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Headlines for 2013
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 We do not publish any speculations, rumours or questionable facts.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.
First mission-ready HKP 14D has arrived
22 December, 2013
[Linköping] The Swedish Armed Forces has taken delivery of its very first “International Mission” version of the NH90. The helicopter, locally designated HKP 14D and globally named NHIndustries NH90 TTT/IM, landed at Malmen Air Base in Linköping on 12 December 2013 following an overnight stop at the helicopter squadron in Luleå. It was officially handed over to the Helicopter Wing from the Swedish Defence Materiel Administration (FMV) on 17 December.

The IM version is an all-weather mission capable helicopter with a completely new tactical system, and it features a deicing system, weather radar, digital maps, ballistic protection, warning/countermeasure system, laser rangefinder as well as electro-optical/infrared sensors.

The helicopter has a rear cargo ramp that facilitates cabin loading and disembarkation in complement to the two large sliding doors on each side of the airframe. It has a cargo hook for underslung loads and two rescue hoists. The helicopter can take up to nine stretchers, 20 passengers or ten fully equipped soldiers depending on the cabin configuration.

The Swedish Armed Forces Helicopter Wing has operated four basic HKP 14 training helicopters since 2011. These helicopters will eventually be retrofitted to the latest standard. A total of 18 NH90s have been ordered, and the deliveries are ongoing, with four new D models expected in 2014. The fleet of HKP 14 is currently operating from the Malmen base, but they will be reassigned to the helicopter squadrons in Luleå and Ronneby from March/April 2014.
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Norway signs up for 16 SAR AW101s
19 December, 2013
[Oslo] AgustaWestland has been awarded a contract for 16 AW101 helicopters plus support and training, valued at approximately £1 billion (€1.15 billion), to meet the Norwegian All Weather SAR Helicopter (NAWSARH) requirement. The contract also includes an option for six further aircraft.

The contract signing ceremony was held in Olso today in the presence of Anders Anundsen, Minister of Justice and Public Security, and Daniele Romiti, CEO of AgustaWestland.

Aircraft deliveries to the Royal Norwegian Air Force, who will fly and operate the helicopters, will start in 2017 and continue through to 2020. The aircraft will be assembled at AgustaWestland’s Yeovil facility in the UK.

As part of the contract, a fifteen year “turnkey” support solution will be delivered, comprising spares and technical support and training services, with an option for it to be extended for a further five years.

The AW 101 is a large three-engine 14.600 kg helicopter that is constructed in a British-Italian partnership. The helicopter features a full ice protection system for flight in known icing conditions, long range and endurance, a proven 30 minute “run dry” gearbox as well as multiple redundancy features in the avionic and mission systems. The aircraft type is currently operated as a Search and Rescue helicopter in Denmark, Britain, Canada, Portugal, etc.

Daniele Romiti, AgustaWestland’s CEO said: “We are delighted that the AW101 has been awarded the Norwegian All Weather SAR Helicopter contract following a very detailed evaluation process of all the alternatives. The new generation AW101 will bring new capabilities and is a worthy successor to the AgustaWestland Sea King which has successfully served Norway for more than 40 years.”

He added: “The AW101 is recognized around the world as the most capable and advanced helicopter in its class and has proven its outstanding all weather and long range SAR abilities in service with the Royal Canadian Armed Forces, Royal Danish Air Force and Portuguese Air Force. Furthermore, the success reaffirms AgustaWestland’s excellence as a provider of advanced rotorcraft and comprehensive support solutions.”

“I am very pleased with signing the contract for new rescue helicopters” says the Minister of Justice and Public Security, Anders Anundsen. “This ensures a significantly improved safety for people at sea, along the coast and in remote areas around the country. The new helicopters will be able to rescue significantly more people in distress, be noticeably faster and with longer range than today - under virtually all weather conditions. Additionally, search capability and the possibility for medical treatment are significantly improved.”

The aircraft will be equipped with an advanced SAR equipment package including a multi-panel AESA surveillance radar system from Selex ES that provides 360° coverage, 4-axis digital Automatic Flight Control System (AFCS), two rescue hoists, searchlight, electro optical device and a fully integrated avionics and mission system. The large cabin doors and rear ramp provide easy access for personnel, survivors and equipment into the 27 m3 cabin which has stand-up head room throughout.

AgustaWestland has partnered with Norwegian companies AIM Aviation to provide maintenance services at the Royal Norwegian Air Force’s operating bases and with Kongsberg Defence Systems to provide helicopter transmission repair and overhaul services.
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Final report after fatal R44 accident in Norway
18 December, 2013
[Mosjøen] The Accident Investigation Board of Norway (AIBN) has published its final report after an accident that occurred on 11 January 2012 southeast of Mosjøen, Nordland, involving a Swedish helicopter with the registration SE-JPZ.

The aircraft, a Robinson R44 Raven II, had been hired for a reindeer-herding operation between an area south of Mosjøen and Sjåmoen in Norway. On the second day of the job the helicopter crew continued to work after the darkness fell. Shortly after 17:00 people on the ground heard a distinctive bang, followed by silence. The helicopter had struck the ground with a high rate of descent and at a steep bank angle to the left. The two people on board, an experienced 62-year-old Swedish pilot and a local Norwegian reindeer keeper, were killed at the moment of Impact.

The AIBN states that it is likely that the pilot lost control of the helicopter due to loss of visual references. Heavy showers of snow were reported nearby, and darkness prevailed. The investigation board did not find any technical malfunctions or failures that could explain the accident.
The AIBN further concludes that the flight was conducted in violation of the regulations due to the fact that it was executed at low altitude in darkness. The report mentions that the company in question had been involved in several accidents throughout the past decade, but it says that the operator has introduced several preventive arrangements lately, including safety courses and a warning system that ensures that no reindeer herding will be conducted in darkness. AIBN praises the company for its proactive initiative to install tracking systems in all of its helicopters several years ago. The Investigation Board has not issued any safety recommendations in connection with the investigation.
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Dalarna to buy an own EMS helicopter
17 December, 2013
[Falun] Dalarna’s County Council has decided to purchase an own helicopter for emergency medical operations in the region. The decision was reached in an extra meeting in Falun earlier today. The county’s helicopter will be purchased in a joint partnership with Värmland’s County Council, which decided to buy its own helicopter in March 2013.

Värmland’s procurement included an option for one additional helicopter in its order, which was intended for a possible acquisition in Dalarna. Ingalill Persson, chairman of Dalarna’s County Council, says that by using the extra helicopter in Värmland’s procurement the cost will be some 11 million SEK, approx €1,2 million EUR, lower compared to the price of buying one single helicopter in a separate acquisition.

Värmland’s procurement is currently undergoing a formal appeal process, why the official order for a specific helicopter type has not yet been finalized. Värmland’s HEMS is expected to be operational in Karlstad from mid-2014. It will be operated through a new AOC that is being established by the county itself.

Dalarna’s service is planned to be operational in Mora from mid-2015, but the county has not yet decided how the helicopter will be operated.
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Helicopter accident in Finland
15 December, 2013
[Oulu] A Finnish helicopter was involved in an accident at Oulu Airport, northwestern Finland, on Thursday afternoon. The AS350 B2 helicopter was engaged in a training flight when something went wrong. The two occupants were unharmed, but the helicopter sustained substantial damages.

The cause of the accident is unknown at this time, but it is being examined by the Finnish Accident Investigation Board.
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HeliNord takes delivery of a new Long Ranger
28 November, 2013
[Umeå] Today the Örnsköldsvik company HeliNord Norden took delivery of a second Long Ranger that will join the company’s fleet of HeliSki helicopters in Kittelfjäll this winter. The helicopter, a 1988 Bell 206 L-3 formerly known as LN-OBS, was delivered from Oslo to Umeå today.

The 5000-hour helicopter will join HeliNord’s current fleet of two Alouette IIIs (SE-JFG and SE-HTH), one Long Ranger (SE-HKC) and one Jet Ranger (SE-JPL). The owner of HeliNord, Börje Marklund, says that the helicopter will be fitted with new Van Horn tail rotor blades in order to increase its performance and to lower its noise signature.

LN-OBS has earlier been operated by the Norwegian company Pegasus Helicopter AS. It will get the Swedish registration SE-HZB once accepted by the Swedish Transport Agency.
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No HEMS decision in Dalarna
19 November, 2013
[Falun] Dalarna’s County Council has not been able to reach a final decision whether to acquire an EMS helicopter or not. The decision to buy a helicopter was expected to be reached in a meeting earlier today, but it was postponed due to the opposing parties’ demand for a more thorough investigation. The leading parties states that this will considerably increase the costs of the project since Dalarna will loose its chance to buy a helicopter together with Värmland’s County Council.

The projected helicopter was offered as an option to Dalarna when Värmland decided to buy its own helicopter in March 2013. However, Värmland’s own procurement is currently undergoing a formal appeal process, why the official order has not yet been finalized. Värmland’s HEMS is expected to be operational in Karlstad from mid-2014.

Swedish Radio (SR) and Dalarnas Tidningar (DT) states that Dalarna County’s acquisition now has to be evaluated further before a formal decision for an own EMS helicopter can be made by the council. The majority of the council is, however, positive to a helicopter.

The service is aimed to be operational in Mora from mid-2015. It is expected to bring on an initial cost of 63 million Swedish kronor (SEK), approx €7,05 million EUR, and an annual cost of roughly 25 million SEK, which equals approx €2,8 million EUR.
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EastAir takes off with a new structure
18 November, 2013
[Stockholm] The Stockholm company EastAir has resumed its helicopter operations after a major reconstruction that included the replacement of several key positions in the management group. Seth Olofsson, a former CAA inspector and a widely experienced helicopter pilot, has been appointed new flight operations manager. Sören Fagerberg, experienced in the heavy airline industry, is the new quality manager and Martin Johansson, with a long background in corporate business aviation, is the new crew-training manager.

Lars Österwal, CEO of EastAir, says that the company is expanding with three airplanes as well, and that the management group looks forward to combining the operation with quick and professional helicopter services in the Swedish capital.

EastAir is a joint fixed-wing and helicopter company with its headquarters and main base at Bromma Airport. The company's helicopter division is focused in charter operations, sightseeing tours, photographic flights and pilot training. Its airplane division, which was established back in 1991, offers corporate fixed-wing services and international intensive care transports. The helicopter division’s air operator certificate was reissued by the Swedish Transport Agency on 15 November, after a two-month hold for the renewal process.
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Norway selects AW101 to replace SAR Sea Kings
8 November, 2013
[Oslo] The Norwegian Government has decided to commence final negotiations with AgustaWestland for the delivery of new search and rescue helicopters to replace the aging fleet of SAR Sea Kings.

– I am very pleased that we are now coming forward in the acquisition process for the new search and rescue helicopters, the Minister of Justice and Public Security Anders Anundsen states.

The Ministry of Justice and Public Security has today informed the four bidders Eurocopter, NHIndustries, Sikorsky and AgustaWestland that the latter is chosen as the preferred bidder for new SAR helicopters with related equipment and maintenance solutions to replace the current Sea King. The aim is that the contract following final negotiations will be concluded by the end of the year. The contract includes 16 new SAR helicopters with an option for further 6, and ensures that the Sea King will be phased out across the country by the end of 2020.

AgustaWestland AW101 (previously known as EH101) is the candidate that in total, after intensive negotiations, best meets the demands for Norway's future SAR helicopter. The new helicopters will be able to relieve significantly more people in distress, be noticeably faster and with longer range than today - under virtually all weather conditions. Additionally, search capability and the possibility for medical treatment are significantly improved.

The acquisition process started on 21. October 2011 with the announcement of prequalification. Tender documents were released on 12. July 2012 and the offers was received from four bidders on 18 December the same year.

Introduction of the new SAR helicopters will start in 2017. In 2020, the new helicopters will have replaced the Sea King throughout the country.
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New pilot wanted for Värmland's HEMS
20 October, 2013
[Värmland] Värmland’s County Council is looking for a new full-time helicopter emergency medical pilot. The minimum requirements are: CPL-H, IR, MCC, ATPL theory and HEMS experience. The applicant shall comply with the Transport Agency’s requirements for captains in HEMS operations.

The County Council will start its own round-the-clock air ambulance operation in accordance with the study “Vård på Vingar” in mid-2014. The helicopter will be crewed by one anesthesiologist, one HEMS crew and one pilot, and it will initially be stationed at the airport in Karlstad.
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Supreme Court declines robbery pilot’s plea
16 October, 2013
[Stockholm] The Swedish Supreme Court has declined the convicted helicopter pilot’s appeal of his eight-year prison sentence issued by the Svea Court of Appeal. The Supreme Court states that it has reviewed all the documents without finding reasons to motivate an appeal.

On 7 October 2010 Södertörn District Court originally sentenced the now 38-year-old pilot to seven years in prison for aggravated robbery. The verdict was strengthened in the Svea Court of Appeal, to eight years in prison, in 2011. The pilot is still claiming his innocence.

The helicopter pilot is one of seven felons that were convicted for the famous helicopter heist that took place on 23 September 2009. A Jet Ranger (SE-HON) was stolen from its hangar at Mellingeholm Airfield in Norrtälje in the early morning. 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 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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Offshore precautionary landing in Norway
4 October, 2013
[North Sea] The crew of a Sikorsky S-92 performed a safe precautionary landing at the unmanned Yme offshore platform in the North Sea during a routine crew change flight earlier this afternoon. The helicopter was heading from the Valhall platform to Stavanger with 12 passengers and two crew when it was forced to land due to an illuminated cockpit warning light. A SAR Sea King of the Norwegian Air Force had to hoist the stranded passengers and crew from the Yme platform since the helicopter deck was blocked by the S-92.
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Helicopter accident north of Kiruna
26 September, 2013
[Kiruna] A helicopter was involved in an accident north of Kiruna today. The occupants survived without serious injuries, but the helicopter was badly damaged. The commercial helicopter was engaged in a lifting task south of the lake Rostujaure when something went wrong, according to Swedish Radio (SR).

The cause of the accident is unknown at this time, but it is being examined by the Swedish Accident Investigation Board (Statens haverikommission, SHK).
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Airlift Helicopter Sweden files for bankruptcy
22 September, 2013
[Hudiksvall] Airlift Helicopter Sweden AB and its parent company Airlift Sweden Holding AB has filed for bankruptcy. The helicopter company, which has been operating since the early 90s, closed its activity last week. Its Air Operator Certificate was canceled by the Swedish Transport Agency on temporary grounds, due to the awaiting bankruptcy, by on 18 September.

Airlift Helicopter Sweden was specialized in agricultural helicopter services, with the focus set in distributing fertilizers, granulated limestone and wood ash over forests and lakes. It operated a fleet of AS350B3s, and in 2010 the company stated that their helicopters flew some 1000 hours each. The company had its main base in Hudiksvall and it operated through large parts of Scandinavia.
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Military helicopters to support Swedish Police
13 September, 2013
[Linköping] The Swedish Armed Forces Helicopter Wing will assist the Swedish National Police with medium-heavy helicopter support, according to a new assignment from the Swedish Government. The money to establish the cooperation will be provided in the autumn budget, according to the Armed Forces. The operation will be implemented gradually, starting from 1 January 2014.

The military support will strengthen the police’s capacities and it will act as a supplement to the police's own helicopter unit. The Swedish Police Wing is operating six Eurocopter EC 135P2s throughout the country, and the unit is currently in the process of exchanging the EC135s with seven new helicopters though a public tender.

In a recent visit to the Armed Forces Helicopter Wing’s main base in Malmen, Linköping, Minister of Justice Beatrice Ask and Defence Minister Karin Enström met up with the military helicopter organization and got a closer look at the aircraft inventory.

The need for medium-heavy helicopters can sometimes be crucial in order for the Swedish Police, and especially the National Task Force, to be scrambled and deployed as fast as possible following serious occurrences. One evident example is the Norwegian terrorist attacks on the island of Utøya back in July 2011.

“Exactly what kind of operations [this cooperation will cover] is hard to say now, before the Armed Forces and the police have discussed and agreed on how the support should be designed. There are many practical issues to consider in the beginning”, said Beatrice Ask.

Karin Enström, stressed that the Armed Forces are already supporting the police if necessary. For example, when US President Obama visited Sweden recently, the Helicopter Wing had two HKP16 Black Hawks in a 24-hour alert at Bromma Airport in Stockholm. The new contract means that the task becomes clearer for both the police and the Armed Forces.

The military says that in case the task requires armed intervention, this will be fully up to the police. The helicopter’s role is solely to transport the police and its associated equipment, and to make sure that they arrive as close to a mission area or an object as possible. The gradual implementation of the partnership will be started through the development of standardized procedures and routines in the first year, and the units will focus in daytime exercises to start with. This will eventually transition into nighttime exercises as well.

“We have the helicopters and we have the experience, both from Sweden and from our mission in Afghanistan, so we are very well suited for the task” said the deputy Head of the Helicopter Battalion Lieutenant Colonel Ulf Landgren. “We are already supporting the community with other helicopter aids, for example transporting personnel and equipment, fighting fires and searching for missing people”

Ulf Landgren informed the ministers that the task will require more resources, particularly in terms of staff due to the many vacancies in the helicopter organization. It also requires advance planning as it takes several years to train the helicopter pilots, mission specialists and technicians that will be needed. But the military says that the Helicopter Wing is positive to be able to support the police with helicopter resources in the future.
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First SAR AW139 arrives in Sweden
11 September, 2013
[Nyköping] Yesterday evening the first of the Swedish Maritime Administration’s seven new AgustaWestland AW139s arrived in Sweden. The helicopter, registered SE-JRH and nicknamed “SAR Force One”, landed at Skavsta Airport in Nyköping at 19:00 local time, after a flight from AgustaWestland’s Vergiate plant near Milan, Italy.

The Swedish Maritime Administration (SMA), or Sjöfartsverket in Swedish, is responsible for air- and sea rescue coverage in Sweden, and the helicopter branch is an important part of that organization. In October last year SMA placed an order for seven brand new AW139 SAR helicopters from the Anglo-Italian helicopter manufacturer AgustaWestland SpA. The procurement is made in order to provide an increased capacity and capability in rescue operations, and to ensure a vigorous organization for many years to come.

“We've been working on this for several years now, and it feels great to be able to improve our capacity without increasing the total cost of operations. Now we can continue to work to improve the rescue operations further and get even better at saving lives”, says Noomi Eriksson, Director of Naval and air rescue operations at SMA.

The seven new helicopters will be delivered in 2013 and 2014, with three expected this year, and they will eventually start to replace the current fleet of Sikorsky S-76C+/C++ helicopters gradually. The Sikorsky helicopters were incorporated in the Swedish SAR system between 2002 and 2007, and they are covering all of Sweden through five duty stations - Ronneby, Visby, Gothenburg, Norrtälje and Umeå. The units are in alert around the clock all year and ready to commence an action within 15 minutes after an emergency call. The first AW139 will be stationed at a temporary base in Nyköping, where a development- and fielding team will evaluate the new aircraft before the AW139s get operational at their permanent SAR stations.

“This is the start of a new era for the Swedish air- and sea rescue service. What distinguishes this type of helicopter from the model we have today is that this is cutting edge in everything from system design and safety to autopilot and instrumentation. It is faster, goes further, takes more load and has an improved performance on in pretty much all aspects”, says Capt. Michael Åkerlund, head of the development team.

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Obama’s visit closes Stockholm’s airspace
1 September, 2013
[Stockholm] Due to the official visit of US President Barack Obama to Stockholm on Wednesday and Thursday this week, all of Stockholm’s airspace will be closed. The Swedish Transport Agency (CAA) has issued two temporary restricted areas in Stockholm; one outer area that comprises major parts of Stockholm TMA, and one inner area which includes an expanded part of Arlanda CTR and Bromma CTR and the area between the control zones. Both the zones will be effective between GND and FL180.

The outer zone can be accessed if certain exceptions are fulfilled, but activities like school flights, skydiving, aerial works, etc., are prohibited. Access to the inner zone is strictly prohibited (except for police, military, EMS/SAR and scheduled flights). The zones will be active between 4 SEP 0600Z and 5 SEP 1100Z. Please note that this information is subject to change, so make sure to check the latest NOTAMS for correct info.

The CAA has issued an AIP Supplement on the matter (ref. 37/2013). The document can be found through the link under the rough map below.
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Northern Helicopters to open a Gothenburg Base
31 August, 2013
[Gothenburg] The flight school Northern Helicopters has just announced that it will open a training facility at Gothenburg City Airport (“Säve) in September. In addition to the new base, the company will expand its business by adding a twin-engined Eurocopter AS 355 N to the fleet. The new aircraft will be used for the company’s upcoming training segment – instrument ratings (IR).

Mikael Randheim, CEO of Northern Helicopters, says that the expansion means that the company will move its main base to Gothenburg, but that the Jönköping station will persist for the time being. The company will be moving in to a facility with classrooms and a 400m² hangar space at the “civil” side of the Säve aerodrome.

Randheim says that the Gothenburg division will offer all phases of flight training; including flight instructor courses and the new IR segment. The company has submitted its manuals to the Swedish Transport Agency and Randheim hopes that the IR training will be operational in the autumn. “We have facilities and instructors ready, and the helicopter is arriving next week” he says. According to Randheim, the flight school aims to attract new IR students by offering in-house, theory-included, twin-engine instrument ratings at a fixed price.

“This is a natural step for our school” he says, and refers to the organization’s ambition to train its students for larger platforms – the Cabri in preparation for aircraft like the EC120, the EC120 for more sophisticated helicopters, and now the AS355 for big multi-engine rotorcraft. According to Randheim, the Gothenburg base will be an “all-Eurocopter” (Airbus, soon to be) station with the G2 as a first-step aircraft. In the future, he hopes to be able to expand the company’s line of business and offer maintenance services for external costumers at the Gothenburg base as well.
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Helicopter accident in Stockholm
26 August, 2013
[Stockholm] A helicopter was involved in an accident in Lake Flatensjön, south of Stockholm, at 11 AM local time today. Two persons were onboard at the time of the accident, but they escaped with minor injuries. The commercial helicopter was equipped with a flotation gear, and it remained afloat in an inverted state after the impact.

The cause of the accident is unknown at this time, but it is being examined by the Swedish Accident Investigation Board (Statens haverikommission, SHK).
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Helicopter accident in Fällfors
23 August, 2013
[Fällfors] A private vintage helicopter was involved in an accident at a field near the Byeskeälven river northwest of Fällfors, Skellefteå, at midday earlier today. The pilot and his passenger both survived the accident, and they were later transported to hospitals in Skellefteå and Umeå. The helicopter, one of the oldest in Sweden, was destroyed in a post-impact fire.

The cause of the accident is unknown at this time, but it is being examined by the Swedish Accident Investigation Board (Statens haverikommission, SHK).
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New off-shore EC225 delivered to DanCopter
26 July, 2013
[Marignane, France] Eurocopter today delivered a fourth EC225 helicopter to Denmark’s DanCopter A/S – which will operate the rotorcraft for crew change missions to offshore oil and gas platforms in the North Sea.

The handover was made at the Marignane, France, production facility of Eurocopter, and it will be followed by the helicopter’s ferry flight to DanCopter’s Esbjerg, Denmark, operating base with personnel aboard from DanCopter, Maersk and Blueway.

Attendees at the EC225 handover ceremony included DanCopter CEO Jens Anders Jensen; Dag Saetre, the Technical Director of DanCopter’s parent company, Blueway A/S; Ken Tapping, Technical Director for Milestone Aviation Group, the leasing company that provided the financing for the EC225 to Blueway/DanCopter; and Jesper Ladefoged, the Head of Operations at Maersk – DanCopter’s customer for the off-shore airlift services.

“This latest helicopter will provide additional resources as the EC225 returns to service on North Sea transportation missions,” DanCopter’s Jensen said. “Safe operations are the top priority for us, and we have confidence in the EC225’s ability to resume its role as a workhorse on our off-shore oil and gas missions.”

The EC225 enables DanCopter to carry 19 passengers on heavy-lift crew change missions to platforms located 140-155 miles from the coast. Its large cabin and the ability to operate in the North Sea environment – with winds, waves and icing conditions – make the helicopter well suited for such challenging service.

“We thank DanCopter, Blueway, Milestone and Maersk for renewing their trust in the EC225, and Eurocopter is fully committed to supporting them in carrying out these very demanding offshore missions,” said Olivier Lambert Eurocopter senior vice president sales and customer relations.

The EC225 is an 11-ton-class rotorcraft in Eurocopter’s Super Puma family. With more than 300,000 flight hours logged in service worldwide to date, it is deployed in civil, military and parapublic operations that range from offshore transportation and cargo airlift to search and rescue (SAR) duties.

In addition to DanCopter’s EC225s based at Esbjerg, the company operates Eurocopter EC155 B1 helicopters from England and the Netherlands.
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Coptersafety buys AW139 Full Flight Simulator
17 July, 2013
[Helsinki Airport, Finland] Coptersafety Ltd is pleased to announce that it has signed a contract for a CAE 3000 Series AW139 full-flight simulator (FFS). The Level D AW139 FFS, to be jointly developed by CAE and AgustaWestland, will be delivered to Coptersafety in September 2014.

The purchase of this high-end simulator underlines Coptersafety’s commitment to deliver world-class training for AgustaWestland AW139 helicopter crews.

"We look forward to bringing high-quality AW139 helicopter training to the Nordic region," said Mikko Dahlman, Chief Executive Officer of Coptersafety. "We have an easily accessible location at Helsinki International Airport only minutes from the terminals. Our team of highly-experienced instructors along with CAE's new 3000 Series simulator will ensure our clients receive world-class AW139 training."

About Coptersafety: Coptersafety is a recently incorporated Finnish company with a long experience and competence in the area of advanced helicopter training. Training will be available 24/7. In addition to the AW139 FFS training Coptersafety’s committed team is focused on other cutting-edge courses such as Night Vision Goggles training.
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Heliholding acquires Copterflyg
15 July, 2013
[Östersund] Heliholding AB of Östersund announces that it has acquired the helicopter company Copterflyg AB of Kilafors. The investment has been made in order to strengthen Heliholding’s presence in the European helicopter market and to add valuable elements to the Heliholding group.

Heliholding has a profound experience in the helicopter industry. It owns the sales company STORM Heliworks AB, which focuses in project-based helicopter operations throughout northern Europe. Copterflyg, a well-established helicopter operator in the country, will now be optimized in order to fit Heliholding’s vision of how to provide customized logistic solutions with the helicopter as the central tool.

Copterflyg will strengthen Heliholding’s operations, and it will boost the company’s presence in the Svealand- and Götaland regions as well as in the Baltic States. The acquisition adds an own air operator certificate (AOC) to the group, which will improve the overall quality standards. The company says that by utilizing in-house flight operations the costumer will get a better relation to the most expensive aspect in the project – the helicopter.

We offer complete solutions, whether it’s about single flights or larger logistic flows, and our main ambition is to safeguard the costumer’s projects”, says Jens Sundqvist, co-owner of Heliholding AB.

Copterflyg was established nearly ten years ago, and it has been growing ever since. The company operates a main fleet of Robinson R44 helicopters, but it utilizes an AS355 for air filming and a Hughes 500 for sawing operations. The main operations consist of census tasks, forestry services, power line inspections, sawing/sling-load and sightseeing operations. The company has several bases in Sweden, including Västerås, Gothenburg, Nässjö and Sjöbo.

STORM Heliworks was established as a sales company in early-2013. It supplies helicopter services to costumers through a wide operator network, deep-rooted experience and cutting-edge knowledge. It has its main office in Östersund, but operates throughout large parts of northern Europe through its licensed companies.

Heliholding was established in 2012, founded by Stefan Larsson and the brothers Jens and Dennis Sundqvist. The team has a vast experience in the helicopter industry, with deep involvement in both operative and administrative liabilities in several helicopter companies.

Copterflyg and STORM Heliworks will be administered as sister companies in the Heliholding group. STORM Heliworks will maintain its role as a sales company, but with a tight bond to Copterflyg.
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Norway focuses in two SAR bidders
9 July, 2013
[Oslo] The Ministry of Justice and Public Security has informed the four bidders that further negotiations will be held with the two companies AgustaWestland (AW101) and Eurocopter (EC225) for the replacement of the current Sea King fleet.

Norway intends to procure up to 16 new SAR helicopters with an option for additional 6. The project target is that the contract will be awarded by the end of 2013 and the last Sea King phased out by end 2020.

The process for the acquisition of new SAR helicopters commenced on 21st October 2011 by an invitation to a pre-qualification process formally announced on the public Doffin/TED system. The Invitation to Tender (ITT) was released on 12. July 2012 and the offers received from the four bidders on 18th December 2012.

After evaluation and negotiations during spring 2013 the Ministry has, based on offers received on 7. June 2013, selected the two bidders with the highest overall results for further negotiations.

Other Bidders will be put on hold. The Bidders put on hold may only be called to re-enter the competition if, for some reason, one of the remaining participants withdraws, or any other reason necessitates to call on a rejected bidder to sustain a competitive environment.

The Ministry has in its letter thanked the bidders put on hold for their significant contribution to the process. The bidders have put a lot of efforts in the process which has contributed to a good and strong competition for the delivery of the new SAR helicopters.
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Rescue Swimmers to cross the Gulf of Finland
30 June, 2013
[Tallinn / Helsinki] In an effort to raise awareness for the deteriorating state of the Baltic Sea, eleven helicopter rescue swimmers will perform a relay swim between Tallinn and Helsinki on 1 July. The swim, which stretches roughly 110 kilometers across the Gulf of Finland, is scheduled to start at 10:30am local Estonian time. A SAR helicopter of the Estonian Police and Border Guard will accompany the launch.

The swimming team consists of rescue swimmers from Finland, Sweden, Estonia, Denmark, Spain, Portugal and Australia. Each participant will swim for 30 minutes at the time, and then rest on a support vessel for five hours until the next swim period. The relay swim is expected to take up to 48hrs.

The swimmers are all members of the European Rescue Swimmers Association (EURORSA). EURSA has members from helicopter rescue services in 17 different countries. The main idea is to develop communications between nations in order to share information on all issues related to air-sea rescue operations. Their motto is to "share, learn and live".

The money collected in the “Save the Baltic Sea” swim will be donated to the non-profit foundation Baltic Sea Action Group, which works for a living Baltic Sea.
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Värmland's EMS helicopter goes to Karlstad
18 June, 2013
[Karlstad] The newspaper Nya Wermlands-Tidningen states that it has been decided that Värmland County’s new HEMS service will be stationed at a temporary base at Karlstad Airport, moments north of the city. The new ambulance helicopter organization is planned to be operational from mid-2014.

In 2010 Värmland’s County Council decided that the future presence of a regional EMS helicopter had to be ensured, and in November 2012 the Council decided that the region was to have its own aircraft. The need for a helicopter service was raised in 2008, as the current cooperation agreement with the Norwegian HEMS operation in Oslo, held by Norsk Luftambulanse, was terminated due to the Norwegian Ullevål University Hospital’s lack of capacity for Swedish patients. The County Council took the decision to buy an own helicopter in February 2013, and the price was set to a maximum of 60 million Swedish kronor (SEK), approximately €7,2 million EUR.

Recently the procurement process reached a new step as the deadline of the bidding period was passed. Several tenders have been submitted, and the County Council expects to reach a final decision of which helicopter to buy within a few months.

The County Council says that the helicopter will be equivalent to an intensive care unit outside the hospital’s walls. It will be manned with a single pilot together with an anaesthetist/doctor and an “HEMS crew” (a combined nurse and flight-deck crewmember). The region aims to build a permanent HEMS station at Sandbäcken’s Rescue Center in Karlstad, but the project is running late, why the helicopter is expected use Karlstad Airport as a temporary base for the first two years.
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HeliAir adds a Huey to its fleet
3 June, 2013
[Västerås] Today HeliAir Sweden announced that the company will be adding an UH-1H Huey to its fleet. The aircraft has been flown to the company’s main base in Västerås, and it will now be incorporated in the fleet. The helicopter is replacing the Hughes 500 SE-JGE, which has recently been sold by the company.

This new Huey is a well-known military veteran that spent several years in the US armed forces before it was civilized. It was later transferred to Spain and eventually ended up in Sweden, purchased by Skyline Helikopter in 2005. It was soon incorporated in Osterman Helicopter’s fleet, and flew for the company for seven years before Osterman Helicopter went bankrupt in September 2012. The 14 000-hour helicopter has been offered for sale since the bankruptcy, and it has been stored in Karlskoga.

The Huey joins a fleet of 12 helicopters, consisting of Bell 206s, MD500s and AS350s.
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Helikoptertjänst adds a B3e to its fleet
30 May, 2013
[Stockholm/Gothenburg] Today Stockholms Helikoptertjänst AB (SHT) announced that the company has added an AS 350 B3e to its fleet. The aircraft will reportedly be operated in cooperation with the sales company Helikopterlyft AB, which is based in Gothenburg. The new helicopter, SE-JLI, was imported to Sweden by Scandinavian Helicopter Group a year ago. The aircraft joins SHT’s current fleet, which consists of one Lama, two MD500s, one Long Ranger and one R44. It performed its first in-house sling-load operation in Gothenburg’s archipelago yesterday.
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SHG receives its 70th Eurocopter helicopter
23 May, 2013
[Marignane, France] The Swedish helicopter service provider Scandinavian Helicopter Group AB (SHG) has taken delivery of its 70th Eurocopter aircraft. The helicopter, a brand new AS 350 B3e, was handed over in a ceremony at the Marignane production plant in Marseilles, southern France, last week. Eurocopter celebrated the momentous occasion together with three generations of the Pihl family, and the manufacturer handed over a commemorative glass plaque to highlight the historic event.

SHG was founded by mr Lennart Pihl some 25 years ago. The company, which is managed by CEO Martin Pihl today, is specialized in leasing and selling helicopters. It is also focused in air ambulance and aerial work through its subsidiaries Norrlandsflyg Ambulans and Laroy Flyg.

SHG’s milestone helicopter (SE-JOS) was delivered through the renowned helicopter dealer Savback Helicopters AB. The founder of Savback Helicopters, mr Michael Savbäck, has been involved in all of the 70 Aérospatiale/Eurocopter aircraft delivered to SHG since the beginning.

SHG started off in Gothenburg back in 1988. It was the parent company to Osterman Helicopter for many successful years until Osterman was sold to the Norwegian Helicopter Transportation Group (HTG) in 2002. SHG was a co-owner of the large SAR/HEMS operator Norrlandsflyg between 2008-2011, after which the SAR operation was sold to the Swedish Maritime Administration (SMA). SHG kept the air ambulance segment, which is operated through the subsidiary Norrlandsflyg Ambulans.
The aerial work company Laroy Flyg is incorporated as a second subsidiary to SHG. Laroy Flyg is specialized in spreading limestone from helicopters, and it operates throughout large parts of southern Sweden. Laroy Flyg has recently enhanced its aerial work presence in Gothenburg in order to fill the gap that followed after Osterman Helicopter’s bankruptcy in 2012.

SHG is selling and leasing helicopters to large parts of the world. A clear majority of the helicopters belongs to the successful Ecureuil family.
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Helicopter damaged in Abisko
22 May, 2013
[Abisko] A helicopter was damaged in an avalanche at Siellavagge, approx 10-15 km south of Abisko, earlier today. Local newspapers state that the avalanche, which was triggered by people in the area, flipped the AS350 B3 helicopter over, but that nobody was injured in the accident. The region is very popular for its heli-skiing, and several companies operate in the area.
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Five survived Norwegian helicopter accident
27 April, 2013
[Røldal, Hordaland] A Norwegian helicopter crashed at Røldal Ski Center in Hordaland, Norway, this morning. There were five people onboard at the time of the accident, and they all escaped without any serious physical injuries.

The helicopter, a Eurocopter AS 350 B3+ Ecureuil, was transporting safety personnel in preparation for the competition Røldal Freeride Challenge. The aircraft had been flying for a while when it lost height and hit the ground in an empty ski slope. The helicopter was substantially damaged, but the four passengers could return to their safety duties at the freeride competition later the same day.

The cause of the accident is unknown at this time, but it is being examined by the Norwegian Accident Investigation Board (AIBN). The Norwegian media is flooded with a rumor regarding a preliminary police finding, but that information needs further validation by the police and AIBN before it can be confirmed.
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HeliAir starts an own flight school
17 April, 2013
[Västerås] On 5 April the Swedish Transport Agency (Transportstyrelsen) approved HeliAir Sweden as a new Flight Training Organisation (FTO). The new flight school is branded as HeliAir Academy.

HeliAir says that the school will start off by offering flight training for Private Pilot Licenses (PPL-H), Night Qualifications and Type Ratings. One of the company's Bell 206 Jet Rangers (SE-JIP) will be the primary training aircraft. However, the company will also offer type ratings on all the types available in their fleet: Bell Jet/Long Ranger, MD500 and AS350.

"With this approval we're allowed by the authority to provide, not only new students, but our own pilots with type ratings, which significantly will increase our daily work. We have been working very hard to get the company to where we are today, and to get this approval is a great feeling for all employees." says HeliAir's CEO Aram Rubinstein. "Of course, we hope to fill a gap for students looking for flight training on popular helicopter types and as a large operator it feels very good to be able to offer this." He adds that if everything goes as planned, the company will be able to offer CPL training in the near future as well.

The company has appointed Roland Olsson as Head of Training and Clas Cornelisson as Chief Flying Instructor.
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Last HKP 16 Black Hawk delivered
16 April, 2013
[Linköping] The last helicopter of 15 ordered Sikorsky UH-60M Black Hawks arrived in Sweden earlier today. The arrival marks the end of a record-breaking 16-month delivery that has enhanced the helicopter capacity in the Swedish Armed Forces Helicopter Wing significantly.

The acquisition of the medium-heavy Black Hawk helicopter system, locally designated HKP 16 (“Helikopter 16”), was announced on April 9, 2011. It was followed by the first delivery to Malmen Helicopter Base in Linköping eight months later, on December 15. The first four Black Hawks were transported to Afghanistan in late March this year in order to supply tactical on-scene medical evacuations (MEDEVAC) to the International Security Assistance Force’s (ISAF) peacekeeping operations.

The delivery of the HKP 16 Black Hawk has been conducted in a remarkable high pace, which was a key factor when acquiring the helicopters. The UH-60 was ordered due to a significant shortfall in helicopters that had been caused by delayed deliveries and ongoing retirements. Eighteen NH90 helicopters had been ordered in 2001, but they were not expected to be fully operational until earliest 2020. By purchasing proven helicopters the Armed Forces hoped to avoid the same fate as with the NH90s.

The Swedish Armed Forces Helicopter Wing operates four helicopter systems at the moment: Super Puma (HKP 10), Agusta AW109 LUH (HKP 15), NH90 (HKP 14) and Black Hawk (HKP 16). The nine Super Pumas, of which three were recently involved in the ISAF operations in Afghanistan, will soon be retired. The future fleet will consist of 18 NH90s, 20 AW109s and 15 UH-60s.
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New helicopter license at the age of 76
12 April, 2013
[Stockholm] On March 11 Sweden got a new helicopter pilot, a pilot who passed his skill test at the age of 76. Mr Erik Öinert, a former fighter pilot, gained his private helicopter license (PPL-H) after training with flight instructor Svein Martinsen in Helicopter Assistance’s R44 SE-JOE.

As implied, Erik is not new to flying. In fact, Erik has over 20,000 hours of airborne time logged since the age of fifteen, and he has been doing a lot. He is a retired fighter pilot from the Swedish Air Force, where he flew J28 Vampire, J29 Tunnan, J32B Lansen, J35 Draken and SK60. After eight years as an employee in the military Erik started working for at Scandinavian Airlines flying Caravelle, Metropolitan, DC-8, DC-9, Boeing 747 and MD-80 to all corners of the globe.

After his retirement from SAS Erik started flying gilders until 2006. Flying gliders was in fact how it all started prior to his military career. After 2006 he thought that his flying days had come to an end, until he took a trial lesson at a flight school in Stockholm. Like many others, he was hooked.

Erik followed his dreams and realized that age is no limit. He hopes that his story will aspire more people to take the chance and start flying, no matter at what age. "As soon as you get the hang of how to hover, it's not as hard as you might think" he says.

After his successful skill test Erik is now looking forward to many happy hours with friends and family members in the skies above Stockholm and its beautiful archipelago.
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First Helicopter Tactics Instructors Course
9 April, 2013
[Vidsel] The European Defense Agency (EDA) in partnership with Rotary Wing Operational Evaluation and Training Unit (RWOETU) from the UK and the Swedish Armed Forces, has developed a European Helicopter Tactics Instructors Course (EHTIC) as a sub-project to the EDA Helicopter Exercise Programme (HEP). The aim is to develop a common train-the-trainer capacity to assist in future harmonisation and interoperability.

The first EHTIC started on 8 Apr 2013 at RAF Linton and it is executed in two parts. The first part consists of a two weeks ground phase of classroom theory and a one week simulator phase to be conducted in the EDA purpose built facility in RAF Linton-on-Ouse. The second part will be a flying phase with the duration of three weeks, conducted at FMV Test Range, Vidsel, Sweden. The total of thirteen students (instructor-pilots) from Germany and Sweden will go through intensive theoretical, synthetic and practical training led by 14 RAF Qualified helicopter instructor pilots with the aim to give selected European helicopter aircrew tactical depth and expertise leading to an enhanced awareness of helicopter tactics and employment, and multi-national integration. The EHTIC is also attended by observers from Austria, Hungary, Estonia and Sweden. The course graduation is scheduled for 24 May 2013.

The EHTIC is designed to provide pMS with an opportunity to train standardised helicopter tactics instructors, acting as multipliers and mentors not only in their home units, but as well interacting with the EDA HEP and the Helicopter Tactics Course (HTC). These instructors will provide an significant contribution to an increasing interoperability and a better understanding between European helicopter crews and will form a cadre of European Helicopter Tactics Instructors.
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First three HKP 4Bs have arrived in the US
2 April, 2013
[Oregon, USA] Columbia Helicopters has taken delivery of the first three of ten heavy lift helicopters purchased from the Swedish Department of Defense. The total order includes six Boeing-Vertol 107-II and four Kawasaki-Vertol 107-II models. The price was not disclosed.

According to Columbia Helicopter's Public Relations Manager Dan Sweet, the three Boeing-Vertol 107-II helicopters arrived at the Port of Tacoma, Washington, on March 25, where they cleared US Customs, were loaded onto trucks for transshipment to the company's Aurora (Oregon) State Airport-based headquarters and maintenance facility, by March 29. The remaining three Boeing helicopters are ready to be shipped from Sweden, while shipping dates for the four Kawasaki aircraft have not been determined.

Columbia Helicopters announced the purchase of the helicopters, spare parts and specialized support tooling in February of this year, following negotiations with the Swedish government in late 2012. Designated by Sweden as HKP 4 B/Cs, the helicopters were operated in search and rescue, anti-submarine warfare, and mine-sweeping operations.

"All of the helicopters were very well maintained, and are under 10.000 flight hours, which, given our high utilization rate, is very low time," said Sweet. "Since the 107-II is not readily available on the international market, this presented an excellent opportunity for us to purchase more of the same type of helicopter we already operate."

Columbia Helicopters will refurbish and modify each helicopter to meet the operator's fleet standards, and bring them up to mission-ready status for heavy lift work and aerial firefighting. One of the newly arrived helicopters, in fact, will go into Columbia's maintenance shop upon arrival, while the others will by cycled through as capacity permits.

"The amount of work to be done will depend on what we find, but they will be repainted in our livery, and the interiors modified to give the helicopters maximum lift," said Sweet. He added that each of the twin-engine, twin rotor aircraft's Rolls-Royce Gnome power plants will be replaced by the GE CT-58 engines which have a maximum power rating of 1.500 SHP. The refurbishments and modifications are expected to take approximately one year each, but that could be expedited if market conditions demand. Sweet pointed out that the company is going to work closely with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to add the newer helicopters to Columbia Helicopters' Type Certificate as quickly as possible.

The helicopter purchase represents the second time that Columbia has acquired helicopters from the Swedish military. In 1991, the company bought four Vertol 107-IIs (HKP 4A) from the Swedish Air Force, of which two are still in operation.

"Columbia Helicopters' buy-out of the surplus Swedish HKP 4 helicopter fleet, spare parts and tooling shows how private enterprise operators engaged in aerial firefighting are meeting the challenges of increasingly destructive fire seasons anticipated in the years ahead," said Tom Eversole , Executive Director of the American Helicopter Services and Aerial Firefighting Association (AHSAFA) in Washington. "With ten additional aircraft, the company will make a tremendous contribution to the nation's aerial firefighting assets."
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Accident report after R44 misshap in Ånn
15 March, 2013
[Åre] The Swedish Accident Investigation Board (Statens Haverikommission, SHK) has published its final report after an accident that occurred on 6 September 2011 in Ånn, close to Åre, involving a Norwegian helicopter with the registration LN-OAB.

The aircraft, a Robinson R44 Astro, was taking off for a private flight with three people onboard when the engine partially lost power. The helicopter had been climbing vertically to a height of 8-10 meters when the rotor RPM started to deteriorate and the aircraft began to settle. The sink rate could not be constrained with the decreasing RPM, why the helicopter hit the ground hard. None of the occupants were injured in the accident.

The Investigation Board has found that the probable cause of the accident was an absorption cloth that had been handled improperly at the maintenance shop during the last 100-hour inspection, and that earlier engine disturbances that preceded the accident had not been investigated in an appropriate manner. SHK found fibers identical to the fibers in the maintenance shop’s absorption cloths in the whole fuel system. The amount of polypropylene fibers, in combination with other contaminations in the carburetor, was believed to be sufficient to cause engine disturbances.
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Swedish Black Hawks headed for Afghanistan
12 March, 2013
[Afghanistan] Today the first two HKP 16 Black Hawks were airlifted from the Linköping Helicopter Base to to Camp Marmal in Afghanistan. This is done at the same time as the HKP 10B Super Pumas are making their last week in alert as medical evacuation (MEDEVAC) helicopters in Afghanistan.

A total of four HKP 16 and about forty people in the new SAE ISAF UH-60 unit will be flown to the Marmal base in northern Afghanistan in the coming weeks. They will be operational from April 1, and the main task is to use two helicopters for the unit’s 15-minute MEDEVAC alert. The helicopters will carry a doctor and a nurse in order to provide life-sustaining care during the journey to a hospital. In addition to being an advanced flying ambulance, the HKP 16s can also be utilized for transporting operations.

The shipment to Afghanistan is performed by a C-17 Globemaster from the "Heavy Airlift Wing" of the Armed Forces. Two helicopters can be transported at the time, and the loading takes only a few hours.

The Swedish Armed Forces Helicopter Wing has operated medical helicopters in Afghanistan for two years now. During that time, more than eighty MEDEVAC missions have been performed. Mission number 82, to get three wounded Afghan soldiers and fly them to the hospital in Mazar-e Sharif, was carried out a week ago.

The Afghanistan unit consists mainly of personnel from the Helicopter Wing’s squadrons in Luleå and Ronneby. The change of helicopters and staff is expected to take only two weeks, despite the fact that a new helicopter system is being deployed. The unit’s two HKP 10Bs will be transported to the helicopter squadron in Luleå, where they will fulfill their last few years in service prior to their retirement. The Black Hawks are expected to operate in Afghanistan for three years.
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Ten HKP 4 sold to Columbia Helicopters
22 February, 2013
[Stockholm] The Swedish Defence and Security Export Agency (FXM) has recently sold ten retired HKP 4s to the large American operator Columbia Helicopters Inc (CHI). The agreement was settled in December 2012 and the deliveries were started this month.

The aircraft, which includes six Boeing Vertol 107-II and four Kawasaki Vertol 107-II helicopters, will join Columbias’ fleet of heavy-lift helicopters working around the world. The airframes that have been purchased are: 04061, 04063, 04065, 04067, 04068, 04071, 04073, 04074, 04075 and 04076. The deal also includes a stock of spare parts.

“We are excited to have these helicopters joining our fleet,” said Stan Wilson, President of Columbia Helicopters. “The Swedish military took very good care of these aircraft, and we look forward to putting them into operational status as soon as possible.”

Columbia’s crews have disassembled and shipped the first three helicopters from Linköping, with the remaining seven aircraft arriving in the United States from Ronneby later this year. The first helicopters are scheduled to arrive at the Port of Tacoma in March. The company will reassemble and refurbish the helicopters, introducing them into their active fleet as quickly as business needs require them.

“The Vertol 107-II is the backbone of Columbia’s fleet,” added Wilson. “We use them for military support, logging, fighting fires, construction projects and on petroleum exploration projects around the world.”

Columbia Helicopters is the world’s only commercial operator of these tandem-rotor aircraft. The company has its main office in Aurora, Oregon, United States, but operates in various parts of the world, including Canada (through Helifor), Alaska, Papua New Guinea and Peru. It operates the largest fleet of privately held, heavy-lift helicopters in the world, and is the global leader in commercial heavy-lift helicopter operations. The company also operates the Columbia Model 234 Chinook heavy-lift helicopter. In 1991 CHI bought four of the Swedish Air Force’s retired HKP 4As (04452, 04454, 04456 and 04457). Two of them are still flying today.

The Swedish Air Force and the Swedish Navy purchased the first of these Boeing-Vertol 107s back in 1963. The Air Force operated its 10 Vertol 107s as rescue helicopters until they were replaced by Super Pumas in early 1992. The Navy’s fleet of HKP 4s was eventually expanded with a batch of younger Kawasaki-Vertol 107s (delivered 1972-1978), and four of the Air Force’s retired HKP 4As (1988-1991). At the end, the Navy had a total of 14 Vertol 107s. These were eventually included in the joint "Swedish Armed Forces Helicopter Wing".

Sweden’s Secretary of Defense, Sten Tolgfors, announced the retirement of the Vertol 107s on 9 April 2010. The last flight of a HKP 4 in the Swedish Armed Forces took place on 1 March 2011, as Y-70 (04070) was flown from Ronneby to Gothenburg and donated to the Aeroseum Aviation Museum. The museum is planning to keep the helicopter in an airworthy condition for display purposes.

A total of four HKP 4s are exhibited at museums right now. Y-70 and Y-72 (04072) at Aeroseum in Gothenburg, Y-64 (04064) at the Air Force Museum in Linköping and 04451 at the F21 Kallax Air Force Base Museum in Luleå. A fifth helicopter, Y-69 (04069), will be kept for the future as well.
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Norsk Helikopterservice's first S-92 delivered
8 February, 2013
[Stavanger, Norway] Avincis Group (Avincis), has today received the first of its record order of 16 new Sikorsky S-92 helicopters. The order, placed in December 2011, is the largest single purchase of S-92s ever made.

The aircraft, a good-looking factory new S-92 was delivered to the Avincis subsidiary Norsk Helikopterservice (NHS) at Stavanger, Norway, in an Ukrainian Antonov AN 124 earlier today. The first two of Avincis' S-92s will be registered in Norway before being flown to Aberdeen, where an NHS crew will initially operate them for Bond customers in the UK North Sea sector. They are expected to return to begin operations in the Norwegian Continental Shelf before the end of 2013.

The Sikorsky S-92 helicopters, known for their robust design, safety features and performance, will be used by Avincis' subsidiaries around the world to provide transportation for offshore oil and gas workers and for search and rescue work.

Headquartered in the UK, the Group provides central resources, global standards and systems and expertise to its 13 local operating companies. The S-92s, which will be delivered over the next three years, will form part of Avincis' global fleet of around 350 rotary and 50 fixed-wing aircraft which fly from 295 bases in ten countries.

Avincis' subsidiaries operate under the Bond (UK, Norway, Ireland and Australia), Norsk Helikopterservice (Norway), Inaer (Spain, Italy, France, Portugal, Chile and Peru) and Australian Helicopters brands. In 2011 the group transported over 180,000 people across the North Sea, conducted more than 3,900 search and rescue missions over seas and mountains, over 36,000 air ambulance missions, rescued more than 7,000 from life-threatening situations and flew over 8,800 fire fighting missions.
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Finnish Hughes 500 in sawing accident
10 January, 2013
[Tampere, Finland] A Hughes 500D was badly damaged following an emergency landing near Kämmenniemi in Tampere, Finland, earlier today. The pilot, who was the sole occupant at the time of the accident, walked away with minor injuries.

The aircraft was engaged in a forest cleansing operation at Paavolantie, where it was clearing trees around power lines with an underslung saw. The pilot was able to perform an emergency landing on a field next to the power line following an in-flight malfunction.

The cause of the accident is unknown, but it is currently being investigated by the Accident Investigation Board of Finland (Onnettomuustutkintakeskus).
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