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Jul
17
2017

Tiger Tugs Moves Toward the Future AND in Any Direction

Posted by jhadmin

What do you do when a friend asks you to build a helicopter tug for his aircraft? Well, the answer seemed quite simple for Steve Hill: he started Tiger Tugs. Hill had a company that specialized in airplane tugs, so when he received the request for the helicopter tug he felt it was a natural expansion. Hill asked his friend about existing tugs on the market and why he didn’t purchase one already available. His friend listed all the faults of existing tugs. Hill went on a road trip to visit helicopter companies and mechanics to find out what worked and what did not. He returned with a plethora of information. So, his tug design began with the recommendations of the rotorcraft pros he surveyed on the road. Once Hill and his team felt they had a product ready to debut in 2010, Hill started going to industry trade shows to promote his new Tiger Tug. At the first show, he walked away with two new orders. [Read More...]

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Tags: Helicopter Tugs Tiger Tugs
Categories: categoryOpinion-Editorial categoryCompany Profiles



Jul
04
2017

THE ROBINSON R44 PERFORMS ROYALLY FOR IMPERIAL VALLEY

Posted by jhadmin

Sometimes a small airborne law enforcement unit can make a larger impact than its size suggests. The Imperial Valley Airborne Narcotics Enforcement (IVAN) Air Support Unit makes such an impact. IVAN operates within Imperial County, which covers the lower east corner of Southern California and is bordered by Mexico to the south and Arizona to the east. Most of the area is low desert with a few small cities and many thousands of acres of farmland growing many types of produce. The area is warm all year, but during the summer months it is always hot; temperatures can reach well over 100 degrees for consecutive weeks. IVAN Air Support is a part of The Imperial County Narcotics Task Force (ICNTF),which originated in 1973 to combat local and regional drug trafficking and gangs. Federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies take part in the task force by sharing information and intelligence from many sources. The task force is governed by a board of directors chosen from participating agencies that include the Imperial County District Attorney’s Office, the Imperial police department, Imperial County Probation, U.S. Border Patrol, California Highway Patrol, Federal Drug Enforcement Administration, and Homeland Security Investigations. ICNTF’s chairman of the board is District Attorney Gilbert Otero, and its commander is Mike Loyd. The IVAN Air Support Unit formed in 2011, with the purchase of a Robinson R44 LE helicopter. Since the program’s establishment, its chief pilot has been Donald Wharton. [Read More...]

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Tags: Imperial County Aviation Unit IVAN Air Support Law Enforcement Helicopters r44 Robinson Helicopters The Imperial County Narcotics Task Force (ICNTF)
Categories: categoryCompany Profiles categoryTraining categoryHelicopter Sectors categoryOpinion-Editorial



Jun
26
2017

Headstrong on Helmets

Posted by jhadmin

Nearly two and a half decades ago, as a fledgling commercial pilot, I had the opportunity to fly with HelicopterHelmet.com founder Ron Abbott while he was working as a flight instructor in South Florida. Even then, his can-do, entrepreneurial spirit was noticeable. As the decades have gone by, that same spirit assists him in growing several businesses in a very competitive market. Abbott began his career in Army Special Operations where his “get it done” mentality was recognized and cultivated. After the Army he went to a civilian flight school and became a certified flight instructor. As his career in the helicopter industry progressed, he went on to fly approximately 22,000 hours in sectors such as ENG, sling-load, HAA, tours, tuna boats, utility, firefighting and offshore oil support (his true flying love). While flying for Air Evac Lifeteam in 1997 Abbott determined that he had a need for a helmet. He bought his first helmet at an army surplus shop, then proceeded to tear it down with the intent of refurbishing and customizing it for his own use. When other pilots saw the improvements he made, they were so impressed that they began asking him to refurbish helmets for them. Realizing there might be a market for helmet refurbs, Abbott began buying used helmets, breaking them down, and customizing them to meet pilots’ needs. [Read More...]



Tags: Aviation Survival EVO Helicopter Helmets
Categories: categoryHuman Interest categoryCompany Profiles



Jun
19
2017

Southeast Aerospace Helps Build First Economically-Priced Bell 407MRH Military Helicopter

Posted by jhadmin

A military multi-role helicopter at an economical price: This is an apt description of the Bell 407MRH (Multi-Role Helicopter). Built upon a ‘green’ commercial Bell 407GXP airframe, the 407MRH covers a range of military missions without customers having to buy military-specific aircraft to do the job. Designed by NorthStar Aviation of Dubai (NorthStar), the Bell 407MRH is commercially modified from its ‘green’ state by Southeast Aerospace (Southeast or SEA) at its integration/maintenance hangars in Melbourne, Florida. (Southeast is an aircraft modification, MRO, and parts supplier based at Orlando Melbourne International Airport.) The first two aircraft were designated as prototypes and all commercial and military modifications were completed by SEA at its facility in Melbourne. With Department of State approval the aircraft were exported as military aircraft to the UAE. On the remaining aircraft SEA incorporated all the commercial modifications in Melbourne and exported the aircraft to the UAE as commercial aircraft. The military modifications were then installed by Northstar in the UAE utilizing SEA work instructions and modification kits. The modifications kits contained all of the electrical and structural components required to perform these military modifications. [Read More...]

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Tags: bell 407 military helicopters Multi role helicopters NorthStar Aviation Southeast Aerospace
Categories: categoryCompany Profiles



Jun
12
2017

PRATT & WHITNEY CANADA’S IRENE MAKRIS: A SUCCESSFUL RUN

Posted by jhadmin

Every second, a Pratt & Whitney Canada powered aircraft takes off or lands somewhere in the world. When listening to Irene Makris discuss the aviation industry from a 30,000-foot overview, as her discourse periodically dives down into details, one gets the distinct impression that the Pratt & Whitney Canada vice president of marketing well knows where each of those takeoffs and landings in the last few minutes occurred. Still, Makris stays on-message with clear, direct answers, befitting an executive with the requisite resume that gives one the opportunity to earn such senior responsibility: an engineering degree, an MBA, engineering, quality auditing, and service and operational experience at Honeywell and GE, maintenance, repair and overhaul program management, supply chain management, vice president of supply chain, and an extensive breadth of knowledge gained while serving as executive assistant to the president of Pratt & Whitney Canada. Yet, despite those business bona fides, Irene Makris began as, and remains, an engineer at heart: studying pure and applied science in college prior to her engineering degree at McGill University in Montreal. Makris recalls when her enthusiasm grew for the engineering side of her alma mater’s campus. “I wasn’t totally convinced I wanted to major in mechanical engineering. My brother was in engineering at McGill. He was making things fly, building and powering cars, and designing bicycles. It fascinated me. Engineering became my passion and I stuck with it.” [Read More...]



Tags: Pratt & Whitney Canada
Categories: categoryCompany Profiles categoryOpinion-Editorial



May
16
2017

The Rising Capabilities of Columbia Helicopters

Posted by jhadmin

Columbia Helicopters’ inception came from the vision of Wes Lematta, while sitting in a foxhole in the Philippines during WWII watching fighter pilots fly overhead. Wes knew those pilots were headed back to a hot shower and hot food, and thought, “Wow...they really got this figured out!” Following the war, he drove a truck and worked as a longshoreman until he heard there was a need for helicopter pilots. Using his GI Bill educational benefits, he learned to fly from Dean Johnson in McMinnville, Oregon. Wes then started Columbia Helicopters in 1957 with one helicopter and a plan to promote the versatility of helicopters. “And he did just that,” states Steve Bandy, Sr. Vice President of Operations. He goes on to say, “While flying personnel to a dredge off the coast of Oregon, Wes spotted another dredge (William T. Rossell) that was sinking. The damaged dredge had been struck by a freighter at the mouth of Coos Bay and there were people on it needing to be rescued. Wes single-handedly saved 15 crew members’ lives that day by hovering close to the sinking ship, allowing the crew members to grab onto the skids, and returning them safely to shore”. This incident changed Wes Lematta’s vision of what helicopters were capable of doing. [Read More...]

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Tags: Columbia Helicopters
Categories: categoryCompany Profiles



May
01
2017

Executive Watch - Jim Rankin CEO, Columbia Helicopters

Posted by jhadmin

As President and CEO for Columbia Helicopters, an aircraft manufacturing and operator company based in Aurora, Oregon, Jim Rankin has a strong passion for what he does every day. Jim comes from an extensive, 25-year background in the airline industry and finds the change to the rotary wing industry exciting. Roads Much Traveled Jim ventured into aviation when he was studying business as an undergraduate at Carroll College, a small liberal arts school in the State of Wisconsin. In his senior year at Carroll, IBM hired him to work full-time in the summer and part-time during the school year. While finishing college and working for IBM, Jim began taking flying lessons and received his pilot’s license the day after he graduated from college. That set the path for where his career would eventually take him. “I stayed at IBM for a time but really fell in love with flying, so I ended up leaving about six months later and going to flight school full-time earning my commercial, instrument and CFI licenses, and then started instructing.” Not long after, Jim landed his first airline job where he flew Beechcraft 1900s for Skyway Airlines, and eventually became Chief Pilot and Director of Operations. Jim accepted a pilot position with Skyway’s parent company, Midwest Express Airlines and flew to many East Coast cities like Boston, New York, Washington, Orlando, and Atlanta, and some West Coast destinations such as Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Las Vegas. After upgrading to Captain on the MD-80, he learned that Skyway, the Midwest subsidiary airline he initially started his flying career with, was looking for a president, “…and they asked me if I would go over there on an interim basis while they began a search for a new president. After about 6 months, they asked if I wanted to take the president’s position full-time. I had found that I really enjoyed the business aspects of aviation, so I gladly agreed. Since I had made captain on the MD-80s, I felt I had accomplished what I wanted to do on the flying side and I saw a new and interesting career direction managing airlines. Having a more normal schedule was also appealing as my wife and I were just starting our family.” It was at this juncture in his career that Jim went back to graduate school and received his MBA – 10 years after he’d started as a first officer on the Beech 1900. In 2006, Jim joined Air Wisconsin Airlines, an American Eagle carrier, as CEO. Air Wisconsin started as a branded airline in the 60’s, but over time, it had turned into a fee-for-departure airline. ”When I came onboard, they were flying for US Airways, and after US Airways merged with American, we became an American Eagle carrier flying roughly 500 flights a day mostly on the East Coast. I stayed there from 2006 until I came to Columbia Helicopters in 2014.” [Read More...]



Tags: Columbia Helicopters Jim Rankin
Categories: categoryCompany Profiles



Mar
27
2017

Mecaer Aviation Group is MAGnificent

Posted by jhadmin

Do helicopters come to mind when you think of Italian style, design, and luxury? Maybe not, but Mecaer Aviation Group (MAG) is changing that. The company headquartered in Monteprandone, Italy, with facilities across the U.S., the U.K., Italy, Canada, and Russia, offers integrated systems for helicopters, general aviation, and business aircraft. Basic trainer systems are also offered for flight control, landing gear, and actuation systems. In addition, the certified company performs completions and modifications, as well as maintenance, repair, and overhaul (MRO) services. MAG owns over 60 supplemental type certificates (STCs), and has the ability to write their own STCs under FAA and EASA regulations. [Read More...]

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Tags: Helicopter Interiors Mecaer Silens
Categories: categoryCompany Profiles



Mar
13
2017

Helicopters 2017: What OEMs are Developing

Posted by jhadmin

With a new year comes a hunger for the new and different. Rotorcraft Pro presents a fresh look at which helicopters and equipment are under development as we start 2017. [Read More...]

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Tags: Airbus bell Leonardo Marenco MD Robinson sikorsky
Categories: categoryCompany Profiles categoryHelicopter Sectors categoryOpinion-Editorial categoryHelicopter Event Coverage



Feb
27
2017

La Isla del Encanto - Puerto Rico National Guard Protects The Island of Enchantment

Posted by jhadmin

During my first meeting with the Puerto Rico National Guard (PRNG) aviation unit, I casually remark, “If you guys work with marine assets around the island, it would be cool to include them in some of our photography.” Without hesitation, the U.S. Army major responsible for handling me pulls out his phone and says, “I know a guy who captains a Coast Guard boat. Maybe I can get him to join us in the bay for some photos with the helicopter.” Soon “Coast Guard guy” is on the phone indicating that he got the supervisor’s approval. If we want to work with his ship, he will be in San Juan Bay around 14:30 for an escort mission. As you will see, such cooperation and coordination is common in Puerto Rico, and born out of necessity. LAY OF THE LAND … AND SEA Puerto Rico is a Caribbean archipelago that includes the namesake island, and a number of smaller ones like Mona, Culebra, and Vieques. At 110 miles wide and 40 miles long, the main island is actually quite small, especially when compared to its western neighbor, Hispaniola, which includes the countries of Haiti and Dominican Republic. Still, don’t let Puerto Rico’s small footprint fool you. With over 3.5 million residents and a large tourist population, its diverse terrain has become a mecca for all things outdoors. You can surf world-class waves at dawn, spelunk the world’s largest caves by mid-morning, leap off a jungle waterfall in the afternoon, and summit a 5,000-foot mountain as the sun is going down. During the night, darker, more hidden activities often occur. Puerto Rico can be a hotbed of drug smuggling, human trafficking, and other illegal activities. Although not its primary mission, the PRNG aviation unit plays a vital role in protecting the island and its people from some criminally bad guys. However, the operational area for the PRNG aviation unit is not just restricted to the island itself. The area extends west to Isla de Mona (an island between the Dominican Republic and Puerto Rico), and all the way east to St. John’s, U.S. Virgin Islands. This expands the operational area to a staggering 7,600 square miles, with much of those miles over water. [Read More...]

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Tags: Airbus Helicopters ANVIS-9 TYPE 7 NVGs Puerto Rican National Guard Aviation Unit Sikorsky UH-60 Blackhawks UH-72A Lakotas
Categories: categoryCompany Profiles categoryHuman Interest categoryHelicopter Sectors


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