Helicopters Magazine

On The Fly: Summer 07

October 15, 2007  By Brooke Shaw

Industry News

Transport Canada Approval of Apical R44 Emergency Float System
Apical Industries, affiliated partner of DART Helicopter Services, has received Transport Canada approval for its Emergency Float System for Robinson model R44, R44 II helicopters.  FAA approval was received in April 2007, and EASA approval is pending.

In addition to the benefit of increased personal safety in the event of an emergency water landing, the Apical Emergency Float System will allow the aircraft to be towed to safety after an emergency water landing.

The Apical Emergency Float System consists of two cylindrical Fwd floats and two cylindrical Aft floats, engineered to be mounted on float or standard skidtubes, and a mechanically activated inflation system, which includes a composite wrapped reservoir.  (The Emergency Float System with Extensions is available for aircraft equipped with standard skidtubes.)  Each float is manufactured using a lightweight urethane coated nylon fabric and is fitted with inlet check valves and combination manual topping/pressure relief valves.  Maintenance and overhaul requirements are minimal, consisting of an 18 month inspection/leak test and a three year inspection and inflation test. The floats do not have an age limitation and are replaceable upon condition.  The floats are not required to be returned to the factory for recertification; however an Apical recertification service is available upon request. Apical also offers an exchange program for floats and reservoirs.

BAE Tests Cable and Obstacle Detection Prototype
BAE Systems has completed flight testing of a prototype lightweight, all-weather cable and obstacle detection system. The system uses radar to identify cables and other obstacles and provides precise altimeter information to military helicopter pilots. Cables and obstacles are common causes of helicopter accidents.


The system detects cables and other obstacles using low-probability-of-intercept, low-probability-of-detection radar technology. BAE Systems developed the test program with input from multiple government agencies and performed the evaluation in Arlington, TX using Bell Helicopter’s new 430 test aircraft.

Based on BAE Systems’ analysis of helicopter incidents since 1980, the company estimates that equipping the US rotary-wing fleet with this capability would save the military more than $500 million over 10 years.

The system weighs less than eight pounds, plus antennas, and can detect unknown obstacles at distances greater than 2.5 km. It is operational day or night and in all types of weather. BAE Systems also is developing a commercial version of the system.

Hélène Duchesne completes her 150th mission
On a very busy weekend in April that saw AirMédic air ambulance teams make six transport runs throughout Quebec, Saguenay-based flight nurse Hélène Duchesne became the first member of the AirMédic crew to fly 150 missions.

Duchesne, who joined AirMédic at the beginning of 2000, has now been on more missions than any other AirMédic crew member.

Duchesne proved her dedication and passion for the service by participating in 70 missions in one year while still working her regular hours at a hospital.

“We have been through all the ups and downs that are part of establishing a new service,” says Duchesne.  “All the team members are working hard right now to develop a helicopter ambulance service that will make its mark in Quebec. I am particularly proud of being a member of this team of pioneers. We have to make everyone aware of how important it is to have an air ambulance service.”

AirMédic air ambulance is a not-for-profit humanitarian organization that provides emergency
aerial assistance throughout Quebec.

SkyTrac Chosen by RCMP
The Royal Canadian Mounted Police in British Columbia has chosen SkyTrac Systems to provide flight following and SATCOM solutions for its Pacific Region aircraft. Inspector Perry Edwards of the RCMP ‘E’ Division Air Support Services said: “Our air services division operates in demanding conditions, often in remote and rugged terrain. SkyTrac’s system enhances the safety and efficiency of our operations.”

SkyTrac Systems provides real-time worldwide Satcom communication solutions for commercial aircraft including automatic flight following, two-way text messaging, data transfer and hands-free SatPhone voice capabilities. SkyTrac recently won a number of contracts to supply its Iridium-based automatic flight following and satellite communication systems for major worldwide helicopter fleets. Its customer list includes Yellowhead Helicopters, Skyline Helicopters and Pacific Western Helicopters, as well as the Calgary Police Air Services, Los Angeles County Fire Department and Brunei Shell Petroleum Company.

‘Eagle Single’ obtains Transport Canada approval
Calgary-based Eagle Copters Ltd. has obtained Transport Canada Supplemental Type Certificate (STC) approval for the single-engine conversion of the Bell 212, known as the “Eagle Single.”
The STC was approved on June 5 and since then Eagle Copters has delivered three complete aircraft, two to Great Slave Helicopters and one to Quantum Helicopters.

The project represents a significant achievement for the Calgary-based Bell Medium specialist. The Eagle Single offers owners and operators increased payload capacity, easy accessibi-lity to the engine and greater flexibility in mission configurations. In addition to structural enhancements, improvements have been made to the avionics, aircraft wiring and instrument panel. The Eagle Single can be maintained using currently available part numbers as well as a wide variety of approved accessories.

ACROHELIPRO awarded contract for Canadian Forces’ Operation Starfish
ACROHELIPRO Global Services Inc., a subsidiary of Vector Aerospace Corp., has been awarded the highly-anticipated contract to perform first-line maintenance support on Canadian Forces CH-146 Griffon aircraft based at 8 Wing, Trenton, ON. The selection of ACROHELIPRO was made in support of Canadian Forces’ Operation Starfish, the primary military search-and-rescue operation within the region.

Elvis Moniz, director of avionics for ACROHELIPRO,  says the contract is for one initial year and renewable up to four years, and will employ up to 12 helicopter technicians. 

ACROHELIPRO also provides helicopter support services to the Canadian military, performing depot-level maintenance inspections on CH-146 Griffon helicopters, as well as various maintenance, repair and overhaul activities related to CH-124 Sea King engines, transmissions, components and accessories. The company also has maintenance contracts with various civil and defence departments from countries including the US.

Career Focus Project Provides Employers With Financial Assistance
The Canadian Aviation Maintenance Council (CAMC) Career Focus Project provides wage-subsidy funding for employers in the aviation maintenance and aerospace manufacturing industry to hire post-secondary graduates. Employers can receive a wage subsidy of up to $15,000 per employee, representing one-third of the total wage (i.e., the employer pays $2 for every $1 received). The period of benefit is a minimum of six months to a maximum of one year.

The Career Focus Project is a federally funded program (under Human Resources and Social Development) in which CAMC participates as the “recipient sponsor” for all aviation-and aerospace-related companies. As recipient sponsor, CAMC manages and administers the project, assesses employers and participants, signs agreements with employers, and is responsible for overall financial management.

To discuss eligibility and/or apply for the Career Focus subsidy, contact Lesley McElroy at 1-800-448-9715 ext 261 or Imcelroy@camc.ca.


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