Articles for category Helicopter Sectors
No, we’re not talking about a slow-speed chase down a California highway; rather, your lost and sometimes forgotten aircraft battery. Without it, your day will never properly start.
With the advent of improved technology, lead-acid batteries are becoming more commonplace in turbine-powered helicopters. And while lead-acids have certain advantages over the original NiCad batteries, a number of “operational” differences could reduce the effect and value of those advantages. [Read More...]
Helicopter Lead-Acid batteries
Helicopter NiCad Batteries
STAR (Shock Trauma Air Rescue) Flight is the Air Operations Division of Travis County, Texas. It is a public safety air rescue program that is unique because it performs critical transport, firefighting, rescue, and limited law enforcement support. STAR Flight is based in Austin and serves not only the citizens of Travis County, but also 19 other counties within a 75-mile radius. Many of its calls are to assist those who are experiencing medical problems or suffering from traumatic injuries from motor vehicle crashes or other activities. When requested, STAR Flight regularly transports very sick patients in rural hospitals to larger, better-equipped hospitals. [Read More...]
P&W Canada PW210A turboshaft engines
It wasn’t expected to happen: The world’s insatiable thirst for oil and gas should have ensured that more offshore oil rigs would always be needed, and that suppliers who supported those rigs – like helicopter companies – would always have a secure, stable market to serve.
But then it happened: Oil prices unexpectedly plummeted “from a peak of $115 per barrel in June 2014 to under $35 at the end of February 2016,” states the World Economic Forum website. “The sharp fall is broadly similar in magnitude to the decline in 1985-1986, when OPEC members reversed earlier production cuts, and in 2008-09 at the outset of the global financial crisis.” [Read More...]
Helicopter Oil and Gas
Siller Helicopters Inc. based in Yuba City, California, performs lift jobs and aerial construction support across the USA flying two Sikorsky S-64 Skycranes, two CH-54 Tarhes, and two S-61s. The company has been doing lift work since the 1970s and is extremely experienced in all aspects of this demanding and very specialized work. Siller Helicopters is also well known for providing high quality and very well maintained firefighting aircraft on both contract and call when needed.
Rotorcraft Pro observed a recent lift job in the northern California city of Roseville at a large mall. The job entailed lifting eight 6,500-pound air conditioners, more than a Sikorsky S-58T can lift but well below the maximum 11,000 pounds their S-61 can lift. For jobs up to 10,000 pounds nothing can do it better than a light S-61. In addition to removing the old air conditioners, a few loads of support scrap metal from the air conditioning base plates were taken away. Precision flying is typical of such jobs, so this one was not particularly challenging for the flight crews. The mall was near sea level and it was a cool morning, so the S-61 had plenty of excess performance. This gave the flight crew many options to complete the job safely and efficiently. [Read More...]
helicopter heavy lift work
There are some helicopter search and rescue (SAR) missions that are just impossible.
A prime example of this was the crash of a Dehavilland DHC-2 ‘Beaver’ on Alaska’s Thunder Mountain on 4 August 2018. Flown by Rust’s Flying Service, the sightseeing plane had one pilot and four tourists onboard when it accidentally turned into a high-hanging glacier in Denali National Park.
At 1,800 hours, the pilot managed to get a satellite call to Rust’s Flying Service; asking for help before contact was lost. After many reconnection attempts, the pilot was reached once more. He reported being trapped in the wreckage with two possible fatalities onboard. Then contact was lost.
The National Park Service (NPS) dispatched its AS-350 B3e high-altitude rescue helicopter from its base in Talkeetna to the crash location reported by the Beaver’s emergency transmitter. “We had no ability to get to the site at that time, since snowy, windy weather had settled onto the mountain,” said Nic Strohmeyer, an NPS aviation helicopter specialist. “So our SAR helicopter had to return to base.” [Read More...]
helicopter search and rescue
Given all the attention being paid to drones these days, one might think that they are all that is happening in law enforcement rotorcraft aviation.
This isn’t the case. Yes, drones are a big trend in law enforcement aviation, but they aren’t the only trend. Here’s what else is going on, based on what law enforcement aviation officers, and equipment suppliers are telling us. [Read More...]
Enhanced Vision System
Helicopter Glass Cockpits
Law Enforcement Aviation
Night Vision Goggles
It’s no surprise that U.S. Customs and Border Protection is involved in protecting our nation’s borders and rescuing people from natural disasters. Probably fewer people know that CBP’s varied duties also include enforcing Temporary Flight Restrictions at NFL Super Bowls and other major events.
While TFR enforcement duties are similar no matter what the national security special event – from a Republican National Convention to a NATO Conference – there’s nothing quite like the annual Super Bowl that attracts more than one million people to the game and related events throughout the week. [Read More...]
Customs and Superbowl
Temporary Flight Restriction
UH-60 Black Hawks
US Customs and Border Protection
"It is foolish and wrong to mourn the men who died. Rather we should thank God that such men lived." - George S. Patton
I served in the U.S. Marines. Additionally, I did 15 years in fire-rescue and flew EMS long before it was HAA (helicopter air ambulance). In the last five years, I have done several mission trips to countries like Haiti and Costa Rica in the service of others. Honestly, it’s not a conscious philosophy I chose. I didn’t plan it. Service just seems to be something I gravitate toward. [Read More...]
Airborne Law Enforcement
Police Aviation Units
Sheriff Aviation Units
MUM-T: Helicopter pilots need to get familiar with this acronym, because it represents the future of the industry and their potential career paths.
MUM-T stands for “Manned/Unmanned Teaming.” It is what you get when mission planners team a manned helicopter with one or more unmanned rotorcraft; the latter is controlled either from the manned platform or from the ground.
The MUM-T concept is currently being explored by Airbus, Bell, Leonardo, and Sikorsky. We’ll tell you all about it, in the sections below.
The good news for pilots: MUM-T does not mean the diminishment of manned helicopter flight and unemployment for humans. Not at all. With a team of drones at their disposal, helicopter pilots can vastly ramp up their search-and-rescue surveillance over a target area, their ability to locate and report hot spots in fire zones, and the ability to detect leaks during pipeline maintenance flights. In a sense, a pilot will be like a queen bee directing a hive of worker bees. He or she will be vastly more capable than when flying a manned helicopter on its own and will truly multitask. [Read More...]
FVL Future Vertical Lift Helicopters
Manned/Unammned Helicopter Teaming
It’s not easy for a power company to chalk up a 99.999 percent electricity reliability rating, but the Tennessee Valley Authority has been doing it for the last 19 years straight. Helicopter pilots and linemen are an integral part of this achievement.
People outside the industry sometimes envision these pilots and linemen as a bit loony, and for good reason. The Tyler benches attached to the outside of helicopters commonly touch 500,000-volt electricity lines while linemen transfer themselves from the benches onto towers that stand as high as 300 feet in the air. While the lines are de-energized, their proximity to the helicopters and their spinning rotor blades is hair-raising to the uninitiated.
Ask TVA Helicopter Operations Manager Adam Hammond whether the pilot or lineman is loonier, and he’ll quickly point to the other guy.
“Definitely the lineman,” Hammond said. “They’re out there operating in all kinds of weather to get the power back on.” When rain grounds the helicopters, the linemen have to climb the towers instead. [Read More...]
MD Utility Helicopters
Tennessee Valley Authority Helicopter Utilities