarsat UAV satcom solution – the 1.45 kg AVIATOR UAV 200.
The family farm is going high-tech. From robotic milking machines to data-gathering drones, industry watchers say technology is making agriculture more precise and efficient as farmers push for increased profits and yields.
Calgary police have laid charges against a Calgary man in relation to an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) incident that occurred near the Calgary International Airport earlier this month.
The U.K. Drone Show 2015 saw over 6,500 visitors attend over the two days of the inaugural show held at the NEC in December. These unprecedented numbers show the massive appetite in the U.K. not only for drones, accessories and related products, but also the keen interest in responsible drone flying and flight safety.
On Wednesday at the Consumer Electronics Show, Chinese drone manufacturer EHang unveiled the EHang 184, the first fully electric autonomous aerial vehicle capable of carrying one passenger up to 220 pounds over short distances. Travel is controlled mostly by an onboard tablet inside the pod-like cockpit—a passenger selects their flight destination, and then relaxes in the airborne vehicle’s air-conditioned cabin as the 184 takes off, flies, and lands on its own.
Variety. New opportunities. Mentorship. A sharing of important industry safety data and trends. All are just part of the typical work cycle for Gary Krebs and it’s made for a truly interesting and diverse career.
Gold. It’s the stuff that dreams are made of.
The helicopter industry used to be a fun place to work. There was always a new frontier to explore, some new helicopter being rolled out by the OEMs, some curmudgeonly operator claiming the old helicopters were good enough and some oil company saying we need to get aircraft with at least one engine per passenger in order to be safe. The growth in industry has been meteoric, with some operators mistaking a bull market for business acumen, while others think there’s no challenge they can’t handle.
British Columbia’s volunteer Search & Rescue (SAR) teams are on their way to a record year for callouts at a pace that will see them exceed last year’s total by more than 30 per cent.
Let’s face it. We all love challenges or everyone in this industry would abandon helicopters, just like everyone except the federal government has abandoned fax machines.
There are people out there who simply don’t recognize opportunities until they are rapidly diminishing in their rear-view mirrors. For those that “get it,” a sound definition of opportunity might be as simple as this: it’s a set of circumstances that make it possible for you to “do something” – in other words take a chance to implement change or seek employment.
Focus, integrity, clarity, leadership. They’re critical attributes in establishing success at any operation and they’re even more necessary when an organization has gone through periods of scrutiny and corporate strife.
Anxiety is not conducive to positive job performance. It may be especially concerning in high-risk roles – surgery, for example, or landing a helicopter on an oil rig platform on a dark and stormy night.
I wrote this column from the back of a Combi Dash 7 with virtually no heat whatsoever (it eventually came on, but it was still very cold).
Aviation, photography and movies – it’s a creative bond that goes back to the very inception of flight. Wilbur Wright, for example, is credited with the first use of a movie camera from an aircraft in April 1909. Not long after, the First World War saw the wide acceptance of aerial photography and the post-war years saw a surplus of aircraft and trained pilots, a combination that was a boon to the nascent motion picture industry.
Think globally and act locally would describe many businesses today, but you wouldn’t necessarily include a small regional airport on the outskirts of Vancouver on that list. Langley Regional Airport (CYNJ) is not as small as it might first appear and packs an economic punch far above its weight class.
Andy Rooney of 60 Minutes fame once wrote, “ . . . airplane pilots are open, clear-eyed, buoyant extroverts, and helicopter pilots are brooders, introspective anticipators of trouble. They know if something bad has not happened, it is about to.”  
Canada is blessed with myriad aerospace companies leading the charge in a variety of capacities, yet some seem to operate under the radar, despite the fact they work on influential aircraft making their mark across the globe.
One of the things I love most about my role as editor of Helicopters magazine is getting out in the field and soaking up the atmosphere of a particular operator or manufacturing facility making a strong contribution to Canadian aviation and aerospace.
Call me crazy, but it’s almost comforting that the price of copper is near what it was when I graduated from high school. I say comforting for two reasons. One, it makes me think of when I had hair – sort of. Two, it means it can’t possibly go lower, can it?
The 2015 Aerospace, Defence and Security EXPO in mid-August offered an intense two-day program of events leading into this year’s Abbotsford International Air Show. Though the two events are not directly linked, ADSE showcases the brain trust for British Columbia’s growing aerospace sector while the air show provides the eye candy.  
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.


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.
I hate to disappoint those of you that thought this issue would go away with the Federal Election last year, but its back – and with a vengeance. No one wants a fatigued pilot. No one wants to be a fatigued pilot, but there are some serious problems with Transport Canada’s (TC) latest draft proposal.
The Super Puma crash off the Norwegian coast in late April that killed 13 people is a sobering reminder that statistics seem to fade into irrelevance when the victim of an accident is your spouse, your parent, your friend.
It has been my experience that most helicopter operators approach their safety programs primarily from the perspective of flying operations and maintenance activities. Yet, the pure, health and safety – labour code aspect of our safety programs can sometimes be lacking. One facet of managing risks as part of a safety management system involves contractor safety. What can we do to address this area of risk management and workplace safety?
Recently, Transport Canada (TC) released an update on the Flight Crew Fatigue Management issue. The thrust of the note was to inform the regulated community that TC intends to proceed directly to Canada Gazette I with new draft regulations in the spring of 2017.
Springtime in Vancouver means two things – cherry blossoms and the CHC Safety & Quality Summit. Helicopters had the opportunity to speak with Duncan Trapp, CHC Helicopter’s vice president of safety and quality about this year’s event.
With some regularity, I am invited to speak to graduating helicopter pilot classes. I take advantage of the opportunity whenever I am able. It gives me a chance to better understand the psyche of the next generation of pilots in our industry – if the psyche of pilots can ever really be understood.
Establishing the safest operating environment possible is the goal of operators worldwide and creating standards for Crew Resource Management (CRM) is certainly top of mind. Until recently, a CRM instructor’s course built specifically for helicopter pilots pertaining to civil pilots, was nowhere to be found, but that is not case now.
Safety. It’s the driving force behind every aspect of the helicopter industry, a delicate bond uniting operators, suppliers, clients and end users together on so many critical levels.
Should Canada increase the penalties for the hooligans and sociopaths who aim laser lights at aircraft? Under the Aeronautics Act, those convicted of pointing a laser at an aircraft could face up to $100,000 in fines, five years in prison, or both. By comparison, U.S. federal law allows up to 20 years in prison and a US$250,000 ($333,000) fine.
It never ceases to amaze me how passionate a conversation can get when you manage to corral a group of helicopter professionals in a room for an extended period of time, focusing on one subject. It’s insightful, constructive and downright fun.
One of my favourite dictums can be summed up as, “wrenches turn nuts and hammers drive nails.” I use it a lot because I see many instances where people are in the wrong positions for their aptitude or are handed tasks they are ill prepared for and someone else should be doing.
We are on the way to winter now, but it was a long, hot summer out west, and it is looking more and more like this is the new normal – whatever “normal” is supposed to be. Looking at the planet as a whole, July 2015 was the warmest month since records were first kept back in the 1880s. The ideal for most is long, dry and hot summers following on the heels of milder winters with decreased precipitation – this is what we seem to want this new normal to be.

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