Show: March 4 - 7, 2019 | Exhibit March 5 - 7 | Atlanta, Georgia
Resource
    Read More: HAI Aids HEC Operators with FAA Exemptions
    August 08, 2018

    Following a months-long grounding of US-based human external cargo (HEC) helicopter operations because of certification issues, the first helicopter operator has received its FAA-approved exemption and will be able to resume operations shortly.

    Due in part to efforts by HAI staff members, the FAA approved the exemption for Haverfield Aviation on July 13. The Pennsylvania-based company expects to resume HEC flight operations as soon as the appropriate changes are incorporated into its Part 133 Rotorcraft Load Combination Flight Manual and approved by its flight standards district office.

    “HAI worked tirelessly on behalf of Haverfield Aviation to ensure the HEC exemption process was moving through the complex system of the FAA,” says Brian Parker, president and CEO of Haverfield. “Chris Martino and Harold Summers [respectively, HAI’s VP of flight operations and its director of flight operations and technical services] were always available and kept Haverfield Aviation promptly updated. HAI certainly contributed to the successful approval of the waiver. Haverfield and its customers that rely on HEC are greatly appreciative of HAI’s assistance.”

    The issue came to light earlier this year, when operators learned that the FAA was increasing its focus on compliance with the HEC requirements of 14 CFR Part 27 or 29. The agency had determined that the cargo hooks used for HEC operations were not certified for that use. The hooks, which have been used for decades in HEC operations, have never been implicated in any accident or incident.

    Later in the spring, the FAA then requested all operators halt HEC operations until the companies complied or had received an exemption pending certification. The grounding affected operators using MD 500/Hughes 369 helicopters.

    Haverfield’s exemption requires them to use an emergency anchor, or belly band, as a secondary safety device in case the cargo hook fails. The exemption also requires the operator to provide training on the use of the emergency anchor and to follow other best practices for HEC operations.

    HAI became involved after being contacted by several member companies that had halted their HEC work at the request of the FAA. HAI began working to help resolve the issue while also calling for the operators to work sensibly and safely while waiting for the exemption process to proceed.

    Haverfield joined 18 other operators in applying for an exemption. HAI stepped in as a neutral third party between the FAA and the operators, helping to facilitate discussion, address issues, and assist in resolving specific issues, including proper wording on applications for exemption. HAI also served as a central point of contact for the FAA and the operators.

    “We served as a liaison, connecting the operators with the FAA. We understood that these companies needed to get back to work, but we also appreciate that we needed to find a solution that would keep everyone in compliance with FAA regs,” says Harold Summers. “We coordinated the communication between the industry and the FAA on a weekly, sometimes daily, basis to speed up and streamline the process.”

    While several of the affected companies submitted requests for exemption, the FAA selected one application — Haverfield’s — that came closest to being complete. “Now that it’s approved, it will serve as a template for the other operators to use for their applications,” adds Summers. By modeling their exemption applications on Haverfield’s, other operators can receive summary approval by the FAA.

    Founded in 1981 and an HAI Regular Member since 1994, Haverfield Aviation is a provider of aerial power line inspection, maintenance, repair, and construction support services for the North American electric utility industry. 

    Read More: Smart Glasses: Helicopter MRO with "Vision"
    August 08, 2018

    Among the technological fantasies offered by science fiction, Star Trek’s holodeck is one of the most intriguing. The holodeck offered the Enterprise crew the chance to interact with a realistic 3D environment. This could be any place, for any purpose — training for a mission on an alien planet or, as a break from shipboard life, spending an afternoon hiking on a forest trail.

    The 24th century, inhabited in fiction by Captain Picard and his crew, has arrived early. Science fiction is quickly becoming science fact, as virtual reality/augmented reality/mixed reality, or VR/AR/MR, is being adopted for a broad variety of commercial and personal uses.

    If you think that VR/AR is solely a toy for gamers, think again. Yes, it’s a booming leisure activity — and it’s also a social and business phenomenon. Health care providers use it for diagnostics; the Pentagon for combat training; real estate agents to show off homes; and automobile makers to build virtual prototypes of new vehicles, to list only a few examples.

    With the commercial aviation sector booming around the world, demand for AR smart glasses in the maintenance, repair, and overhaul (MRO) field is skyrocketing. Major MRO players, such as Air France Industries, Monarch Aircraft Engineering, Lufthansa Technik, and AAR, are adopting smart glasses as a way to help their maintenance technicians work faster, more efficiently, and well, smarter.

    Read More: Hot Topics in Finance and Leasing
    August 07, 2018

    Q. Why are hourly-cost maintenance programs (HCMPs) often required when financing or leasing a helicopter?

    An HCMP, often referred to as “paying by the hour,” is a program that allows operators to fulfill maintenance requirements, stay on top of costs, and reduce risks, regardless of whether the helicopter is financed or leased.

    An operator enters an HCMP program with either the manufacturer or an independent entity and pays a flat hourly rate per flight hour to have a guaranteed percentage of all qualified scheduled and unscheduled maintenance costs covered. The client reports flight hours either monthly or at agreed-upon intervals and pays the subsequent flight-hour invoice while the HCMP covers the agreed-upon percentage of maintenance costs for the term.

    Finance and leasing entities usually mandate HCMP programs because of the strategic and financial benefits to their customers and the overall reduced risk of the investment. In addition to streamlining the maintenance budget to a flat hourly rate per flight hour, HCMPs also maintain the residual value of the helicopter. Valuations of aircraft with HCMPs are higher than valuations of aircraft without them.

    Furthermore, HCMPs also protect both operators and lenders/lessors from certain financial risks because the necessary funds for future maintenance are accrued in real time. In addition, the risk of qualified unscheduled failures is borne by the HCMP service provider, who may also assume the risk of some other variable costs, such as mandatory service bulletins and airworthiness directives.

    The lending and leasing communities usually mandate the use of HCMPs to combat value loss and mitigate the financial risk of maintenance costs.

    – Kyle Sale, director of business development for Jet Support Services, Inc. (JSSI)

    Read More: Dr. Carrol Max Voss Flies West
    August 07, 2018

    Dr. Carrol Voss, the founder of AGROTORS, Inc., and a pioneer in the use of helicopters in aerial application, died June 10 at his home in Maine at the age of 98. Voss joined the Navy Air Corps during World War II, serving as a flight instructor for PBY and PBM “flying boats.” He met his wife, Wilma “Jo,” who was also in the Navy at the time, and they married in 1945.

    Voss continued his education and interests in entomology and aviation following the war, earning a doctorate at the University of Wisconsin. In the late 1940s, Voss received his helicopter pilot’s license and started working in the industry. After nearly a decade of working with helicopters and agriculture, he started his own company, AGROTORS, Inc., in 1958. The company became a leader in aerial application operations, later opening a flight school in the mid-1960s.

    Voss served as a consultant with the World Health Organization, helping to establish aerial application programs for insect infestations in Africa. He was also a consultant for agricultural spraying in India, the USSR, and South America.

    Voss began working with HAI in 1953 when it was still Helicopter Association of America. He was active in the Agriculture Committee and helped to produce a safety video about flying in the wire and obstruction environment. His son, Tim, who was also active in HAI, took over AGROTORS when the elder Voss retired in 1985.

    Voss was the recipient of the Twirly Birds Les Morris Award (1995) and HAI’s Lawrence Bell Lifetime Achievement Award (2001). AGROTORS also received HAI’s Sikorsky Humanitarian Service Award (2000) for assisting with mosquito eradication in New York.

    Read More: Threats … and Opportunities
    August 07, 2018

    As this is my first column as chairman of HAI, let me introduce myself. My name is James Wisecup. Most people call me Jim.

    I began flying helicopters in 1969 in the US Army. After a fairly brief active-duty army career, I spent a few years in the National Guard and Army Reserve in my home state of Texas. After my army service, I flew for offshore operations in the Gulf of Mexico, the North Sea, the North Atlantic, the South China Sea, and offshore California before shifting to the helicopter air ambulance (HAA) sector.

    I was a line pilot, check airman, and then chief pilot for Rocky Mountain Helicopters, which was the largest HAA operator at the time. I am currently an assistant chief pilot for Air Methods Corporation, one of the largest air medical companies in the world.

    Safety and training are my passions. Safety, because both our operating costs and public acceptance of our industry depend on our ability to improve our safety record. Training, because that is how I think we will reduce accidents, most of which are caused by human factors.

    The most important thing we can do to improve our industry is to pass along to the next generation of pilots and maintenance technicians what we have learned over the years. You may call this storytelling. Some people call it training.

    After all, none of us will live long enough to make all of the mistakes ourselves. If we don’t learn from the mistakes of others, we will die trying. Be your brother’s keeper, as his actions can affect your profession.

    I am proud to have spent my career in aviation. There are so many jobs that are done by helicopters — more than the average person realizes. However, things are changing.

    Drones, or unmanned aircraft systems (UAS), seem to be the latest technology threatening our industry. But are they really a threat?

    Yes, they will increasingly take over surveillance, inspection, and reconnaissance missions. But that makes sense. These often mundane missions can, in many cases, be done more safely, economically, and efficiently with UAS.

    We tend to get rigid about how we have “always” done things. Instead of telling those drone-flying kids to get off of our lawns, however, let’s remember two things: First, there are still missions that can only be done by helicopters — our industry may change but it’s not going away. Second, we know that drones are here to stay — newer, cheaper technology tends to stick around — so let’s figure out how to integrate their operations into the airspace that we all share.

    Another external threat to our industry is the noise issue. Many well-meaning, well-organized groups throughout the United States have banded together to voice dissatisfaction with the noise being generated by helicopters overflying their homes and recreational areas. Although the noise from helicopters may not in fact be the loudest noise in these neighborhoods, it does seem to generate the most concern.

    It is imperative that we listen to these groups to understand what the true issues are and, if possible, find a way to mitigate them. We can still do our job — but we may have to do it while flying higher or taking a route that doesn’t impact our neighbors as much.

    Yes, there will be times when we won’t have a perfect solution to a noise complaint. But if we do all that we can to minimize the noise impact of our operations, it will go a long way to improve our relations with our neighbors. We need to both model and teach these behaviors to new pilots as well as the more experienced ones.

    Another issue is the pilot and maintenance technician shortage. There are many factors affecting the personnel scarcity. Training is expensive, the military is not producing as many qualified people as in the past, and the competition for talent from the fixed-wing world is greater than ever.

    We need to actively get into our local communities and reach out to younger individuals to educate them about the opportunities available in the helicopter world. Without pilots and maintenance technicians to fly and operate our machines, the rotors won’t keep turning. Please consider working with Helicopter Foundation International (HFI) for outreach opportunities and assistance.

    Obviously, the safe operation of helicopters is a main focus at HAI, but I firmly believe that we can operate safely and still be responsible stewards of the helicopter world as well.

    I am excited to be working with professionals such as you in the vertical-lift community, and I hope I can contribute to advancing our industry into the future. Let’s take advantage of our opportunities to ensure that the helicopter remains a vital part of the global aviation scene.

    Cheers,

    Jim

    Read More: Flight Path
    August 07, 2018

    Q Your current role?
    In addition to being a pilot, I manage aircraft scheduling, plan routes, and ensure FAR/GOM compliance for on-demand charters to ensure optimal business output.

    QYour most memorable  helicopter ride?
    My most memorable flight was the first time I flew into New York City and circled the Statue of Liberty. Being from a small town in the heartland, New York City was a place I had only seen in movies, and I never imagined I would end up flying here.

    Q What still excites you about helicopter aviation?
    Walking out to the helicopter each day still excites me. The quick pace and challenge of using noise/traffic abatement routes, calling FBOs, hovering between parallels, calling out traffic, and getting a landing
    clearance all at the same time is something I never would’ve imagined myself capable of in a solo pilot environment. Now it’s all in a normal day’s work.

    Q What advice would you give to someone pursuing your career path?
    Shake as many hands and make as many friends as possible. The people you meet will be your network of colleagues and friends throughout your career. The rotorcraft
    community is very tight-knit and getting

    Read More: Calendar of Events
    August 06, 2018

    August 13–15
    31st National Training Aircraft Symposium
    Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University
    Daytona Beach, Florida, USA
    commons.erau.edu/ntas

    August 19
    World Helicopter Day
    “Celebrating helicopters and the people that operate them”
    worldhelicopterday.com

    August 29–30
    Aerial Firefighting Asia Pacific 2018
    Tangent Link
    Wollongong, Australia
    aerial-firefighting-asia-pacific.com

    September 10–12
    Third Global Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems Symposium (RPAS/3)
    International Civil Aviation Organization
    Chengdu, China
    icao.int/Meetings/RPAS3

    September 18–21
    44th European Rotorcraft Forum
    Delft, The Netherlands
    erf2018.org

    September 26–27
    HFI Workforce Sustainability Round Table
    Helicopter Foundation International
    Alexandria, Virginia, USA
    Email Allison.McKay@rotor.org

    September 26–28
    ASA+FNA 30th Anniversary Conference
    Aeromed Australasia and Flight Nurses Australia
    Hobart, Tasmania, Australia
    aeromedconference.com

    October 2–4
    2018 CHC Safety and Quality Summit
    CHC
    Dallas, Texas, USA
    chcsafetyqualitysummit.com

    October 16–18
    Helitech International 2018
    European Helicopter Association
    Amsterdam, The Netherlands
    helitechinternational.com

    October 16–18
    NBAA Business Aviation Convention & Exhibition (NBAA-BACE)
    National Business Aviation Association
    Orlando, Florida, USA
    nbaa.org/events/bace/2018

    October 22–24
    Air Medical Transport Conference 2018 (AMTC 2018)
    The Association of Air Medical Services
    Phoenix, Arizona, USA
    aams.org/events/amtc

    October 25–26
    Helicopter Tour Operators Safety Conference
    Helicopter Association International
    Long Beach, California, USA
    rotor.org/htoc-annual

    October 30 – November 1
    7th Asian/Australian Rotorcraft Forum (ARF 2018)
    AHS International and Rotor Korea
    Jeju Island, Korea
    arf2018.org

    November 7–10
    Indo Helicopter 2018 Expo & Forum
    Jakarta, Indonesia
    indohelicopter.com

    November 13–14
    HAI Firefighting Safety Conference
    Helicopter Association International
    Boise, Idaho, USA
    rotor.org/firefightingconf

    December 4–7
    2018 Ag Aviation Expo
    National Agricultural Aviation Association
    Reno, Nevada, USA
    agaviation.org/convention

    Read More: HAI Aids HEC Operators with FAA Exemptions
    August 06, 2018

    Following a months-long grounding of US-based human external cargo (HEC) helicopter operations because of certification issues, the first helicopter operator has received its FAA-approved exemption and will be able to resume operations shortly.

    Due in part to efforts by HAI staff members, the FAA approved the exemption for Haverfield Aviation on July 13. The Pennsylvania-based company expects to resume HEC flight operations as soon as the appropriate changes are incorporated into its Part 133 Rotorcraft Load Combination Flight Manual and approved by its flight standards district office.

    “HAI worked tirelessly on behalf of Haverfield Aviation to ensure the HEC exemption process was moving through the complex system of the FAA,” says Brian Parker, president and CEO of Haverfield. “Chris Martino and Harold Summers [respectively, HAI’s VP of flight operations and its director of flight operations and technical services] were always available and kept Haverfield Aviation promptly updated. HAI certainly contributed to the successful approval of the waiver. Haverfield and its customers that rely on HEC are greatly appreciative of HAI’s assistance.”

    The issue came to light earlier this year, when operators learned that the FAA was increasing its focus on compliance with the HEC requirements of 14 CFR Part 27 or 29. The agency had determined that the cargo hooks used for HEC operations were not certified for that use. The hooks, which have been used for decades in HEC operations, have never been implicated in any accident or incident.

    Later in the spring, the FAA then requested all operators halt HEC operations until the companies complied or had received an exemption pending certification. The grounding affected operators using MD 500/Hughes 369 helicopters.

    Haverfield’s exemption requires them to use an emergency anchor, or belly band, as a secondary safety device in case the cargo hook fails. The exemption also requires the operator to provide training on the use of the emergency anchor and to follow other best practices for HEC operations.

    HAI became involved after being contacted by several member companies that had halted their HEC work at the request of the FAA. HAI began working to help resolve the issue while also calling for the operators to work sensibly and safely while waiting for the exemption process to proceed.

    Haverfield joined 18 other operators in applying for an exemption. HAI stepped in as a neutral third party between the FAA and the operators, helping to facilitate discussion, address issues, and assist in resolving specific issues, including proper wording on applications for exemption. HAI also served as a central point of contact for the FAA and the operators.

    “We served as a liaison, connecting the operators with the FAA. We understood that these companies needed to get back to work, but we also appreciate that we needed to find a solution that would keep everyone in compliance with FAA regs,” says Harold Summers. “We coordinated the communication between the industry and the FAA on a weekly, sometimes daily, basis to speed up and streamline the process.”

    While several of the affected companies submitted requests for exemption, the FAA selected one application — Haverfield’s — that came closest to being complete. “Now that it’s approved, it will serve as a template for the other operators to use for their applications,” adds Summers. By modeling their exemption applications on Haverfield’s, other operators can receive summary approval by the FAA.

    Founded in 1981 and an HAI Regular Member since 1994, Haverfield Aviation is a provider of aerial power line inspection, maintenance, repair, and construction support services for the North American electric utility industry.

    Read More: Learning to Fly Drones
    August 06, 2018

    Stories and photos by Mark Bennett and PJ Barbour

    It’s an exciting time in drone aviation. This is an industry making it up on the fly, figuring out basic questions about maintenance, operations, and training — just as a previous generation did with helicopters.

    Among the many questions to be answered about using drones in your aviation business is this: how do we start?

    If you haven’t already launched your first drone, here’s a look at some people who have and who are figuring out some of the basics of drone training.

    The Town of Gilbert, AZ

    Elizabeth Rohe and Jessica Bautista use drones as a story/image/video collection tool in their work as digital journalists for the town of Gilbert, Arizona, southeast of Phoenix.

    The two had limited aviation experience: Bautista had flown her husband’s drone, and Rohe had flown a co-worker’s.

    Both are hard-working, Type A students, so they took studying for the Part 107 exam seriously. They enrolled in an online course, studied together for a few weeks, and each passed much above minima

    The two recommend building flight time as the best way to learn more about flying drones. “The more I go out and fly, the more comfortable I get,” says Rohe. “You’ll encounter other situations so you’re always learning.” In practice, they work as a two-person team — a remote pilot in command and a visual observer — which is not required by the FAA but is encouraged.

    The two journalists stress that technology is not what drew them to drones. “We love using drones, not just because they allow a completely different perspective, but because that new perspective inspires us to push the envelope, creatively, when it comes to videography,” says Bautista.

    They are members of a Facebook group, Amelia Droneheart, which promotes women in the UAS industry. As Dronehearts, they want to inspire other women to become part of this new wave of aviation.

    Read More: Where Is the SH09? Kopter Gears Up to Deliver
    August 06, 2018

    A Swiss company founded in 2007 with the goal of launching a brand-new helicopter design has yet to deliver a finished aircraft. Expected certification dates have come and gone. Ten years is a long time to wait, especially for a company that has taken in at least $430 million from unusually patient investors without delivering a single finished product.

    But leaders at Kopter — which until February was known as Marenco Swisshelicopter — are confident not only that they will deliver their first SH09 single-engine helicopter sometime in the first half of 2019 but that, within a decade, Kopter will rank among the top three civil helicopter manufacturers in the world.

    It’s an ambitious outlook, to say the least.

    But that’s pretty much the marching orders given to Andreas Löwenstein when he was hired as CEO on January 1, 2017. The 25-year aviation and defense industry veteran came to Marenco after the company’s board, dominated by Russian investor Alexander Mamut via a family trust headquartered in Cyprus, pushed founder Martin Stucki into retirement

    Stucki, a Swiss helicopter pilot and engineer, is rightly credited with identifying a potentially huge, underserved segment of the global helicopter market: operators looking for an all-new, technologically advanced single-engine helicopter that offers the size and capabilities of a twin-engine aircraft. But Stucki and his small team of engineers repeatedly were frustrated by unexpected technical delays and an inability to advance their promising new product through the European Aviation Safety Agency’s (EASA) certification process.

    So Löwenstein and a new team of industry veterans were hired away from companies like Airbus, Leonardo, Rolls-Royce, and even Bell to get the ball across the goal line as quickly as possible. Collectively, the new management team has 220 years in the helicopter industry.

    “The company had been driven by people who did not come out of the helicopter industry,” Löwenstein says. “It was led by a group of brilliant engineers. But we needed to bring [the initial product, the SH09,] to certification. That means you need a team that is skilled and experienced in the certification of aircraft and, most importantly, that is trusted by the certification authorities.”

    The process to certify a new aircraft design is always measured in years, but Löwenstein says one reason for the SH09’s slow progress was the size of the Marenco team. “The certification scope you have to cover is so broad. The documentation you have to produce is so thick. You cannot do it with 140 people, which is about what we had when I arrived. We also had to shape the product support operation, build the sales team, and create an assembly-line process, all in order to win certification. So we needed to bring in people with lots of experience in each of these areas.”

    By late 2016, it was clear to all involved that Marenco Swisshelicopter had a solid foundation — the design of the SH09 was both innovative and on target. But it also was obvious that the company was struggling to put all those other important elements together in order to earn certification. That’s why the change in leadership had to be made.

    With founder Martin Stucki no longer involved — whose Martin Engineering Consultants gave rise to the Marenco brand — that made-up word no longer seemed relevant. And Swisshelicopter is such a long word — and one that proved to be very hard to pronounce by many nonnative German, French, and English speakers — that the new leadership determined that it, too, had to go.

    The company needed a shorter, pithier name that would stick in helicopter buyers’ minds and roll off international tongues with ease. And, indeed, Kopter, with a K to capture the company’s Swiss/Germanic heritage, has seemed like an inspired choice since the new brand was introduced on February 1 of this year.

    Building toward Certification

    In the roughly 18 months that Löwenstein has been on the job, the company payroll has more than doubled in size, to around 300. Another 50 or so employees are expected to be added by year’s end.

    Since Löwenstein’s arrival, the company’s headquarters and engineering teams have been relocated to a new, larger facility in Wetzikon, east of Zurich. The company has staffed up its dynamic testing facility in Ennetmoos, south of Zurich.

    Staff have been added at Kopter’s certification management office across the border in Siegertsbrunn, Germany. And new staff are being added and trained at the company’s primary manufacturing and assembly plant in Mollis, south of Zurich. Because that facility’s maximum production capacity will be a little more than 50 units per year, Kopter also plans to start final assembly lines in the United States and Asia as production ramps up.

    Meanwhile the SH09 now has completed more than half of its flight-test program. Flight testing began in earnest in 2014 but had to be put on hold for more than a year when a problem with excessive vibration was discovered. A redesigned bearingless rotor and new, slightly stiffer rotor blades solved that problem, and flight testing resumed in 2016.

    Kopter earned its Design Organization Approval from EASA back in February. That’s a necessary precursor to the SH09 earning its final type certificate, which the company expects to happen in 2019.

    A Concept for Today’s Market

    There was never a doubt that Stucki’s initial vision of a full cabin-class helicopter powered by a single turbine engine would have strong appeal in the market. The SH09 offers significantly more cabin space and flexibility than its single-engine Bell 407 and Airbus H125 competition — as well as more cabin space than the twin-engine Airbus H135 and comparable cabin space to the larger, pricier H145.

    “We’re able to offer a helicopter with a cabin that’s as big as or bigger than the H145 at a price close to the H125 and the 407,” says Larry Roberts, a longtime U.S. helicopter sales executive with both Airbus and Bell whom Löwenstein hired in late 2017 to lead Kopter’s sales efforts in North America. “Twin-engine cabin and performance for single-engine acquisition and operating costs is a very, very attractive offering, we think.”

    The combination of the SH09’s lightweight, all-composite monocoque body — which borrows heavily from the world of Formula 1 racing — and a powerful HTS900 engine from Honeywell capable of delivering 1,020-shaft-horsepower should give the SH09 excellent hot-and-high performance characteristics. That seems befitting for a helicopter whose originator, Stucki, actually flew medical rescue missions in the Swiss Alps.

    12