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Headlines for 2011
Disclaimer: Nordic Rotors has no intention in taking stand in any business related matters whatsoever. We do not publish any speculations, rumours or questionable facts. However, we can obviously not guarantee the absence of factual errors. The content shall not be used as a reference to business associated decisions, nor should it be used in articles or stories covering our subjects. If you find anything on this page that you find misleading or incorrect, please contact us as soon as possible, and we will be happy to correct it.
The first Black Hawks are here!
15 December, 2011
[Linköping] At 08:50 this morning a C17 of the US Air Force landed at Malmen Helicopter Base in Linköping. It carried a precious load - the very first two UH-60M Black Hawks for the Swedish Armed Forces Helicopter Wing.

The helicopters were unloaded and placed in a hangar at the airport. They will now be engaged in various flight tests, which will be administered by the Swedish Defence Materiel Administration (FMV) prior to the hand-over ceremony on 17 January. The trials will start on Monday and they are going to be supported by pilots and technicians from the Helicopter Wing.

The FMV is procuring 15 UH-60M (HKP 16) aircraft via the U.S. Government’s Foreign Military Sales program. The planned build schedule will enable the Swedish Armed Forces to deploy three HKP 16 aircraft to Afghanistan in April 2013. The Swedish Armed Forces will use the aircraft for medical evacuation, utility, and search and rescue missions.
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DanCopter gets its first AW139
15 December, 2011
[Denmark] DanCopter, a Blueway AS company, has taken delivery of the first of five AW139 medium twin helicopters. This aircraft will be used for offshore transport operations in Nigeria. An initial order for three AW139s was placed in 2010 which was followed by contracts for two additional units signed earlier this year. The orders are part of a Framework Agreement covering the purchase of a total of five AW139s with options for an additional four.

Blueway AS has provided helicopter services since 1986 and today is Northern Europe’s leading integrated helicopter company. Blueway operates a fleet of 26 helicopters and provides a range of helicopter services within the oil and gas, infrastructure, environment and search & rescue markets. Blueway operates under the DanCopter, Airlift, Blueway Offshore Norway and Vertech Offshore brand names. DanCopter provides passenger transport services to oil and gas companies in the North Sea from bases in Denmark as well as for Shell in Nigeria. Airlift operates onshore infrastructure and environment services in Norway, Sweden (Airlift Helicopter Sweden) and Finland, as well as the Search & Rescue operations on Spitsbergen for the Governor of Svalbard. Blueway Offshore Norway operates offshore crew change contracts from bases in Norway Additionally, its subsidiary Vertech Offshore provides heavy lift maintenance (flair tip replacements) on offshore installations worldwide.
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Norrlandsflyg becomes SMA Helicopter Rescue
13 December, 2011
[Gothenburg] The Maritime Administration's newly adopted helicopter division has changed name from Norrlandsflyg to SMA Helicopter Rescue. The company, which is a subsidiary to Sjöfartsverket Holding, will operate the national rescue helicopter service for the Maritime Administration.

The operation has been a part of the Swedish Maritime Administration since November this year, when the agency acquired the helicopter company Norrlandsflyg. The take-over was executed through a governmental acquisition of all the stocks in Norrlandsflyg's parent company Scandinavian Helicopter Invest (SHI). The 50-years old helicopter operator Norrlandsflyg had performed civil search and rescue (SAR) operations for the Maritime Administration since 2002, following the first steps in the retirement of military rescue operations.

SMA Helicopter Rescue's operations will be conducted in a corporate form for some time, says Naomi Eriksson, president of Sjöfartsverket Holding. Ultimately, the aim is that the business will be incorporated directly into the Maritime Administration.
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First Norwegian NH90 delivered
1 December, 2011
[Vergiate, Italy] NHIndustries announces the delivery of the first NH90 helicopter to the Norwegian Armed Forces. The delivery ceremony took place 30th November at AgustaWestland’s Vergiate facility in the presence of Brigadier General/Commander Frode R Flǿlo, NDLO Air Systems Division.

The NH90 delivered is the first of 14 NH90s intended to replace the Lynx helicopters for the Coast Guard in addition to providing helicopter ASW capability to the new Nansen class frigates. The Norwegian NH90s will be based at Bardufoss Air Station where they will start their operational career after initial training.

Firm orders for the NH90 have been placed by 14 countries including France, Germany, Italy, The Netherlands, Portugal, Sweden, Finland, Norway, Greece, Spain and Belgium in Europe, as well as Australia, New Zealand and Oman overseas. The NH90, developed in the TTH utility transport and NFH naval versions, proves the ideal solution to meet requirements of customers worldwide for a wide range of military roles. The NH90 programme is managed by NAHEMA (NATO Helicopter Management Agency) representing France, Germany, Italy, The Netherlands and Portugal, and by the NHIndustries industrial consortium comprising AgustaWestland (32%), Eurocopter (62.5%) and Fokker (5.5%).
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New contracts for six Finnish HEMS bases
28 November, 2011
[Finland] FinnHEMS Oy, the Finnish national medical helicopter operations management unit, has chosen air service providers for six bases between 2012-2022. The unit has selected Skärgårdshavets Helikoptertjänst AB and Scandinavian MediCopter AB for the operations.

FinnHEMS’s Board of Directors made the decision during a meeting on 25 September 2011. The southern region, which covers the Vantaa, Tampere and Turku bases, was appointed to Skärgårdshavets Helikoptertjänst. The northern region, which covers the Joroinen, Oulu and Lapland bases, was appointed to Scandinavian MediCopter. The contracts are valid for ten years (3+7).
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Værøy Heliport destroyed
26 November, 2011
[Værøy, Norway] The public heliport on Værøy Island in Norway has been destroyed in the extreme weather that came with the storm “Berit” this weekend. The island, which is situated some 85 km west-northwest of Bodø in northern Norway, is depended on a regular helicopter shuttle to the mainland. Both the heliport and the seaport were badly damaged on the night to Saturday, leaving 750 people stranded. Mayor Harald Adolfsen said to NRK that it might take a long time before the helicopter operation can be fully operational again.

The shuttle service is operated by Lufttransport, which employs an AW139 (LN-OLV) for the duty.
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Swedish Black Hawks are getting ready
17 November, 2011
[Stratford, Connecticut] Sikorsky Aircraft, a subsidiary of United Technologies Corp, today delivered to the U.S. Army the fourth of 15 UH-60M Black Hawk aircraft for further transfer to the Swedish Defence Material Administration (FMV), destined for the Swedish Armed Forces Helicopter Wing.

Sikorsky is building and delivering all 15 UH-60M (HKP 16) aircraft to an accelerated 18-month production schedule that began in May, 2011. Seven aircraft are on schedule for delivery to the U.S. Army September through December, with eight additional deliveries through the fall of 2012. The first two HKP 16s will be delivered to the Malmen helicopter base in Linköping in a C-17 Globemaster in mid-December this year. The first flight in the Swedish Armed Forces Helicopter Wing is expected in January 2012.

The FMV is procuring the 15 aircraft via the U.S. Government’s Foreign Military Sales program. The accelerated build schedule will enable the Swedish Armed Forces to deploy three UH-60M aircraft to Afghanistan in April, 2013. The Swedish Armed Forces will use the aircraft for medical evacuation, utility, and search and rescue missions.

"The Black Hawk Utility Helicopter (UH-60) is the world’s best current and future force utility helicopter,” said Gregory D. Gore, Deputy Project Manager, U.S. Army Utility Helicopters Project Office. “The UH-60 provides all commanders with rapid and agile maneuver capability through air assault, general support, command and control, and medevac missions. These features will provide Sweden an unparalleled asset to support their primary mission of medical evacuation and troop transport in Afghanistan as these aircraft are fielded in 2013."

Gore made his remarks during the delivery ceremony today at Sikorsky Aircraft’s Stratford headquarters attended by senior members of the FMV and the Swedish Armed Forces.

Sweden is the first European country to acquire the U.S. Army’s UH-60M Black Hawk aircraft. Introduced into service with the U.S. Army in 2007, the ‘M’ model is the latest variant of one of the world’s most successful medium-lift military utility helicopters. Sweden’s aircraft come equipped from Sikorsky with an advanced flight control system to reduce pilot workload, full night vision device capability for night operations, and a state-of-the-art communications suite.

The U.S. Army will further modify the aircraft with a variety of equipment, including an exterior rescue hoist, gunner seats, armored floor, stackable litters, a cockpit heater and environmental control system.

Swedish aircrew — already flight qualified in UH-60M aircraft at the U.S. Army Aviation Center of Excellence, Fort Rucker, Ala. — will receive follow on unit training at the Swedish Air Force base in Linköping following the arrival of the first four unmodified aircraft in Sweden in early 2012. Sikorsky Aerospace Services and Swedish defense and security company Saab will provide maintainer training and long-term logistics support for the fleet.

“Close collaboration with the U.S. Army is enabling Sikorsky to build these UH-60M Black Hawk aircraft 18 months ahead of a typical production schedule,” said John Pacelli, Sikorsky’s Vice President for International Military Business. “We’re very pleased our joint efforts will meet Sweden’s urgent requirement for new helicopters and associated training and logistic support in time for deployment.”

Black Hawk helicopters of all variants flown by the U.S. Army in the Iraq and Afghanistan theaters of war have accumulated more than 1.3 million fleet flight hours without a single Class A material failure. The combined operational sortie rate in both theaters stands at 85 percent. The U.S. Army’s total Black Hawk helicopter fleet exceeds 1,945 aircraft.
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Söderhamn Airport (ESNY) closes
1 November, 2011
[Söderhamn] The subject of permanently closing down the former F15 Air Force Base has been up for discussion many times since the military closed its activity back in 1996. The airport has been used for civil operations as Helsinge Airport for 15 years, but the attempts to attract further businesses to the airport have unfortunately failed.

On Monday evening all the local parties were united in the question and the City Council decided to close down Söderhamn / Helsinge Airport (ESNY) for good. The operations will be terminated this Thursday.

Representatives at the airport told Nordic Rotors that the fuelling service will be available at least until the end of this year. The airport is the only JET-A1 fuel station between Gävle and Sundsvall.
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First Swedish Black Hawk pilots graduated
28 October, 2011
[Fort Rucker, AL] A piece of military helicopter history was written this week as the first Swedish UH-60M Black Hawk pilots were graduated at the US Army Aviation Center in Fort Rucker, Alabama. The first four pilots passed their final check-rides on Wednesday, and thereby became the very first Black Hawk pilots in Sweden.

A total of 15 UH-60M Black Hawks (HKP 16) have been ordered, and the first ones are expected to be delivered in early-2012. The first HKP 16s are planned to be operational at Camp Marmal in Afghanistan from the spring of 2013, replacing the Swedish HKP 10B Super Pumas that have been operational in the country since April 2011.
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Maritime Administration ensures the SAR
26 October, 2011
[Norrköping/Stockholm] On Tuesday, 1 November, the Swedish Maritime Administration will take over the operational responsibility for the search and rescue helicopters in Sweden. The take-over will be executed through a governmental acquisition of all the stocks in Norrlandsflyg’s parent company Scandinavian Helicopter Invest (SHI) through the national Maritime Administration.

The acquisition is made in order to ensure an available nationwide search and rescue service, both financially and operationally. The decision has been made on the fact that the current operator, Norrlandsflyg, has been dealing with financial difficulties the past year, and that there is no real market for procuring these kinds of services.

The take-over requires a parliamentary approval, which was gained today by an unanimous assembly.

The deal secures three critical elements in the operation - the rescue helicopters, the permits to conduct the air service and the unique competence rooted in Norrlandsflyg’s personnel.

Norrlandsflyg has performed civil search and rescue (SAR) operations from 2002, following the first steps in the retirement of military rescue operations. It operates a large fleet of Sikorsky S-76 helicopters from six bases throughout Sweden - five SAR stations and one EMS (ambulance) base. The company, which has its main office in Gothenburg, employs a staff of approx. 120 persons.
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Accident report after tail rotor failure
24 October, 2011
[Stockholm] The Swedish Accident Investigation Board (Statens Haverikommission, SHK) has published its final report after an accident that occurred on 9 January 2009 near Arlanda Airport in Stockholm, involving a helicopter with the registration SE-JKF.

The aircraft, a 144 hour young Eurocopter AS 350 B3, was about to land at the airport to pick up passengers for a taxi flight when the tail rotor gearbox chip warning came on. The helicopter started to turn, but the pilot could regain partial directional control by increasing speed, lowering altitude and reducing engine power. He managed to fly away from lighting masts and other obstacles, but couldn’t reach a suitable place for an emergency landing, why he subsequently aimed for a small forest glade near the airport. The helicopter entered an uncontrolled yaw and impacted the ground in a high rate of decent and a low airspeed. The experienced pilot, who was the sole occupant on board, survived the accident with minor injuries.

The Investigation Board has determined that the accident was caused by the fact that the helicopter had not been restored to an airworthy condition after a maintenance work had been carried out. A contributory factor was deficiencies in the quality assurance management by the maintenance organization. The tail rotor seized to work due to the lack of oil in the tail rotor gearbox, and the consequences of the failure were aggravated by deficiencies in the emergency instructions for this type of helicopter in respect of the management of a chip warning or a tail rotor drive failure respectively.
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New police helicopter for Skåne
14 October, 2011
[Stockholm] The newspaper Sydsvenskan states that the National Police Board (Rikspolisstyrelsen, RPS) has decided to purchase a seventh helicopter for a new base in Skåne. The National Criminal Police (Rikskriminalen) has been assigned the duty to establish a new station for the Swedish Police Wing in southern Sweden, and to buy the new helicopter. The expansion of the aviation service was agreed upon during a meeting this Thursday.
The enlargement of the fleet saves the helicopter station in Östersund, which ran the risk of being closed and moved to Skåne.

The Swedish Police Wing operates a fleet of six EC135s from four bases throughout Sweden: Boden, Gothenburg, Stockholm and Östersund. It has a seventh helicopter, a Jet Ranger, which is used for training duties at the base in Gothenburg.
The organization originally operated seven EC135s out of five air stations (Malmö/Skåne included), but one aircraft was lost in a tragic accident in Gothenburg in 2007. The Skåne based helicopter was subsequently moved to Gothenburg, and the Malmö base was closed.

The Swedish Police operates its own helicopter unit since nearly half a century back. The Police Wing (Polisflyget) is subordinated the National Criminal Police and employs roughly 35 officers.
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World's first flight of a hybrid helicopter
4 October, 2011
[Marignane, France] Eurocopter has successfully tested a hybrid helicopter that combines a turboshaft internal combustion engine with an electric motor for a world premiere, marking a new milestone in its innovation roadmap that opens the way for further enhancements in rotary-wing aircraft safety.
For this initial breakthrough in exploring the hybrid concept, Eurocopter is using the supplemental electric system to increase maneuverability of a single-engine helicopter during an autorotation landing.

The demonstrator helicopter is a production version of Eurocopter’s highly successful light single-engine AS350, which has been equipped with a supplementary electric motor. In the event of an engine failure, the electric motor provides power to the rotor, allowing a pilot to control the helicopter very easily during the descent to a safe touchdown. The next step is to bring this concept to maturity and evaluate its implementation on Eurocopter’s series production helicopters.

“Eurocopter’s research and development efforts are used every day to push the frontiers by increasing helicopter safety and performance for the benefit of our customers, and we are proud to have brought the first helicopter equipped with an internal combustion engine and electric propulsion system to flight,” said Lutz Bertling, Eurocopter President and CEO. “Hybrid propulsion is an important element of Eurocopter’s innovation roadmap in developing the next generation of helicopters. It offers new opportunities for improvements in safety, along with the potential for reducing fuel consumption and emissions.”
The AS350 hybrid demonstrator has its highly compact electric motor and lithium ion polymer battery installed in the center area of the helicopter. Electronic controls enable precise deployment of power delivered by the electric motor during the period of autorotation.
Eurocopter’s AS350 is one of the most successful helicopters, with the more than 4,000 aircraft in service worldwide having logged more than a million flight hours as of 2010. It excels in hot conditions and very high altitudes, holding the record as the only helicopter to have landed on top of Mount Everest.
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Accident report after ditched R44 released
19 September, 2011
[Stockholm] The Swedish Accident Investigation Board (Statens Haverikommission, SHK) has published its final report after an accident that occurred on 11 January 2010 at Ornö (Stockholm), involving a helicopter with the registration SE-JGA.

The aircraft, a Robinson R44 Clipper, was performing a private winter flight to Ornö Island in Stockholm’s southern archipelago when it crashed in the water due to the loss of references. The pilot, who was the only person onboard, had noticed some sea smoke (shallow fog over the water) near Dalarö, and as he continued he ended up in heavy fog. He tried to turn away from the fog and to descend towards the water in order to resume the visual references and keep clear of the surrounding terrain. However, the helicopter ended up hitting the surface of the water and turned over. The pilot, who managed to engage the floats, was able to evacuate the helicopter, get up onto the belly of the inverted aircraft and alert the rescue service. He was picked up by one of the Swedish Sea Rescue Society's hovercrafts after 25 minutes.

The Investigation Board has determined that the accident was caused by the fact that the VFR flight was planned and executed in a manner that led to the loss of visual metrological conditions.
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Air Greenland orders two EC225
12 September, 2011
[Marignane/France] Air Greenland has placed its first order for Eurocopter's EC225 medium twin-engine helicopter, acquiring two of these rotary-wing aircraft for duties that are to include all- weather search and rescue (SAR) and all-weather passenger transportation missions.

With the challenging operational environment faced in Greenland, Air Greenland’s decision validates the EC225’s role as a preferred helicopter for use in the most demanding operational conditions.

The EC225 acquisition agreement was signed in the presence of Thomas Hein, Eurocopter’s Vice President Sales and Customer Relations for Central Europe; Michael Binzer, Air Greenland’s CEO; and Jens Wittrup Willumsen, Air Greenland's Chairman of the Board. They were joined by Air Greenland Vice President and Technical Director Peter Bjerre, along with Florence Cassier, Eurocopter Sales Manager.

"After a long and hard evaluation, Air Greenland decided to purchase Eurocopter’s EC225, and we are confident this is the right helicopter for our operations in the harsh environment in and around Greenland," Binzer stated. "We are particularly pleased to expand our long relationship with Eurocopter, and are looking forward to introducing the EC225 into our fleet."

With this acquisition of two EC225s – to be delivered in 2014 – Air Greenland will expand the company's Eurocopter fleet, which already consists of 10 AS350 B3 and two AS350 B2 Ecureuil family helicopters, thereby further extending its service capabilities for a range of missions in support of growing offshore oil and gas air transport services, as well as search and rescue operations.

"This order marks a milestone in Eurocopter’s long relationship with Air Greenland, and is another endorsement for the EC225's proven capabilities in the most severe operational conditions," Eurocopter's Hein stated. "We are especially proud to accompany Air Greenland in its development, and look forward to contributing to the success of its operations with the EC225."

The twin-engine EC225, which is a 10-11-metric ton weight category helicopter, offers superior speed, range, payload, optimal safety and reliability. Deployed worldwide for civil and military search and rescue, as well as off-shore and passenger transport missions, it is the latest generation of Eurocopter’s Super Puma/Cougar family, which has logged more than four million flight hours.

The EC225 is perfectly adapted to missions in severe weather, as it is designed to meet the highest safety standard levels and is backed by system redundancy, a highly capable automatic flight control system, and the capability for full deicing – which allows flight in all known icing conditions.
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R44 accident in Ånn (Jämtland)
8 September, 2011
[Ånn] A Robinson R44 Astro visiting from Norway was involved in an accident near Ånn in Jämtland County earlier today. Nobody on board was injured, but the helicopter was severely damaged. The accident will be examined by the Swedish Accident Investigation Board (Statens haverikommission, SHK).
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The government takes over Norrlandsflyg
24 August, 2011
[Stockholm] The Swedish Radio reports that the Swedish Government will buy the company Norrlandsflyg and its search and rescue (SAR) business. Norrlandsflyg has been operating the helicopter SAR for the Swedish Maritime Administration since 2002, when the Swedish Armed Forces Helicopter Wing started to reduce its SAR alert.

Norrlandsflyg is currently operating all the five SAR stations in Sweden – Skellefteå, Stockholm, Visby, Ronneby and Gothenborg – utilizing seven Sikorsky S-76C/C+/C++ helicopters and roughly 100 people. The government states that the purchase will secure the air- and sea rescue on a long-term basis.

In March this year the Swedish Maritime Administration (the agency responsible for the Swedish SAR) made it official that they intended to take over the SAR operations.
- We have decided to incorporate helicopter services in the Maritime Administration as the existing agreements begin to expire. Norrlandsflyg has managed the operational activities in a safe and professional manner, but now we have chosen a new direction for how we want to conduct business, said Naomi Erickson, Chief Financial Officer of the Maritime Administration back then.

The structure of the new organization is yet to be revealed.
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Jämtlands Flyg obtains Part-145 permit
16 August, 2011
[Östersund] The large Swedish helicopter operator Jämtlands Flyg has obtained its own EASA Part-145 permit, issued by the Swedish Transport Agency. The company's base maintenance facility is located at the Göviken Heliport in Östersund, which is the company's main base.

The organization will conduct services at the company's current helicopter types – AS350, EC120 and R44. In addition to the maintenance extension Jämtlands Flyg has just been approved as an Authorized Robinson Service Center, which means that the company can offer full maintenance and complete overhaul services on Robinson helicopters.

"Today we produce more flight hours than ever with our eight helicopters, and an own maintenance organization sure makes things a lot easier" says Jon M Håkansson, Jämtlands Flyg’s COO.
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Helicopter damaged in Gällivare
15 August, 2011
[Gällivare] A helicopter was damaged in an accident near the Aitik mine in Gällivare this afternoon. The pilot, who was the only one onboard, escaped without injuries. The cause of the outcome is unknown, but it will be examined by the Swedish Accident Investigation Board.
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Large military exercise closes Lapland
9 August, 2011
[Lapland] An extensive military air exercise will close large parts of the airspace in Lapland between 22nd of August and 1st of September. The CAA has issued two temporary restricted areas in the northern parts of the Swedish FIR. The main restricted area (designated "Center") will be effective between GND and UNL, and it covers a large region between Lycksele and Gällivare. The second area (designated "Outer") is much larger, but it will be effective at higher altitudes (FL115-FL310).

The CAA has issued an AIP Supplement on the "NoAM 11" exercise (ref. 34/2011). The document can be found through the link below:
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Fatal helicopter accident in Norway
4 July, 2011
[Hardanger] At 19:15 this evening a Norwegian AS 350 crashed between Dalamot and Busete in Eidfjord municipality, east of Bergen. All five occupants lost their lives in the accident. The victims, one pilot and four passengers, were 39, 32, 29, 27 and 18 years old.
The aircraft was operating from the Kinsarvik helicopter base and it was currently deployed on a transport operation in the mountainous Hardanger area. It belongs to one of the largest utility operators in the Norway, and was one of 14 helicopters of the same type in the company. The cause of the accident is unknown at this time, but it is being examined by the Norwegian Accident Investigation Board.
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Accident Board criticizes Swedish SAR
2 July, 2011
[Stockholm] In a recently published incident report the Swedish Accident Investigation Board (Statens Haverikommission, SHK) aims criticism at the Swedish helicopter search and rescue (SAR) organization.

The report itself deals with a ship incident that occurred on 2 December 2008. The RORO cargo/passenger vessel M/S Sea Wind was en-route from Turku (Finlad) to Stockholm (Sweden) when a fire broke loose in the engine control room. The ship, which carried 11 passengers and 28 crew, was located south west of Mariehamn in Finland when she transmitted the mayday-call at 01:38 AM. Three helicopters were launched, two Finnish (from Turku and Helsinki) and one Swedish (SE-JOB from Visby). The crew managed to extinguish the fire prior to the arrival of the helicopters, but the passengers were still evacuated by a Finnish Super Puma for safety reasons.

The Accident Board spends roughly 15 pages in describing the rescue work, with focus in the Swedish helicopter system. The basic concern derives out of two setbacks during the rescue work – the weather and the endurance. Two Swedish helicopters (Stockholm and Sundsvall) were unable to take off due to the poor weather condition (freezing fog). The helicopter in Visby was able to take off, but as the nearest alternative IFR airport (Mariehamn) was closed the helicopter had limited capacity to deploy naval firefighters (a “RITS” group) and remain in standby at the scene of the accident at the same time, whilst maintaining the essential timeframe to reach the nearest IFR alternative.

The Accident Board focuses its criticism in the Swedish Maritime Administration’s decision to utilize light helicopters (Sikorsky S-76C+/++) for its nation-wide search and rescue service. It says that the endurance of the aircraft and the helicopter’s limited loading capacity poses a problem in the deployment of the RITS groups.

The board further states that the operator, Norrlandsflyg, has failed to equip their fleet of S-76 helicopters with the optional de-ice equipment and a night vision image system (NVIS) in accordance to their agreements with the Maritime Administration. It says that “the lack of de-ice equipment is a limiting factor in the usage of the helicopters during large parts of the year”. Norrlandsflyg, on the other hand, states that the de-icing equipment will be available on the new D-model of the S-76, but that the certification process of the new aircraft has been delayed. The lack of the NVIS gear is a result of a delayed approval of the NVG modification of the helicopters in combination with the demand for a government-based end-user license in order to supply the gear by the manufacturer.
In terms of the supposed limited endurance of the aircraft, the board says that; “the S-76 is adequate to fill the need of the private boating sector, but it has some limitations when it comes to the commercial shipping segment,” and continues “all together this means that it must be considered that the helicopter lacks sufficient capacity to accomplish some of the missions required in the agreed mission specification.”

The choice to focus in the Swedish helicopter response is in line with the board’s national commitment, although the Finnish Super Puma experienced the same problem as the S-76 in terms of limited on-scene endurance due to the lack of IFR alternatives. The board did, however, recommend an international ambition to establish a 24-hour-alert at the Mariehamn Airport.

The Swedish Maritime Administration says that the required aim for the Swedish SAR is obtained with the current organization (five fast helicopters spread across the Swedish coastline). The Maritime Administration is able to assist 90% of the emergencies within 60 minutes in Swedish waters and within 90 minutes in international waters in the rescue region.

Norrlandsflyg says in a comment that “We are aware of the views expressed by the Swedish Accident Investigation Board, but do not agree to the conclusions as our operations – and abilities – are in line with agreements made with the Swedish Maritime Administration. Still, we look forward to our next generation of SAR helicopters, where we will further enhance our capabilities.”
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Norrlandsflyg hires Saab for maintenance
1 July, 2011
[Gothenburg] The defence and security company Saab has received an order from Norrlandsflyg AB, who are purchasing technical services for their helicopter fleet through a call-off contract.
Norrlandsflyg AB is responsible for the contracted Swedish Search and Rescue operations on behalf of the Swedish Maritime Administration, and is responsible for the helicopter ambulance operations in the Västra Götaland region. The company have a number of Sikorsky S-76 rescue helicopters stationed throughout Sweden. It has its main base and current technical department located at Säve Airport in Gothenburg.

The order from Norrlandsflyg means that Saab will provide certified technicians and mechanics.

“This is another positive step for us, providing support to both military and civil helicopter operators, and it will be a pleasure to work with Norrlandsflyg,” says Torsten Öhman, divisional manager and responsible for the helicopter operations at Saab business area Support and Services.

Saab already has a contract with Scandinavian Air Ambulance (Scandinavian MediCopter), which is deployed in EMS operations in Sweden and Finland.
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No investigation after rollover
29 June, 2011
[Stockholm] The Swedish Accident Investigation Board (Statens Haverikommission, SHK) has decided not to proceed in the post-accident examination following a training accident in Vilhelmina last year. It published a report today saying that the investigation has been cancelled due to the art of the accident.

The event itself occurred on July 17 last year, when a Hughes 369D (SE-HRK) was conducting autorotation practices for a type rating at Sagadal Airport in Vilhelmina. At the very last phase of the autorotation, after touch-down, the leading end of the right skid got stuck in the ground as the helicopter was sliding forward, why the aircraft rolled over. None of the two very experienced pilots were hurt in the accident, but the helicopter was substantially damaged.

The document published by the Investigation Board today states that full-down autorotation exercises is a well-known hazard in helicopter aviation, and that there have been many reports published in the matter. Even the slightest mistake in such an exercise can lead to an accident, which most often is survivable. The Board concludes by staying that it “does not see that a deeper investigation of this accident can add any new perspectives in regard to flight safety.”
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HeliAir Maintenance acquires Part-145
28 June, 2011
[Västerås] HeliAir Maintenance, a subsidiary to HeliAir Sweden, has acquired a EASA Part-145 permit by the Civil Aviation Authority of Sweden. This means that they are now a certified maintenance organization allowed to perform service on the following helicopter types including their respective series: AS350, MD500, MD600 and Bell 206.

"Initially the focus will be set to maintain HeliAir's own fleet of thirteen helicopters, however external customers are already welcome to contact us and discussion any maintenance issues they might have"- Jan Yngvesson, CAM at HeliAir Sweden says.

He pointed out that the goal is to maintain external helicopters on a regular basis when the company and the scope of work (i.e. approved types) progressively expands.

Jan continues: "This approval also includes our own service bus which has been certified to work as a line-station. This means that we're allowed to perform any scheduled maintenance at any location, which with todays regulations is quite unique".

HeliAir Maintenance has their main base located at the southern part of Västerås-Hässlö Airport at HeliAir's apron 6.
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No investigation after training accident
21 June, 2011
[Stockholm] The Swedish Accident Investigation Board (Statens Haverikommission, SHK) has decided not to proceed in the post-accident examination following a training accident in Jönköping last year. It published a report today saying that the investigation has been cancelled due to the art of the accident.

The event itself occurred on June 29 last year, when a Schweizer 269Cbi (SE-JBP) hit the ground hard at Axamo Airport in Jönköping during an autorotation training. None of the two pilots were hurt in the accident, but the helicopter was substantially damaged. The pilots were conducting a flight instructor course.

The document published by the Investigation Board today states that full-down autorotation exercises are a well-known hazard in helicopter aviation, and that there have been many reports published in the matter. Even the slightest mistake in such an exercise can lead to an accident, which most often is survivable. The Board concludes by staying that it “does not see that a deeper investigation of this accident can add any new perspectives in regard to flight safety.”
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Saab signs teaming agreement with Sikorsky
21 June, 2011
[Paris, France] The defence and security company Saab and Sikorsky has signed a Teaming Agreement regarding support and training services for the Swedish Black Hawk Programme.
During a ceremony at the Paris Air Show, Lars-Erik Wige, head of Saab's business area Support and Services, and David Adler, president of Sikorsky Aerospace Services, signed a Teaming Agreement. The agreement relates to support and training services for Sikorsky's UH-60M Black Hawks to be operated by the Swedish Armed Forces (SwAF).

The Swedish Defence Materiel Administration (FMV) has purchased 15 Black Hawk helicopters through the U.S. Government’s Foreign Military Sales program. In Sweden the helicopters are designated HKP 16. The Swedish Armed Forces (SwAF) intend to use the aircraft for medical evacuation, utility, and search and rescue missions in support of the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) in Afghanistan. Three of the helicopters will be deployed to Afghanistanas early as 2013 in connection withSweden's intervention in the country.

Sikorsky is expected to deliver the first helicopters in 2011. Initially, Sikorsky and Saab will ensure delivery of the HKP 16 maintenance organisation in order to support aircraft availability for initial SwAF training at the main operating base inLinköping,Sweden. This means that Saab, in cooperation with Sikorsky, will gradually build up further capabilities to secure and deliver cost effective support and training services for the Swedish HKP 16 operations.

“This is yet another key step in our efforts regarding maintenance, support and training in the helicopter field. We look forward to working with Sikorsky and we already have a long-standing strong cooperation with the Swedish Armed Forces regarding maintenance and support for their air operations,” says Lars-Erik Wige.
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Two helicopters in Härjedalen accident
20 June, 2011
[Härjedalen] Two Robinson R44 helicopters hit each other while landing south of Lake Orrmosjön in Lillhärdal (Härjedalen) earlier today. Several newspapers states that the accident occurred as one aircraft was about to land next to the other one. The four occupants survived without injuries. Both helicopters were registered in Germany.
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Sikorsky buys Danish Sea Kings
9 June, 2011
[Copenhagen] It is a comprehensive process to sell military helicopters, but the Danish Defence Acquisition and Logistics Organization has successfully sold its Sea King fleet, having already replaced them operationally by AgustaWestland AW101 Merlins in the last few years. In total, seven S-61 helicopters and accompanying spare parts and accessory packs have been sold, releasing approx 40 million DKR (approx US$7.8 million) – their purchase cost in 1965 was about US$690,000 per helicopter!

In total, three US companies have bought the fleet. Electronic Manufacturers Associated Inc. and Clayton International Inc. have purchased a portion of the spare parts, while all seven airframes and further parts and accessories packages are purchased from Helicopter Support Inc., owned by Sikorsky Aircraft Inc.

If everything goes according to plan, the Danish S-61 helicopters will be upgraded to S61T standard and resold to the U.S. State Department for Civil Aviation in Iraq within the year. The Danish military believe this is only possible because of the good state of maintenance of the aircraft.

Story written by Jeremy Parkin, HeliHub.com
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Accident report after engine failure released
30 May, 2011
[Stockholm] The Swedish Accident Investigation Board (Statens Haverikommission, SHK) has published its final report after an accident that occurred on 1 July 2009 at Klutsjön (Idre), involving a helicopter with the registration SE-JBU.

The helicopter, a Hughes 500D, was performing a reindeer herding and was hovering at roughly 10-12 meters above the ground when its engine suddenly failed. The aircraft fell rapidly and hit hard. The two occupants obtained back injuries, but they were able to evacuate the wrecked helicopter and alert the rescue service, which arrived in approx 1 hour and 15 minutes.

The Investigation Board has determined that the coupling between the engine compressor and turbine, a so-called Splined Adapter, had snapped due to a fatigue crack. The Board considers the Splined Adapter a week component in the engine design, despite measures taken by engine manufacturers and regulators.

SHK found reasons to criticize the national rescue helicopter service for its lack of endurance during the rescue operation. The Board has determined that the existing helicopters meet the current requirements in terms of endurance, stipulated by the Swedish Maritime Administration, but that the requirements can limit the helicopter’s capacity at the scene of an accident. SHK writes that there is a need to improve the current operational requirements for SAR helicopters in endurance and loading capacity.
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Two people dead in autogyro crash
28 May, 2011
[Norrtälje] Two people lost their lives earlier today when their autogyro crashed in the forest near Snesslingby, moments south of Norrtälje.

The cause of the accident is still unknown, but it will be investigated by the Royal Swedish Aero Club, which is responsible for the ultra-light segment. The Swedish Accident Investigation Board (Statens Haverikommission, SHK) is not obligated to investigate ultra-light accidents.
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Accident report after fractured rotor hub
27 May, 2011
[Stockholm] The Swedish Accident Investigation Board (Statens haverikommission, SHK) has published its report after an accident that occurred on 28 October 2009 at Flatruet Härjedalen, involving a helicopter with registration SE-JME.

The helicopter, an EC 120B Colibri, was performing a commercial air transport in the mountainous area between Helags and Funäsdalen when the pilot heard a loud bang and felt very strong low-frequency vibrations in the helicopter. It was not possible to read the instruments, and parts of the interior fittings had become detached, why the pilot entered an autorotation and landed safely.
The post-landing inspection found a large open crack in the main rotor hub along with several cracks in the tail section and the tail boom.

The Investigation Board has determined that the accident was caused by the fact that the maintenance system for the helicopter model did not detect this type of defect because the time from initiation of the crack to final fracture is shorter than the inspection interval.
EASA is recommended to work towards a more sensitive method aimed at detecting any defects in the main rotor hub at an earlier stage than those described in an EASA AD.
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Helicopter accident in northern Norway
24 May, 2011
[Mosjøen] Several Norwegian newspapers states that a Eurocopter SA315B Lama helicopter has been involved in an accident in the Haustreisdalen Valley in Grane Muncipality, northern Norway, this morning. The accident, which occurred during an aerial work operation, was survived by both occupants.
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Sweden - first with UH-60M in Europe
18 May, 2011
[Stratford, Connecticut] The purchase of 15 new UH-60M helicopters to the Swedish Armed Forces was announced by Sweden's Secretary of Defense, Sten Tolgfors, on April 9 this year. The official press release was released by Sikorsky today:

Sikorsky Aircraft Corp. today announced that the U.S. Government has agreed to sell 15 Sikorsky UH-60M BLACK HAWK helicopters to the Swedish Defence Materiel Administration (or FMV, which is the Swedish acronym) for operation by the Swedish Armed forces. The transaction will take place under the U.S. Government’s Foreign Military Sales program, and represents the introduction of the latest and most technologically advanced BLACK HAWK model into Europe. Sikorsky is a subsidiary of United Technologies Corp. (NYSE: UTX).

The Swedish Armed Forces will use the aircraft for medical evacuation, utility, and search and rescue missions. Sikorsky is slated to deliver six of the helicopters in 2011 and the remaining nine in 2012 under an accelerated production schedule.

Sweden is a member of the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) in Afghanistan.

“We’re honored to support the Swedish Armed Forces, and we congratulate them for being the first European Union nation to choose this highly evolved UH-60M aircraft, which is part of a lineage of aircraft that have proven themselves countless times under the most extreme conditions all over the world,” said Mick Maurer, President of Sikorsky Military Systems.

The UH-60M helicopter is the latest version in the long and highly successful BLACK HAWK family. It is flown by the U.S. Army and provides additional payload and range, advanced digital avionics, improved handling qualities and situational awareness, active vibration control, and improved survivability compared with the predecessor UH-60L model.

The BLACK HAWK helicopter is well known for its ruggedness, survivability and mission flexibility, having logged more than 9 million flight hours since the first model was introduced in 1978. Worldwide, approximately 2,700 are in operation today. Sweden will become the 26th nation to operate BLACK HAWK helicopters and only the second in Europe, where Austria operates UH-60L models. U.S. forces have flown various BLACK HAWK models for 1.2 million flight hours to date in Afghanistan and Iraq without a single material failure.
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Norwegian S-92 in precautionary landing
13 May, 2011
[Norway] Several newspapers state that a Norwegian Sikorsky S-92A encountered an engine problem en route from Sola Airport (Stavanger) to the Ekofisk oil field in the North Sea yesterday. The helicopter lost the oil pressure in one of its two engines, why the engine was shut down. The aircraft made a mayday call and returned to Sola on its second engine, accompanied by a rescue helicopter. The S-92, which carried 18 people on board, landed safely upon the arrival.
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HKP 14 officially handed over
11 May, 2011
[Linköping] The NHIndustries NH 90, locally designated HKP 14 or Helicopter 14, was officially handed over to the Swedish Armed Forces Helicopter Wing by the industry today. The historic ceremony took place at the Malmen Helicopter Base in Linköping, and it marks the start of a new era in the Armed Forces.

Read the full story here (photo story)
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Saab signs maintenance contract with FMV
5 May, 2011
[Linköping] Saab has signed a new contract with the Swedish Defence Materiel Administration (FMV) regarding the support and maintenance of Helicopter 15 (HKP 15 - Agusta 109 LUH), operated by the Swedish Armed Forces Helicopter Wing. The contract, including options, has a potential order value of around MSEK 900 over 10 years. As part of the contract a first order intake of MSEK 350 has been registered. The contract extends over a period of 6 years beginning in 2012 with option for additional 2 years and thereafter another 2 years. The contract includes the following:

· Support and maintenance of all 20 helicopters including materiel and technical personnel.
· Base staff in the form of management, planning and administration.
· Logistics and materiel provision.
· On-call services in the form of additional technical personnel.

The contract will come into force following a 10-day period without any third party appeal.

"With this contract, we are consolidating our previous long-standing and strong cooperation with the Swedish Defence Materiel Administration and the Swedish Armed Forces regarding their helicopter operations. For Saab, this strengthens our core business," says Lars-Erik Wige head of Saab's Support and Services business area.

The commitment is part of the strategic development within Saab towards a broader civil and military helicopter operation.

"For Saab, this total commitment regarding Helicopter 15 is a significant and vital step in driving development further within this area," says Torsten Öhman, head of the Customer Alliance Solutions division and responsible for helicopter operations within the Support and Services business area.

Helicopter 15 currently operates from two bases in Sweden, Linköping and Ronneby. Linköping is the main base for maintenance, inspections and repairs, meaning that the majority of Saab's support and maintenance resources will be based there, including technicians, mechanics and base staff. The base in Ronneby will also have the capacity for flights and limited maintenance, inspections and troubleshooting.
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NH90 takes off as HKP 14
12 April, 2011
[Linköping] In the morning of April 12 the very first NH90 took off as a HKP 14 of the Swedish Armed Forces Helicopter Wing. This was the first time the helicopter type flew in service with the Helicopter Wing, following years of extensive trials by the Swedish Defence Materiel Administration (FMV).

The Materiel Administration has delivered the first batch of HKP 14s to the Swedish Armed Forces, consisting of four NH90s out of 18 helicopters ordered. K-45 became the first aircraft to fly in the Helicopter Wing as it took off from the Malmen base in Linköping. The premiere flight, which is an important milestone in the military helicopter organization, is a result of several years of intensive work by many different parties.

“It feels very good that we have finally got started with the flights," said Magnus Westerlund, chief of the Helicopter Wing.

The official handover ceremony will take place in early-May.
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Sweden buys 15 Black Hawks
9 April, 2011
[Stockholm] It was announced today by Sweden's Secretary of Defense, Sten Tolgfors, that Sweden will buy 15 new UH-60M Black Hawks, also known as Sikorsky S-70. The helicopter type will be designated HKP 16 once it is operational in the Swedish Armed Forces Helicopter Wing.

The pilot training will commence at Fort Rucker and Fort Campbel in the US this summer and the first delivery is expected to take place in the beginning of 2012. All fifteen helicopters should be fully equipped and ready for missions in 2017.

Today the Swedish Armed Forces operates three helicopter types. HKP 10 (AS 332 Super Puma) and HKP 15 (Agusta 109) are fully operational, and HKP 14 (NH90) is being delivered.

Up till today there have been over 3000 Black Hawk helicopters manufactured and it is used by 27 countries all over the world.

18 NH90 helicopters were ordered for almost 10 years ago, but they are not expected to be fully operational until earliest 2020. By purchasing well proven helicopters the Swedish Armed Forces Helicopter Wing are hoping to avoid the same fate as with the NH90s, and that the costs will be reduced by half, Sten says.

The purchase will open the possibility of an extension of the current Swedish involvement in Afghanistan as early as 2013. The Swedish Armed Forces are currently operating two HKP 10B medevac helicopters in the country.
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Heli AB adds second Ecureuil to its fleet
4 April, 2011
[Arjeplog] The outback tourism company Heli i Arjeplog AB has added a second helicopter to its fleet. The new bird in the nest is the well-known SE-JGV, which teams up with the company’s B2 SE-JKB. Heli AB has its focus set in tourism and aerial works. It operates from a main base in the heart of Arjeplog, and has field bases in Tjärnberg and Björkliden. SE-JGV will start its new career as a heli ski shuttle.

The aircraft has been owned by the Linköping based company BN Construction since it came to Sweden in 2003. SE-JGV has been leased by various helicopter companies throughout the years, including Copterflyg, HeliAir Sweden and HeliNord Norden. The helicopter was purchased from by Heli AB in March 2011.
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First Swedish helicopter mission in Afghanistan
4 April, 2011
[Afghanistan] The Swedish helicopter unit SAE ISAF Medevac carried out its first in-country mission yesterday. The task was to carry two wounded Afghan army soldiers from the Khilegay base to a German field hospital at Camp Marmal in Mazar-e Sharif.

The unit supported the U.S. helicopter resources that were in need of reinforcement for a traffic accident involving two Afghan army vehicles and a large number of injured people.

Khilegay is located in the southeastern part of the Regional Command North's responsibility, in which the Swedish helicopter unit operates.

 The mission was preceded by intensive preparations in the area the recent 
weeks. The helicopters arrived in the area on March 24 and the unit has been operational since the morning of April 2.
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Ericsson and Osterman in tsunami relief
30 March, 2011
[Tokyo] The large telecom company Ericsson has hired Osterman Helicopter to support the reconstruction of the damaged communication system in Japan. Osterman's Bell 205 was loaded onto an Antonoav AN-124 freighter at Arlanda Airport in Stockholm yesterday and has now arrived in Tokyo.

Tens of thousands were killed as large parts of their society were swept away in the tsunami that hit the coast of Japan on March 11. The most badly severed area was Tohuku, where the transport and communications infrastructure have been severely devastated. Damage to telecommunications causes problems in the rescue work and damage to roads means that some areas are reachable only by air transport.

To support Japanese operators, the Ericsson-chartered helicopter has arrived in the area and will begin operations on March 31. Crewed by personnel with experience in disaster zones, the helicopter will carry Ericsson employees and necessary repair equipment to support in the network maintenance, rebuilding and repair tasks faced by all of Ericsson’s customers.

The helicopter will also offer Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) operating in the region the opportunity to transport goods such as food, water and clothes when on-board space is available.

Repairs in the mobile networks include restoring damaged radio base stations and related technical equipment, restoring power, fixing damaged towers and replacing concrete foundations.

“We’ve been in close contact with our customers since the immediate aftermath of the terrible earthquake and tsunami,” says Fredrik Alatalo, President of Ericsson Japan. “From the outset we have offered our help to customers, with our complete organization in Japan fully committed. Our current efforts, including the chartering of the helicopter and providing satellite phones, are part of that. We will continue to work closely with our customers to support in any way we can.”
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Johan Eckerstein new CEO of Norrlandsflyg
28 March, 2011
[Gothenburg] On March 1st, Johan Eckerstein was appointed new CEO for the large Swedish helicopter operator Norrlandsflyg AB.

Johan succeeds Fredrik Skanselid, who has decided to leave his role as CEO due to a recent change in ownership of the company. Norrlandsflyg states that Fredrik Skanselid will maintain his position as Accountable Manager in the company for some time, but that he will resign later on this spring.

Johan Eckerstein comes from the IT-company myJoice AB, where he was CEO. “I consider it just as much fun as it is exciting to take over the responsibility for Norrlandsflyg", says Johan Eckerstein. “The company has got a good operation and a well-run organization now, and we are facing a number of challenges in which I hope and believe that my coworkers and me will find a path to continued success.“

Norrlandsflyg operates a large fleet of Sikorsky S-76 helicopters from six bases throughout Sweden - five Search and Rescue stations and one ambulance base. The company, which has its main office in Gothenburg, employs a staff of approx. 120 persons.
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Patria expands in Nordic helicopter maintenance
23 March, 2011
[Helsinki] The Nordic defence, security and aerospace group Patria strengthens its position in Norway and in the Nordic helicopter maintenance by buying the Norwegian Bardufoss based NAC Maintenance AS (NACM), specialised in helicopter and aircraft maintenance. By the deal the company name will be changed to Patria Helicopters AS.

Patria aims to expand the NACM operations and serve the military and civilian operators especially in the northern Norway.

“Patria is very pleased to have an already operating and professional Norwegian company as a basis for a new unit. We want to expand the current maintenance operations, recruit new skilled personnel from Norway and to create stability to the development of operations in the long run”, says Lassi Matikainen from Patria.

Patria has already operated in Norway for a long time as Patria and the Norwegian state own the defence group Nammo AS with equal stakes.

The Norwegian Armed Forces has purchased XA vehicles from Patria. Also, Patria maintains Norwegian helicopters. Furthermore, Nordic cooperation takes place in NH90 project in connection with NORDILS as well as in helicopter engine assembly.

Patria is a defence, security and aerospace group with international operations delivering its customers competitive solutions based on own specialist know-how and partnerships. Patria is owned by the State of Finland (73.2%) and the European Aeronautic Defence and Space Company EADS N.V. (26.8%).
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Maritime Administrations takes over the SAR
17 March, 2011
[Norrköping] The Swedish Maritime Administration has now decided how to ensure a long-term national sea and air rescue service. This means that the helicopter operations will be gradually incorporated into the Maritime Administration. The reason is to safeguard the availability of rescue helicopters for sea and land operations on a longer term.

The Maritime Administration is the agency responsible for the Swedish sea and air rescue service. A central part of the business is the helicopter services previously operated by Norrlandsflyg.

- We have now decided to incorporate helicopter services in the Maritime Administration as the existing agreements begin to expire. Norrlandsflyg has managed the operational activities in a safe and professional manner, but now we have chosen a new direction for how we want to conduct business, says Naomi Erickson, Chief Financial Officer of Maritime Administration.

The Maritime Administration's rescue helicopters are positioned on five duty stations along the Swedish coastline. They are in alert around the clock all year, and have a response time of 15 minutes following an emergency call.

Having a well-functioning rescue service is a basic security for both sailors and aviators.

- We are very keen to be able to conduct safe rescue operations in accordance with our mandate, and that means we must be able to secure a long-term operation both financially and operationally. That is the reason why we have made this decision, says Naomi Erickson.

In January the Administration decided not to extend the two-year option in Norrlandsflyg ‘s contract for the helicopter service in Ronneby. The contracts for Visby and Skellefteå will run out in the spring of 2012 as well. During 2013, the contract for the operations in Norrtälje (Stockholm) and Säve (Gothenburg) will expire.

The transposition of the business is conducted in close cooperation between Norrlandsflyg and the Swedish Maritime Administration, and both parties are keen that this happens in a planned and controlled manner.

- We regret that the Administration has chosen to withdraw this service from a compediting market, but now as the decision has been made we concider it a natural thing that we in Norrlandsflyg continue to take our professional responsibility, says Anders Annerfalk, public information officer at Norrlandsflyg.

Norrlandsflyg has performed civil search and rescue (SAR) operations from 2002, following the first steps in the retirement of military rescue operations. It operates a large fleet of Sikorsky S-76 helicopters from six bases throughout Sweden - five SAR stations and one EMS (ambulance) base. The company, which has its main office in Gothenburg, employs a staff of approx. 120 persons.
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Helicopter damaged in training incident
16 March, 2011
[Jönköping] A Jet Ranger was damaged during a minor training mishap at Axamo Airport in Jönköping earlier today. The occupants were unharmed, and the cause of the incident is unknown.
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Eurocopter launches the new EC 145 T2
7 March, 2011
[Orlando, Florida] The newest member of Eurocopter’s helicopter family was formally launched today with the unveiling of its EC145 T2 (not EC 146 that many speculated) – an evolved version of the popular twin-engine EC145 that incorporates new Arriel 2E engines, along with the company’s Fenestron shrouded tail rotor, upgraded main and tail rotor gear boxes, an innovative new digital avionics suite and a 4-axis autopilot.

Today’s EC145 T2 debut was at the Heli-Expo 2011 exposition in Orlando, Florida, where Eurocopter also announced launch agreements for a total of 17 helicopters from four international customers, who plan to utilize these rotary-wing aircraft in emergency medical services (EMS), oil and gas operations and business aviation.
With deliveries to begin in 2013, the EC145 T2 will offer significantly improved performance, increased flight safety, enhanced human-machine interface, improved maintainability and lower operating costs for the light-medium twin-engine helicopter. It benefits from the heritage of Eurocopter’s EC145 and its BK117 predecessor, which together have logged more than 2.8 million flight hours in service around the world. “Our EC145 T2 is the latest example of our company’s continued investment in innovation, which provides helicopters that are more efficient to own and operate, with higher performance and improved safety,” said Eurocopter President & CEO Lutz Bertling.

The EC145 T2’s most visible change is the integration of Eurocopter’s proven Fenestron shrouded tail rotor, which replaces the standard two-blade tail rotor. Advantages of the Fenestron include significantly higher safety levels on the ground and in flight, along with enhanced anti-torque control efficiency, reduced power demand in forward flight, and lower sound and vibration levels.
This Fenestron application expands Eurocopter’s use of the shrouded tail rotor, which currently is on Eurocopter’s EC120, EC130, EC135, AS365 Dauphin and EC155 helicopters. For the EC145 T2, its Fenestron has new composite blades, a new-design tail gear box with lower maintenance costs, and incorporates a duplex tail rotor actuator and dual hydraulic circuits. It is installed in a new, damage-tolerant all-composite tail boom.

The EC145 T2’s new Arriel 2E turboshaft engines are digitally controlled by dual Full Authority Digital Engine Controls (FADEC), and provide increased performance throughout the helicopter’s operational range. The average performance increase is 25 percent, with significant enhancement in the OEI (one engine inoperative) flight mode.

Other changes for the EC 145 T2 include a new modular avionics suite that incorporates three large primary displays and a 4-axis autopilot as standard equipment. It provides an innovative and efficient human-machine interface for flight crews, improved situational awareness and reduced pilot workload, while also offering additional mission capabilities.
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Saab starts maintenance ops for Air Ambulance
2 March, 2011
[Östersund] Yesterday, the agreement signed between defence and security company Saab and Scandinavian Air Ambulance Holding AB (SAA) in December 2010 came into force. At the same time, an order in this eight-year contract was received, worth MSEK 225.

The agreement that was signed at the end of last year means that Saab assumes responsibility for SAA's technical and maintenance personnel and operations for their helicopters and aircraft. Beginning in 2011, the contract is estimated to bring in annual revenues of around MSEK 50 during the contract period.

Scandinavian Air Ambulance conducts its missions today with a fleet of 8 aircraft and 7 helicopters. The company includes a number of Swedish counties and municipalities among its customers, with the majority of contracts based on long-term agreements. The helicopter operations are carried out by Scandinavian MediCopter, a subsidiary to Scandinavian AirAmbulance.
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Final landing for the military Vertol 107
2 March, 2011
[Gothenburg] The well-known and long-lived workhorse of the Swedish Armed Forces made its very last landing as a military helicopter yesterday. The Vertol 107, designated HKP 4 in the military, has now been retired after 48 years in faithful service.

The last aircraft, Y-70 (04070), was flown from its former base in Ronneby to Säve Airport in Gothenburg, escorted by a HKP 15 (Agusta 109) and a HKP 10 (Super Puma), for the final landing. The helicopter was donated to the Aeroseum Aviation Museum at Säve, which will operate and display Y-70 as a flying exhibit.
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HeliAir buys Flygtjänst o Helikoptertransport
24 February, 2011
[Vilhelmina] HeliAir Sweden made it official today that they are buying the well-established helicopter company Flygtjänst o Helikoptertransport i Sverige AB. The deal makes the rapidly growing HeliAir one of the largest helicopter companies by fleet size in Sweden.

Flygtjänst o Helikoptertransport origins out of the utility company AB Flygtjänst, which was founded in Vilhelmina back in 1982. The firm has developed throughout the years and it has become a large helicopter resource in northern Sweden. Flygtjänst expanded by purchasing the deeply rooted power line inspection company Helikoptertransport AB in early-2008, which opened for a base in the Stockholm region (Grillby) and the addition of three helicopters to the fleet. The company is currently operating six helicopters (MD600N, Hughes 500s, Long Ranger and Schweizer 300s).

HeliAir Sweden has its main office in Stockholm. It employs a total of nine helicopters in a wide range of operations, including three on leasing deals in central Europe. It operates from four bases in southern Sweden – Stockholm, Gothenburg, Växjö and Eslöv. The company has grown significantly through the acquisition of Rehnströms Aero in 2008, Helimatic in 2009 and now Flygtjänst o Helikoptertransport. Prior to the latest purchase HeliAir had five Hughes 500s, two Jet Rangers one Ecureuil and one R44.
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Finland donates two Mi-8s to international aid
24 February, 2011
[Helsinki] The Finnish newspaper Helsingin Sanomat states that Finland is donating its last two Soviet-built Mil Mi-8 transport helicopters to international crisis management activities.
The transition has been discussed with several nations, but the newspaper says that the likely recipient will be Hungary, which is expected to deploy the helicopters in Afghanistan. The Russian helicopter type has proven its capacities in Afghanistan by serving with several operators in the country.

The Finnish donation would be part of the Multinational Helicopter Initiative (MHI), which was set up three years ago by the European Union and NATO. The aim of the initiative is to get more helicopters involved in crisis management operations. Finland will be sending its two Mi-8s in addition to a half a million euros donated to MHI.

The Mi-8 has been in service in Finland since 1973, having logged more than 36 000 flight hours without any serious accidents. The type was used by the Border Guard between 1981-1988 prior to being replaced by Super Pumas. The Finnish Army has now replaced its last two Mi-8s by new NH90s.
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Longer prison sentences for helicopter robbers
16 February, 2011
[Stockholm] Today three of the seven felons that were convicted for the spectacular helicopter heist got their sentences strengthened by the Svea Court of Appeal. The pilot was sentenced to eight years in prison instead of Södertörn District Court’s earlier verdict of seven years in prison that was issued on 7 October 2010. One of the robbers that were inside the cash depot was also sentenced to eight years instead of seven, and another man involved in the heist got four years in prison instead of three. The pilot is still claiming his innocence.

The helicopter heist (locally known as “helikopterrånet”) occurred on the early morning of 23 September 2009. A Jet Ranger (SE-HON) was stolen from its hangar at Mellingeholm Airfield in Norrtälje. It was flown to Frescati/Stora Skuggan moments prior to 05:00 and soon continued to the G4S Cash Deposit in Västberga, a few kilometers southwest of downtown Stockholm. The stolen helicopter landed on the roof of the deposit building, inserted three robbers with ladders and weapons, took off to wait for the money to be collected, returned to pick up the gang and the money, and left to the southwest; all in roughly 30 minutes. In the meantime the police set up a perimeter around the robbery in progress, but they were unable to interfere with the helicopter due to the risk of harming innocent bystanders. The Swedish Police Wings’s own regional EC135 helicopters were grounded after two boxes with dummy explosives had been placed outside the entrance doors to the hangar at Myttinge Heliport the same morning.
The stolen helicopter left people and money at two locations in the suburbs – Draget/Norsborg and Kaananbadet/Grimsta – before it continued to Skavlöten/Arninge in the north of Stockholm. It was then left on a field near the forest.
The heist became an instant top story worldwide, with prominent media like CNN, BBC and AP reporting about the robbery. The robbers got away with an estimated 39 million SEK, approx €3,86 million EUR at Sep 2009 exchange rate.
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Helicopter crews ordered to Afghanistan
29 January, 2011
[Stockholm] The chief of the Swedish Armed Forces Helicopter Wing, colonel Magnus Westerlund, has ordered all personnel in the international medevac unit to go to Afghanistan. The Armed Forces has published a press release stating that all people involved in forming the medevac unit are essential for concluding the mission.

Starting from 1st of April 2011 Sweden will deploy one Helicopter Unit to the ISAF operations (International Security Assistance Force) in Afghanistan. The unit consists of two HKP 10B Super Puma helicopters and their associated staff.

"The personnel is prepared and trained, and it is therefore natural that they get an order to implement the effort. It is a requirement from my side that the unit is assigned tasks that are in balance with the capacity of its staff and the educational status. This is regulated through national restrictions on our participation when needed. It is my firm belief that the helicopter unit will solve their tasks successfully", said Magnus Westerlund in the press release.

The B-model of the HKP 10 Super Puma is a highly sophisticated international medevac platform with improved avionics and an enhanced nursing cabin. Some of its key combat features are IR suppressors, NVG, ballistic protection, robot detection- and self-protection system, engine particle separators and machine gun fittings.
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Emergency floats approved for the Cabri G2
26 January, 2011
[France] The European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) has granted Hélicoptères Guimbal the final approval for the installation of an emergency flotation system on the Cabri G2 helicopter. The system, which will be offered as an optional installation, was approved on January 14 2011.

Hélicoptères Guimbal states that the success results from significant development efforts over two years from the manufacturer and its partner, the world specialist Zodiac Aerazur. The system has gone through three flight testing campaigns, including two at sea, and several live deployments have been involved to cover the full flight envelope.

The Cabri flotation system features a number of exclusive innovations, each of them giving the helicopter operators an operational benefit:
- Its use and deployment are validated in flight throughout the Cabri’s flight envelope, up to 130 kts, without any limitation or performance penalty,
- The flotation system is perfectly integrated, and keeps the standard landing gear and nearly the same baggage capacity,
- The floats while folded in their canister can be installed and removed in a few minutes by the pilot alone, without tool,
- The system comprises a purposely designed, high-reliability electronic box which ensures an automatic backup deployment of the floats, trough immersion sensing.

This new equipment opens new markets to the Cabri G2, involving flying over water, where only one competitor exists. It ensures the Cabri’s position as a passive and active high-safety helicopter.
The first Cabri equipped with the emergency flotation system was delivered to a private operator based in Monaco.
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Armed Forces sends two Super Pumas to Africa
22 January, 2011
[Luleå] The Swedish Armed Forces Helicopter Wing has sent two HKP 10 Super Puma helicopters to Africa for crew training. The helicopters left the F21 Air Force Base in a chartered Antonov An-124 this Thursday.

By sending the Super Pumas and its crews to Africa the Helicopter Wing aims to enhance its operational ability for potential peacekeeping operations in foreign environments. The military’s website states that the pilots and engineers will be trained in a hot and dusty landscape, something that is hard to practice in Sweden.

The AS 332 M1 Super Puma helicopter, designated HKP 10 in the Armed Forces, is focused in medical operations. Three aircraft were recently modified to international medevac standards (HKP 10B), and two additional helicopters were modified to mission trainers (HKP 10D). The 1st Hkpskv. at the F21 Air Force Base in Luleå is responsible for the medevac taskforce training.
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Jämtlands Flyg becomes a Royal Warrant Holder
17 January, 2011
[Stockholm] The renowned Swedish helicopter operator Jämtlands Flyg has been dubbed a Royal Warrant Holder (Kunglig Hovleverantör) by His Majesty The King. The title is an honorable label awarded to an exclusive amount of purveyors to the Royal Court of Sweden. Jämtlands Flyg is the first aviation company to gain the title and it is the first company to be awarded since 2005. Jämtlands Flyg has been hired for helicopter transports in the mountain world by the Royal Court for decades.

The court states that “In order to qualify as Purveyor to the Court a company must have delivered goods or services to the Royal Court for at least five years. Furthermore, the companies finances must be conducted without fault.”

A Royal Warrant Holder is allowed to use the respectable Greater Coat of Arms to indicate that they are a holder of a royal warrant.

The tradition of awarding suppliers of the Royal Family has been around for centuries. The modern form of the award is bound to the managing director of the company and the monarch in question, according to the website hovlev.se. The website states: “Some 130 companies hold the title of Purveyor to H.M. King Carl XVI Gustaf at present. They represent a wide range of fields of activity and are all based in Sweden.”
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