Helicopters Magazine

25 Headline Grabbing Aviation News Stories from 2014

January 6, 2015  By Helicopters Magazine

140917_154350_img_7235Jan. 5, 2015, Simcoe, Ont. - Now that the 2014 calendar year has come to a close, Helicopters thought it would be poignant to highlight key news and events that helped shape another year in both the Canadian helicopter industry and on a global scale. Here are 25 headline-grabbing stories from 2014!

25. Veteran industry leader Louden passes away
Long-time safety advocate and industry leader Grant Louden, co-founder and president of Skyline Helicopters, passes away in January. Louden was influential in establishing enhanced safety standards throughout the industry thanks to his countless hours of work on numerous committees with the Helicopter Association of Canada (HAC). | READ MORE

24. Canadian Coast Guard helicopter plan facing delays
A plan to buy two dozen new helicopters for Canada’s coast guard becomes the latest federal procurement project to run into trouble. | READ MORE

23. Stirring memorial held for SAR hero Jones
Tim Jones, the public face of North Shore Rescue, dies on Mount Seymour on January 19. The 57-year-old was a SAR legend in B.C. and will be sorely missed. | READ MORE

22. Controversy continues to circle around the Cyclones
Internal documents show more than $1.7 billion has been spent on the elusive effort to replace Canada’s aging Sea King helicopters – a clue as to why the Harper government is sticking with the troubled program. The CH-149 Cyclones have yet to grace the skies. | READ MORE


21. AgustaWestland completes first AW609 customer demonstration
AgustaWestland completes the first customer demonstration flight of the AW609 to Chevron on February 25. The round trip flight begins in Angels Stadium in Anaheim during Heli-Expo 2014 and continues off the coast of Southern California.

20. Bell Helicopter unveils the 505 Jet Ranger X
Bell Helicopter reveals at Heli-Expo 2014 in Anaheim the Bell 505 Jet Ranger X – designed to redefine the short light single (SLS) class. | READ MORE

19. Honeywell forecast notes steady helicopter demand
In its 16th annual Turbine-Powered Civil Helicopter Purchase Outlook, Honeywell Aerospace expects that 4,800–5,500 civilian-use helicopters will be delivered during 2014–2018. North American fortunes are predicted to remain bright.

18. Robinson delivers 500th R66 turbine
The Robinson Helicopter Co. delivers its 500th R66 turbine in March when its R66 Turbine S/N 500 rolls off the production line, three-and-half years since the helicopter was initially certified in October 2010.

17. STARS resumes service in Manitoba
STARS medical transport service resumes operations in Manitoba in March after having been suspended three months by the province following an external review of 16 cases.

16. AgustaWestland opens Canadian supply centre
AgustaWestland opens a Canadian supply centre in Toronto to better serve its customers. The centre is being operated by Chartright Executive Helicopters.

15. Complexe Capitale Hélicoptère now open
Located near Quebec City Jean Lesage airport, the Complexe Capitale Hélicoptère, operated by Groupe Hout, offers a full range of helicopter services.

14. CHC’s AW139 hits 100,000-flight milestone
AgustaWestland announces in April that CHC Helicopter’s AW139 helicopter fleet has set a major operational milestone by reaching 100,000 flight hours, with the fleet leader achieving more than 9,000 flight hours in less than eight years.

13. Marenco’s Skye SH09 debuts prototype at Heli-Expo 2014

Marenco’s Swisshelicopter’s new machine turns heads with 11 letters of intent at the show, placing the order book at 50 for deliveries from 2015 to 2017.

12. UTC sees an end to Canadian helicopter dispute
A long and costly dispute between UTC and the Canadian government over the deliver of 28 helicopters is finally settled. It underscores the ineptitude of the Canadian procurement process. | READ MORE

11. Bell wins $172-million Canadian Coast Guard contract
The Harper government awards a contract worth up to $172 million for 15 light coast guard helicopters, despite facing a court challenge and accusations that the winner was given an unfair advantage. The decision draws obvious scorn from other OEMs, who are still not happy.

10. Wings and Helicopters magazines name Top 20 Under 40 winners
The annual list of young leaders in Canadian aviation is graced with many rotary-wing rising stars. | READ MORE

9. Boeing completes delivery of Canadian CF-147F Chinooks

The RCAF and Boeing celebrate the delivery of the 15th CH-147F, which joins the 450 Tactical Helicopter Squadron at CFB Petewawa. | READ MORE

8. AgustaWestland’s AW139 surpasses a million flying hours
The global fleet of the sleek AW139, used by Canadian operators such as London Air Services, Ornge, and STARS, breaks the million-hour plateau.

7. Airbus Helicopters Canada celebrates 30th anniversary

Airbus Helicopters Canada celebrates its 30th anniversary at a wonderful ceremony at the company’s Fort Erie, Ont. facility. Several dignitaries, politicians, operators and media types, including Helicopters, take in the impressive event. It’s a true Canadian aviation success story.

6. Sikorsky unveils S-97 prototype

Feel the need, the need for speed? Well, Sikorsky S-97 RAIDER can deliver. The high-speed military aircraft, featuring X2 technology, makes its debut in October.

5. Edmonton police to get new single-engine aircraft
After considerable debate in council in late November and early December, Edmonton city council approves the purchase on a new single-engine police helicopter for the city force.

4. Will Northern B.C. medical air transport become a reality?

The executive director of the Helicopter Emergency Response Operations Society (HEROES), Roberta Squire, notes that she will know by the end of January if HEROES will take flight. It’s a service that is sorely needed.

3. Simplification of UAS and UAV rules – a great step forward
Transport Canada’s Director General for Civil Aviation, Martin Eley, announces new regulations for UAV and UAS use in Canada. TC has definitely taken a distinct leadership role in the UAV and UAS regulation process as other global regulatory bodies lag behind Canada. | READ MORE

2. Bell 505 Jet Ranger X makes successful first flight
Bell Helicopters’ new 505 Jet Ranger X blasts into the skies over its test facility at Mirabel, Que. At a modest $1 million ticket price, the aircraft should be quite popular with Canadian operators.

1. HAC setting its sights on flight and duty battle
A spirited HAC conference in Montreal highlights arguably the most pressing issue facing the industry heading into 2015 – pending regulation changes surrounding flight and duty time limits which could seriously cripple the industry. HAC president and CEO Fred Jones – with the assistance of several key operators – is leading a strong advocacy charge to prevent that from happening. With a federal election looming, it’s a huge issue facing the industry. | READ MORE


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