NEWS From NBAA 2010

First Sandel HeliTAWS Fleet Installation

Sandel Avionics has delivered its first HeliTAWS helicopter terrain safety system to MSP Aero of Minneapolis, for installation in a fleet of Agusta A109 helicopters operated by North Memorial Medical Center of Robbinsdale, Minnesota.  Incorporating Sandel’s TrueAlert nuisance-alert elimination technology, off-airport landing capability, high-resolution 3-D terrain display and Class A HTAWS functions, HeliTAWS is expected to significantly increase the safety margins of the operator’s HEMS operations.  HeliTAWS is also ideally suited to other demanding helicopter missions such as offshore oil rig support, tactical military operations, search and rescue operations and airborne law enforcement.

BBA’s F1RST Support Center Goes Live for AOG Response

BBA Aviation Engine Repair and Overhaul (ERO) has unveiled its F1RST Support global technical operations center powered by Dallas Airmotive.  The center uses integrated satellite tracking to deliver ultra-fast and efficient response to aircraft on ground situations.

“We believe this is a game changer for the engine support industry,” says BBA Aviation ERO president Hugh McElroy.  F1RST Support has a highly integrated real-time system that can identify locations of field service technicians, rental engines, mobile response vehicles and tooling at any given moment, any time of the day, anywhere in the world.  We track the precise status of every field service job as well as the availability of our assets and personnel. 

“By monitoring air and land-based traffic as well as the impact of weather and airport delays, when a customer calls with an AOG issue, we can rapidly deploy solutions via the most efficient means and routes.  This industry-leading service enables us to deliver a step-function improvement over existing engine support services.  Decisions on resource allocation that used to take hours to ascertain and coordinate can now be handled in seconds.”  The F1rst Support center is hosted by Dallas Airmotive in Grapevine, Texas.

LA Sheriff Picks Cobham for AStar Fleet

The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, the seventh largest law enforcement agency in the U.S. and the nation’s largest sheriff’s department, has selected a suite of Cobham cockpit avionics, including synthetic vision and helicopter TAWS, for its 14 Eurocopter AS350 B2 AStars.

Installation is to be performed by Hangar One at McClellan-Palomar Airport in Carlsbad, California.  The two-screen EFIS from Cobham’s facility in Mineral Wells, Texas will also display WAAS Beta III GPS and FMS information.  Cockpits will be fully night-vision-goggle-compliant.

The LA Sheriff’s Department, headquartered in Monterey Park, covers an area of 3,170 square miles of coastal, urban and mountain terrain and was a pioneer in airborne law enforcement.

Garmin Wins STC for HTAWS and Glass Cockpit

Garmin has received FAA STC approval of its helicopter terrain awareness and warning system for the GNS 430W/530W navcoms.  The new HTAWS is available immediately as an option on newly purchased systems or as a field upgrade for current owners.  Meanwhile, Garmin, in partnership with Rotorcraft Services Group, also obtained STC approval for installation of the Garmin G500H glass cockpit in the Eurocopter AS 350B2, AS 350 B3 and EC 130B4 helicopters.

Sikorsky Teams with L-M on Presidential Helo

Sikorsky is working with Lockheed Martin on a proposed military version of the S-92 for transportation of the U.S. President.  Six years after entering service, the S-92 medium-lift helicopter fleet has logged more than 250,000 flight hours with 117 flying, 75 of which are operated by eight offshore oil and gas flight service providers.  Oil and gas operations account for about 90 percent of the 250,000 hours flown, and the fleet is achieving 94 percent mission availability.

During the first six months of this year, the S-92 flew 50,000 hours.  Bristow Norway operates the highest time S92, which entered service in February 2005 and has now flown more than 9,000 hours.  The operator’s nine S-92s average 124.5 flight hours per month.  The 19 passenger hauler can fly 476 nm and features a rear ramp for easy passenger and cargo loading, night-vision-goggle-compatible avionics displays and a crashworthy fuel system separate from the passenger compartment.

National Center for Aviation Training Opens in Wichita

World-class aviation and aerospace training joins world-class research, design and manufacturing in Wichita with the opening of the National Center for Aviation Training (NCAT).  The 230,000 square foot facility on Wichita’s Jabara Airport offers cutting-edge technology in customized training for companies, and traditional technical training for students.

NCAT is a partnership between Wichita’s aviation OEM’s, supplier’s, Sedgwick County, Wichita, the State of Kansas, NIAR and Wichita Area Technical College.  Sedgwick County is the funding partner for the center, working closely with industry leaders and public partners.

NCAT opened this fall and offers 37 certifications and degrees in a state-of-the-art environment.  It features 21 classrooms and 25 labs to provide hands-on, real world training for up to 1,500 students.