hlcopters.com

hlcopters.com

jueves, 24 de mayo de 2018

ACJ320neo Family enters production

Family highlighted at EBACE show
Manufacture of the first ACJ320neo[1] has begun, with elements taking shape across Europe and final assembly due to begin in June, followed by the first delivery of the ‘green’ aircraft to Acropolis Aviation of the UK in the last quarter of this year.  A second ACJ320neo will follow by year-end.
Deliveries of the first ACJ319neo, for K5 Aviation, will begin in the second quarter of 2019, marking a further step in the creation of the new corporate jet family. Orders for the ACJ320 Family now total nine aircraft, comprising three ACJ319neo and six ACJ320neo aircraft.
Airbus Corporate Jets (ACJ) is highlighting the ACJ320neo Family, which also includes the ACJ319neo, at the EBACE show[2], where it will be present with a stand shared with Airbus Corporate Helicopters (ACH). Two of today’s ACJ319s are also on display at EBACE.
“New engines and Sharklets enable the ACJ320neo Family to link even more of the world nonstop, in a large and comfortable cabin that is the envy of other business jet manufacturers,” said ACJ President Benoit Defforge.
The ACJ319neo can fly eight passengers 6,750 nm/12,500 km or 15 hours, while the ACJ320neo can transport 25 passengers 6,000 nm/11,100 km or 13 hours.
With wider and taller interiors than any other business jet, the ACJ320neo Family capitalises on the trend toward bigger cabins, delivering unmatched comfort, space and freedom in an aircraft of similar size and operating costs, with the modernity and value sought by customers today.
All Airbus corporate jets are derived from the world’s most modern aircraft family, delivering the benefits of an airliner heritage that is unmatched by traditional business jets.
These include a robust reliability that comes from aircraft that are designed to fly many times a day in airline service, simplicity and efficiency in maintenance, and a worldwide support network that is sized to serve more than 500 customers and operators flying over 10,000 aircraft.
ACJ customers also benefit from services tailored to their specific needs, such as the Airbus Corporate Jet customer-care centre (C4you) and ACJ Service Centre Network.
For customers wanting even more passenger capacity plus nonstop-to-the-world range, Airbus offers a complete family of VIP widebodies, which includes the new ACJ330neo and ACJ350 XWB families.
More than 190 Airbus corporate jets are in service worldwide. They are flying on every continent, including Antarctica, highlighting their versatility around the clock, around the world.
Together, ACJ and ACH are uniquely well placed to provide modern and efficient combined solutions to the air travel needs of customers worldwide, being the only manufacturer offering both business jets and helicopters.

Sociedad de Salvamento y Seguridad Marítima (SASEMAR)

Sikorsky S-61N, Helimer 209. ©Roi R. Labrador
El día 21 de julio de 1991 llegaba al aeropuerto de Alvedro, A Coruña, el primero de los helicópteros de la DGMM (aunque SASEMAR dependa de  la misma no se crearía hasta el año 1992, constituyéndose en el 93). 

De manera que el pasado verano se ha cumplido el XXV aniversario del inicio del servicio estatal de búsqueda y rescate marítimo a través de la Dirección General de la Marina Mercante (no aún con unas siglas propias), y veintiseis años desde la llegada de su primer helicóptero.

Por lo tanto este año Salvamento Marítimo sí celebra oficialmente su veinticinco cumpleaños; contando desde que empezó a rodar en 1993 y no desde su año de creación en el 92. Asimismo en julio de este 2018 serán veintisiete los años que han pasado desde la llegada del primero de los cinco Sikorsky S-61N a la base gallega de Alvedro (A Coruña).


Leonardo Helicopters AW139, Helimer 215. ©Ezequiel Millet
SASEMAR, a través de la experiencia acumulada a lo largo de este cuarto de siglo, se ha convertido en una muy clara referencia europea así como, por volumen en número de medios/km de  costa, en uno de los servicios SAR civiles más completos a nivel internacional.


S-61N, A Coruña 


Sikorsky S-61N, Helimer 210 y 209. ©Ezequiel Millet

El Helimer Galicia fue el primero de los cinco Sikorsky S-61N que se fueron incorporando gradualmente para cubrir los puntos más peligrosos y con mayor tráfico marítimo de  nuestras costas (7.905 km), además de las aguas de responsabilidad SAR asignadas a España mediante el Convenio SAR (Convenio Internacional sobre Búsqueda y Salvamento Marítimo -OMI-), el cual abarca 1,5 millones de km² (tres veces la superficie del territorio nacional). 

Lógicamente, en el apartado de los helicópteros siempre hay que contar con el radio de acción; la media en condiciones normales es de unas 200-220 nm (contando con los 30’ de combustible de reserva obligatorios con los que ha de aterrizar).

Estos primeros cinco S-61N fueron denominados Helimer (acrónimo de  helicóptero y Marina Mercante), a los que se les sumó el sobrenombre de las CCAA o zonas costeras que cubrían. Estos fueron los siguientes:

- Helimer Galicia.
- Helimer Cantábrico.
- Helimer Mediterráneo.
- Helimer Andalucía.
- Helimer Canarias.


Plan Nacional de Salvamento 2006-09 

A través del PNS (Plan Nacional de  Servicios Especiales de Salvamento de la Vida Humana en la Mar y de la Lucha Contra la Contaminación del Medio Marino) -mayo del 2006 y para el período comprendido durante el mismo-, se duplicó la flota  de helicópteros existente.

El objetivo fue que en 2009 ya hubiera diez Helimer operativos, de los cuales ocho serían propiedad de SASEMAR y quedarían dos S-61N fletados a la ya entonces Inaer (anteriormente Helicsa, hoy Babcock MCS). 


Aérospatiale AS365 N2 Dauphin 2. ©Jose López de Alba
Las primeras nuevas unidades, que se incorporaron en 2006 fueron dos Aérospatiale AS365 N2 Dauphin 2 (posteriormente fabricados por la división Eurocopter, hoy Airbus Helicopters), fletados en régimen de alquiler a la empresa concesionaria del servicio (recordamos, por entonces Inaer), llegando hasta 6 bases -ya que uno de estos Dauphin sustituyó a otro de los Sikorsky S-61N más antiguos-. 

Los dos helicópteros franceses sí contaban con AP de tres ejes, podían mantener parámetros durante la navegación pero carecían de un cuarto para el estacionario automático, con lo cual no incorporaban Modos SAR (búsquedas tráficos y grúas debían de realizarse completamente en manual). 


AW139, Helimer 202. ©Roi R. Labrador
En 2007 AgustaWestland (Leonardo Helicopters en la actualidad) hizo entrega a SASEMAR de los dos primeros AW139 adquiridos en propiedad: Helimer 201 y 202 (el resto de unidades llegarían paulatinamente, finalizando la misma en el 2011). 

Así, durante la mayor parte del año 2008, la flota de helicópteros de Salvamento Marítimo estuvo formada por un total de nueve unidades:

- Helimer 201, 202 y 203, AW139 (en propiedad), y cubriendo las zonas: Mediterráneo Norte, Canarias Occidental y Cantábrico, respectivamente. 

- Helimer 208, 209 y 210, Sikorsky S-61N (propiedad de la por entonces Inaer) en Canarias Oriental, Estrecho y Galicia, respectivamente (hoy en día el 210 tiene base en Santiago de Compostela, el 209 se retiró del servicio en julio del pasado 2017, y el 208 hace sobre cuatro años que también fue dado de baja). 

- Helimer 204, 205 y 207 (Inaer, hoy Babcock MCS). Los dos primeros eran AW139 y el tercero uno de los Dauphin N2.


Helicópteros Helimer en la actualidad  


Airbus Helicopters H225, Helimer 401. ©Hugo Ramos
Desde la llegada de los ocho Leonardo Helicopters AW139 adquiridos en propiedad, dentro del actual PNS 2010-18*, el número de helicópteros se ha elevado a once.

*Plan Nacional de Salvamento 2010-18.

Sus bases son: 

- Santiago (Lavacolla. IATA: SCQ, OACI: LEST), Sikorsky S-61N (Helimer 210).

- A Coruña (Alvedro. IATA: LCG, OACI: LECO), Airbus Helicopters H225 (Helimer 401).

Las dos bases gallegas son las únicas que mantienen los mismos dos helicópteros, ya que las otras nueve están cubiertas por AW139 pero sin distintivo fijo, puesto que las máquinas italianas van rotando según disponibilidad por calendarios de revisiones.

- Gijón (helipuerto de El Musel, IATA: n/d. OACI: LEEL). 


- Santander (Seve Ballesteros. IATA: SDR, OACI: LEXJ).

- Tarragona (aeropuerto de Reus. IATA: REU, OACI: LERS).

- Valencia (Manises. IATA: VLC, OACI: LEVC).

- Palma  de Mallorca (Son Sant Joan. IATA: PMI, OACI: LEPA).

- Jerez de la Frontera (IATA: XRY, OACI: LEJR).

- Almería (IATA: LEI, OACI: LEAM).

- Gran Canaria (Gando. IATA: LPA, OACI: GCLP).

- Tenerife Sur (Reina Sofía. IATA: TFS, OACI: GCTS).


AW139, Helimer 203 en la base de El Musel (Gijón). ©Jose López de Alba
Los AW139 fueron encargados por el Ministerio de Fomento con todos los equipos y sistemas SAR, al fabricante italiano, en febrero de  2006 tras ganar la compañía transalpina el concurso público de adquisición. 

Como hemos comentado, del inicial modelo S-61N, del fabricante norteamericano Sikorsky, actualmente sólo queda uno operativo (EC-FVO “Helimer  210”), que previsiblemente a través del nuevo contrato de adjudicación será retirado en un futuro no muy lejano...




miércoles, 23 de mayo de 2018

Best of the H160 demo tour #H160ReasonsWhy

The H160 flies over the Grand Canyon just before its international airshow debut at the 2018 HAI-Heli-Expo in Las Vegas, Nevada. ©Airbus Helicopters.





Las Vegas - Dallas - Houston - New York - Trenton
After three days on display at HAI Heli-Expo 2018 in Las Vegas, Nevada, the H160 embarked on a three-month long demo tour across the United States to introduce future customers to what it offers in terms of a new flight experience for pilots and passengers.
The H160's first stop was the North Las Vegas airport, followed by two stops in Texas. The tour will conclude in Trenton, New Jersey in late May 2018.
Each step of the way, participants received a comprehensive explanation of the H160 and its innovations, not just in terms of technology, but also regarding its 24-week time-to-market production cycle and its lighter paperless maintenance plan. 
Here is a look at the tour's highlights. Check back regularly for updates.

New York City
The H160 stopped in New York City on 21 May 2018 for a sightseeing tour before heading to Trenton, New Jersey for three days of customer demo flights. 
Cleaner and quieter, the H160 was designed to blend seamlessly into the urban landscape. Passengers and city dwellers will appreciate the low sound levels made possible by the Blue Edge blade and signature Fenestron technologies. The H160’s panoramic windows offer passengers an unforgettable view over Manhattan. 

Houston, Texas + Recap
The H160’s third stop on its North American Demo Tour was Dallas, Texas. The following video documents the helicopter’s journey from Las Vegas, Nevada to Dallas, Texas and then on to Houston.
Over the course of these three stops, the H160 performed 27 customer demo flights totaling more than 27 hours of flight time. More than 130 people flew with 60 pilots taking control.

Dallas, Texas 14-16 March
Several dozen customers – including 21 pilots who experienced the right-seat position – flew in the new Airbus H160 rotorcraft during a stop in Dallas, Texas as part of its demonstration tour across North America.

Las Vegas, 2-3 March
A total of 12 flights were performed in Las Vegas over two days with 18 pilots and 42 customer representatives.

Text and images Copyright Airbus Helicopters

H160 over the Grand Canyon in pictures
 Images ©Airbus Helicopters




NEW ADVANCED VERTICAL LIFT CENTER SHOWCASES BELL’S INNOVATIVE FLIGHT SOLUTIONS

The location offers demonstrations and expertise on how new aviation technology can deliver solutions for customers’ most pressing mission demands


©Bell Textron
Crystal City, Va. (May 23, 2018) – Bell Helicopter, a Textron Inc. (NYSE: TXT) company, opened its new Advanced Vertical Lift Center (AVLC) today in the Washington, D.C. metro area. This office provides a unique setting for Bell’s military customers, partners and policy makers to interact with technology that is defining the future of vertical lift (FVL). Bell is increasing its presence in the region to offer opportunities for leaders to understand how advanced aviation technology such as the V-280 Valor can meet the urgent needs of the warfighter.


“We have a long-standing history of forward thinking, and we are committed to delivering overmatch capabilities to our military. The AVLC was designed so we can demonstrate innovative and breakthrough technologies to those involved with national security interests.”

Mitch Snyder, CEO, Bell
The new AVLC provides a customer-focused experience that explores Bell’s latest manned and unmanned solutions that build on the company’s long history of partnership with the government. The interactive demonstration and event space incorporates several options to discover the benefits of Bell’s advancements in aviation, including:
Flight Simulator where users take control of the V-280 Valor and experience the agility and speed of the world’s latest tiltrotor technologies; Mission Table that delivers an interactive and visual representation of how complex operational requirements can be met with the revolutionary speed, range and lethality the V-280 delivers as a solution for the government’s FVL program; Augmented Reality demonstration that shows how the use of Bell’s digital thread technology impacts design, build, and sustainment by bringing hands-on training and maintenance support to the most remote locations; and Virtual Reality experience focused on giving operators and decision makers an immersive look at how the V-280 is designed to deliver tactical overmatch.
“We are committed to helping our customers regain dominance in vertical lift, and the AVLC is an opportunity for our team to show real solutions for pressing challenges using the power of flight,” said Jeff Schloesser, executive vice president for Strategic Pursuits at Bell. “We have to create and sustainably deliver new capabilities, such as the V-280, for warfighters to have operational overmatch. We intend for this office to support our nation’s military modernization.”
The Bell AVLC serves as a hub for aviation and policy decision makers to experience how Bell’s innovative solutions can solve critical real-world challenges. 

Leonardo announces the first satellite-controlled European MALE-class drone flight

•  A flight  campaign  saw  Leonardo’s  innovative,  proprietary  satellite-based  solution  used  to operate  Piaggio  Aerospace’s  P.1HH  HammerHead  drone,  demonstrating  the  ability  to control  unmanned  platforms  beyond  the  range  of  ground-based  radio  coverage 

•  The drone’s  ground  station  linked  up  with  the  Athena-Fidus  satellite,  which  is  managed by  Telespazio’s  Fucino  Space  Centre,  to  operate  the  aircraft,  its  onboard  systems  and  its sensors.  The  satellite  link  was  also  used  to  receive  the  data  acquired  in-flight 

•  Leonardo  is  a  key  player  in  the  development  of  drone-based  capabilities,  products,  and services.  The  Company  is  involved  in  all  of  the  main  national  and  international  initiatives seeking  to  standardise  and  regulate  the  sector

Rome,  23  May  2018  –  The  first  flight  campaign  to  demonstrate  satellite  control  of  a  European-built MALE-class  (Medium  Altitude  Long  Endurance)  drone  has  been  completed  successfully.  A  team comprising  Telespazio  (Leonardo  67%,  Thales  33%)  and  Piaggio  Aerospace  carried  out  the  activity using  a  remotely-piloted  P.1HH  HammerHead  aircraft  as  the  test  bed,  developing  and  integrating capabilities  that  will  enable  drones  to  safely  fly  in  unsegregated  air  space,  beyond  the  range  of  groundbased  radio  coverage  (called  BRLOS  -  Beyond  Radio  Line  Of  Sight).

The  campaign  was  carried  out  at  Birgi  airport  in  Trapani,  Italy  in  order  to  evaluate  the  efficacy  of  the satellite  technology  for  various  dual-use  applications  under  realistic  conditions.  The  flights  are  in  line with  the  objectives  of  the  DeSIRE  II  European  research  project,  led  by  Telespazio  and  jointly  initiated by  the  European  Space  Agency  (ESA)  and  European  Defence  Agency  (EDA). DeSIRE  II  (https://business.esa.int/projects/desire-ii)  will  support  European  standardisation  and regulatory  activities  in  the  drone  sector.

Telespazio,  a  subsidiary  of  Leonardo  and  a  leader  in  Space  services,  has  developed  a  two-way  satellite communication  network  which  was  used  during  the  flight  campaign.  Control  data  from  the  ground station  was  transmitted  to  remotely  operate  the  P.1HH  and  its  on-board  sensors  and  systems,  while data  collected  by  the  drone  during  flight  was  returned  to  the  ground  station  via  the  same  network.  The system  made  use  of  the  Athena-Fidus  satellite  resources,  managed  by  Telespazio’s  Fucino  Space Centre. 

The  success  of  this  set  of  trials  reinforces  Leonardo’s  position  as  a  key  player  in  the  development  of drone-based  capabilities,  products,  and  services,  with  this  campaign  proving  the  Company’s  ability  to support  flights  of  unmanned  systems  in  BRLOS  mode.  The  activities  also  represent  a  step  towards  a future  where  remotely-piloted  aircraft  are  used  to  support  public  services,  such  as  environmental monitoring,  surveillance,  and  emergency  management. 

Etihad Airways to Optimize Operations with Crew Management Solutions

- Advanced optimization and analytics will improve planning, crew satisfaction and reduce costs


Boeing has announced an agreement with Etihad Airways, the national carrier of the United Arab Emirates, to provide multiple crew management solutions to support the planning and operation of the airline’s 7,500 crewmembers. Photo courtesy of Etihad Airways.

SEATTLEMay 23, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- Boeing (NYSE: BA) has announced an agreement with Etihad Airways, the national carrier of the United Arab Emirates, to provide multiple crew management solutions to support the planning and operation of the airline's 7,500 crewmembers.

Through the agreement, Etihad Airways will integrate Crew Pairing, Rostering and Fatigue Risk Management solutions to optimize planning, crew satisfaction and reduce costs. Provided through Boeing subsidiary Jeppesen, these solutions are powered by Boeing AnalytX and provide airlines with advanced optimization and analysis.
"By adopting crew solutions, we are confident that we will be able to respond and adapt more quickly to the ever-changing airline factors and constraints within our operation," said Rick Allen, senior vice president operations, Etihad Airways. "Our crew team will also appreciate that their preferences will be more flexibly considered, as we will now be able to publish crew schedules further in advance."
Crew Pairing helps airlines create optimized work duties, improving crew efficiency and operational robustness, while minimizing cost. Crew Rostering allows airlines to build quality rosters that respect crews' preferences and relevant constraints, while reducing total costs and time to market. Fatigue Risk Management solutions, supported by the Boeing Alertness Model, provide strategies and proven solutions for reducing fatigue risk in crew rosters.
"Airlines that use these services often see cost reductions of three percent or more annually and a significant uptake in crew satisfaction over their rosters. By adding these tools to the Boeing flight operations services already in place today, Etihad will continue to drive positive change," said Ihssane Mounir, senior vice president of Commercial Sales & Marketing for Boeing. "The flexibility and strength of our optimization in the crew management suite will allow Etihad to solve complex issues with ease and support their decision-making process with detailed quantifications of risk and costs."

Airbus-built GRACE-FO satellites successfully launched from California

Maps of Earth’s gravitational field will indicate movement of liquid water, ice and land masses
GRACE-FO, Photo: ©SPACEX
Vandenberg/California, 23/05/2018 – Yesterday evening (21:47 CEST), the twin GRACE-FO (Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment Follow-On) satellites, developed and built by Airbus, were successfully launched into Space from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California, USA, using a Falcon 9 launcher. GRACE-FO is a joint project between NASA and the German Research Centre for Geosciences (GFZ) in Potsdam, near Berlin. Accurate measurements of the inter-satellite range between the two co-planar, low altitude polar orbiting twin satellites will allow the production of global and high-resolution models of the Earth's gravity field, offering details of how mass, in most cases water, is moving around the planet.
11 minutes after lift-off, the two Earth observation satellites, each weighing around 600 kilograms, separated from their dispenser structure, which was also built by Airbus to transport and hold the satellites during launch. A short time later, the GRACE-FO satellites ‘reported for duty’ via the McMurdo ground station in Antarctic. The mission is being operated from the space operations centre of the German Aerospace Centre (DLR) in Oberpfaffenhofen, Germany.
Once maneuvered into their operational orbits, both GRACE-FO research satellites will circle Earth in a polar orbit of around 490 kilometres, with a distance of 220 kilometres between them. The mission is planned to last at least five years. The satellites constantly measure the distance between each other to within a few microns using a microwave system built at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, which manages the mission for NASA. At the same time, a sensitive accelerometer, built at ONERA in France, accounts for non-gravitational effects, such as atmospheric drag and solar radiation.
The data are being used to track the movement of liquid water, ice and land masses by creating monthly maps of the changes in Earth’s gravitational field. GRACE-FO will continue this essential climate record established by the predecessor GRACE mission (2002–2017), also a joint project between the United States and Germany.
The GRACE-FO satellites also feature a new inter-satellite laser ranging interferometer instrument, developed in a German/American joint venture, which is being tested for use in future generations of satellites. In addition, each satellite records up to 200 profiles per day of temperature distribution and water-vapour content in the atmosphere and the ionosphere to aid weather forecasting.
Artist View GRACE-FO In Space, ©Airbus

martes, 22 de mayo de 2018

Leonardo Congratulates Royal Canadian Air Force “Rescue 901” Crew from 103 Squadron Gander, on Winning the 2017 Cormorant Trophy

- Rescue in 10-metre  waves  and 110 km/h  winds,  250  km  offshore

- SARTechs repeatedly  lowered  to  frigid  water  to rescue  fishing  crew

- All five of  fishing  vessel  crew  rescued  safely 

Rome,  22  May  2018  –  Leonardo  congratulates  the  Royal  Canadian  Air  Force  crew  of  search  and rescue  helicopter  “Rescue  901”  for  winning  this  year’s  Cormorant  Trophy  for  the  rescue  of  five crewmen  forced  to abandon a  fishing vessel  250  km  offshore  in  fierce weather  and  rough seas. The  recipients  from  103  Squadron  at  CFB  Gander  are:                
- Major  Jim  Pinhorn,  Aircraft  Commander 

- Captain Nicole Lively,  First  Officer 

- Master  Corporal  Sean O’Callaghan,  Flight  Engineer 

- Sergeant  Damien  Robison,  Search  and  Rescue  Technician  (SARTech)  Lead 

- Master  Corporal  Anthony  Bullen,  SARTech  Member 

The  selfless  heroism  displayed  by  the  team  onboard  Rescue  901  in  this  monumental  rescue  of the  crew  of  the  Fishing  Vessel  Northern  Provider  exemplifies  the  efforts  of  all  RCAF  search  and rescue  crews  each  and  every  time  they  head  off  into  danger  to  put  their  lives  on  the  line  to  save Canadians  from  coast-to-coast-to-coast,”  said  Mark  Fair,  Canadian  Customer  Support,  Leonardo Helicopters.    Fair  presented  the  Cormorant  Trophy  to  the  recipients  recently  in  a  ceremony  at  CFB Gander. 

“It  is  an  honour  to  be  recognized  for  the  actions  of  our  crew  during  this  rescue  mission,”  said  Major Pinhorn,  who  is  also  Commanding  Officer  of  103  Squadron.  “The  men  and  women  of  103  (SAR) Squadron,  as  well  as  those  from  search  and  rescue  organizations  all  across  Canada,  routinely exhibit  professionalism  and  make  tremendous  sacrifices  in  order  to  ensure  that  they  successfully fulfill  their  respective SAR  mandates.   

“To  have  been  selected  from  such  an  accomplished  group  is  truly  special  for  the  members  of  our crew,  as well  as the  squadron  at  large,”  said Pinhorn. 

From  the  moment  the  Halifax  Joint  Rescue  Coordination  Centre  received  the  distress  call  from  the FV  Northern  Provider  on  March  5,  2017,  the  Rescue  901  SAR  team  knew  they  had  a  tough  time ahead.  The  boat  was  250  km  offshore  in  10-metre-high  waves  with  wind  gusts  over  110  kmh.  The crew  stripped  the  AW101  Cormorant  helicopter  of  non-essential  equipment  to  maximize  fuel  and the  amount  of  time  they  could stay  on  the  rescue  scene. 

As  the  Rescue  901  crew  arrived  on  scene,  they  saw  the  fishing  vessel  being  tossed  in  different directions  at  the  mercy  of  the  sea.  Multiple  obstacles  on  the  ship  from  fishing  equipment  and  sea ice  meant  changing  the  original  plan  to  lower  a  rescue  hoist  to  pick  up  the  fisherman.  Instead,  the fishermen  would have to  jump  into  the  freezing  water  and be  picked  up  one-by-one. 

This  was  no  easy  task  as  Robison  and  Bullen  alternated  rescues,  dangling  from  the  end  of  a  hoist, being  slammed  and  dragged  by  the  waves  and  ice  chunks.    Throughout  the  rescue  Pinhorn  and Lively  worked  hard  to  keep  the  helicopter  over  the  rescue  scene,  rising  and  falling  with  the  waves as  O’Callaghan  wrestled  with  the  hoist  line  trying  to  guide  the  SARTechs  to  the  fishermen.  At  one point,  one  of  the  SARTechs  immersion  suit  was  ripped,  but  he  continued  to  work  the  rescues despite the  cold water  entering  his  suit. 

Eventually  all  five  fishermen  were  hoisted  into  the  Cormorant  helicopter  and  all  flew  safely  back  to Gander,  abandoning the  fishing vessel. 

About  the  Cormorant  Trophy: 

The  Cormorant  Trophy  was  commissioned  by  Leonardo  (formerly  AgustaWestland)  in  2002  as  a trophy  to  be  presented  annually  to  a  Canadian  civilian,  government  or  military  helicopter  crew performing  the  most  demanding  helicopter  rescue  of  the  year.   

Coast Guard searches for 50-year-old man missing from cruise ship 85 miles west of Fort Myers, Fla.

MH-60 Jayhawk, ©U.S. Coast Guard



 MIAMI - The Coast Guard is searching for a 50-year-old male reported missing from a cruise ship Tuesday approximately 85 miles west of Fort Myers, Fla.

Missing is Brian Lamonds, 50, Greensboro, North Carolina.

Coast Guard Key West watchstanders received a call at approximately 10 a.m., from the cruise ship stating the man was missing and reportedly went overboard from the Carnival Paradise.

A Coast Guard Air Station Clearwater MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter crew, an Air Station Miami HC-144 Ocean Sentry aircraft crew and the crew of the Coast Guard Cutter Isaac Mayo, homeported in Key West, are aiding in the search.

For more breaking news follow us on Twitter and Facebook.

-USCG-

Honeywell, Inside the FMS

Step Climbs and Capabilities
By David Rogers


Step climb functionality can be a bit confusing for pilots, even though step climbs have been a function of flight planning since the early days of FMS. This article will shed some light on the original step climb functionality as well as the new capability to plan step climbs using Honeywell’s NG FMS.

Original Step Climb Function
The original step climb functionality found in legacy flight management systems is referred to as Optimum Step Climb. This is because it attempts to optimize the flight profile by raising the aircraft’s altitude as high as possible, using the step increments specified by the crew. To calculate a step climb, the crew can enter a step climb increment in PERF INIT page 3 (See Figure 1 below).  The step climb can be entered in thousands of feet or with a single number (i.e. 4,000 or 4).

Once the aircraft has the performance to reach the next altitude specified by the step increment (i.e. FL410 to FL450), it will calculate a climb and compute fuel predictions for that higher altitude. In this case a 4,000 ft. increment was specified, so it would plan to climb in 4,000 ft. increments starting from the initial cruise altitude until it reached either the aircraft ceiling or the top of descent. Once an entry is made, the FMS looks to the aircraft’s ceiling altitude found on PERF DATA page 1 (See Figure 2) and monitors the aircraft weight. When the weight is reduced such that the aircraft can make a climb by the step increment, it will direct the aircraft to the next step altitude.
Figure 1. Step increment of 4,000 feet entered in PERF INIT

The FMS calculates a point at which the climb can be initiated, using the criteria that the climb must be completed at a rate of at least 200 FPM.


Figure 2. Cruise Alt, CEILing ALTitude and STEP Increment

Another characteristic of the Optimum Step function is that, immediately after takeoff, if the aircraft is capable of climbing to a higher altitude, it will plan that, even if the crew has entered a lower initial cruise altitude during PERF INIT. This does NOT mean the FMS will override the crew’s inputs and violate an altitude assignment.  It simply means the FMS will display to the crew that the aircraft may achieve a higher cruise altitude. Remember the FMS will never violate the altitude preselect during any en route phase of flight. Additionally, the FMS will transition from climb speed to a cruise climb once the initial cruise altitude is sequenced.

Take the example of a crew entering FL410 for their initial cruise altitude when the aircraft was capable of attaining FL450.  The FMS would plan to climb directly to FL450 and the system would transition from the climb phase of flight to the cruise phase of flight immediately upon passing the pilot-entered altitude (FL410 in this case). (See Figure 3.)
Figure 3. FMS Calculating to Highest Step Altitude

In another example (see figure 4), the cruise altitude is set to FL320 and the step increment is set to 2,000 ft. The system will transition into cruise phase of flight and continue in a cruise climb until reaching the CEIL ALT (altitude at which it can no longer meet the 200 fpm climb requirement – 46,000 feet in this example).

Figure 4. Initial Cruise Segment Flown at Climb Speed with Transition to Cruise Climb after Initial Cruise Altitude was Passed

The FMS will continue this pattern of climbing until reaching the aircraft’s maximum operating altitude and will base time and fuel estimates on the higher altitude.  If the crew doesn’t plan to step climb as presented in the FMS, the only way to accurately reflect times and fuels for an intermediate altitude is to go back to PERF INIT and delete the step increment.  The crew will also need to change the cruise altitude to the desired altitude.  The Optimum Step feature is most beneficial for operators who want to fly the airplane near its maximum range and get maximum range out of it by going as high as possible.

Figure 5. Profile of an aircraft using Optimum Step
 Climb


Planned Step Climb Function

A new step feature was implemented into the NG FMS that allows for more versatility: Planned Step Climbs. Planned Step Climbs are available for both step climbs and step descents during the cruise segment of flight. They are entered by the crew and direct the FMS to perform a step climb or descent at a desired waypoint.

The crew enters the desired altitude (to step to) followed by the letter S (e.g. FL450S) on the right-hand side of the flight plan, adjacent to the desired waypoint. See figures 6 and 7. When the aircraft reaches the selected waypoint and the altitude preselect is set to a higher or lower altitude, the system will automatically begin a climb or descent.

If the aircraft is too heavy to climb to the desired altitude, the crew will receive the message UNABLE STEP and the aircraft will remain at its current altitude. The VSD will depict the planned steps as part of the vertical profile. See Figure 8.         
Figure 6, Step Entry in Scratchpad and Figure 7, Planned Step Entered at 2R
Figure 8. Planned Step reflected on VSD
Optimum vs. Planned Step Climbs


The primary difference between Planned and Optimum Step Climbs is that the former will coincide with a specific waypoint.  Optimum Step Climbs, however, will occur anytime the FMS determines the aircraft has the performance to reach the next step climb increment as input by the crew. Optimum Step Climbs are also only available to climb the aircraft higher, while Planned Step Climbs can also facilitate descents. Also, multiple Planned Step Climbs/Descents can be programmed, which will result in accurate fuel/time predictions.
Figure 9. Step climbs and descents on a flight plan