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Headlines for 2016
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 We do not publish any speculations, rumours or questionable facts.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.
Final report after alcohol accident in Norway
20 December, 2016
[Oslo] The Norwegian Accident Investigation Board (AIBN) has published its final report following an accident that occurred in Reisadalen, Troms County, in the north of Norway on 15 August 2015.

The helicopter, a commercially operated Swedish Eurocopter EC 120B Colibri registered SE-JJM, was en-route from Alta (Norway) to Kiruna (Sweden) on a ferry flight. After approximately 40 minutes of flight, including a brief half-minute landing, the experienced pilot suddenly changed course and flew westbound for some time before he resumed on track for Kiruna. Shortly thereafter the he made a few turns at low level, which was later explained by the pilot as him wanting to look at some arctic foxes on the ground.
The aircraft ended up downwind in a low airspeed and began to settle. Despite a high power setting it hit the ground hard. The helicopter was damaged and the pilot, who was the only person on board, suffered back injuries in the accident.

The Accident Investigation Board says that the GPS trace from the specific flight shows irregularities in altitude, course and airspeed throughout the whole flight. The pilot says that he was interested in the wildlife and wanted to fly closer to the animals.

The pilot was airlifted to Tromsø through a joint effort by a rescue helicopter and an EMS helicopter. His blood alcohol concentration was routinely checked, and it showed 2,29 per mille, four hours after the accident. The pilot states that this was due to the fact that he drank a large amount of liquor post impact in order to ease his back pain, and that he later hid the bottle some 25-50 meters from the wrecked helicopter.

The AIBN says that no evidences imply that the accident has been caused by technical malfunctions. It says that the pilot most likely manoeuvred himself into conditions that could cause the helicopter to settle with power, and that he reacted too late to the symptoms once they developed. The accident flight had several deviating risk factors and, combined with the pilot’s history of alcohol problems, the AIBN states that he showed a reduction in judgement and reactivity compatible to flying under the influence of alcohol.

The report states that the pilot had been fired from another helicopter company due to alcohol problems a few years prior to the accident, and the Swedish Transport Agency had informed the Norwegian CAA regarding his problems. The pilot had lost his driver’s license due to drunk driving, and the Swedish Police had questioned the Norwegian CAA why he was allowed fly.

The Norwegian Accident Investigation Board says that both the Norwegian CAA and the current employer have held passive attitudes to the pilot’s alcohol problems, and that this has allowed him to keep flying without any aeromedical resolutions.
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Statoil cancels letter of intent with subcontractor
16 December, 2016
[Norway] The Norwegian oil and gas company Statoil has chosen to cancel a letter of intent for a backup SAR helicopter with one of its subcontractors due to suspected corruption.

Following information received, Statoil started investigating an employee for possible violation of company policies. The company informed the police about the case, and the police decided to open investigation against the employee, and a person working for a subcontractor, in suspected serious corruption.

Statoil’s internal investigation has been paused due to the on-going police investigation, why no legal charges have been issued and no verdict has been passed at this stage.
Following these circumstances, Statoil has decided to cancel a letter of intent for a backup SAR helicopter with the subcontractor. Statoil states that it has no other activities with the company in question, and that Statoil’s SAR capacity meets current requirements even without this extra helicopter service.
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Pilot to prison after alleged drunk flying
8 December, 2016
[Norway] A Swedish helicopter pilot has been sentenced to prison by the Hålogaland Court of Appeals following an accident that occurred in the north of Norway on 15 August last year. The Norwegian news channel NRK states that the pilot had a high concentration of alcohol in his blood after the accident, but that he claimed that this was due to drinking a half bottle of Jägermeister in order to ease his pain after the accident.

The pilot was freed in the Nord-Troms District Court in April this year, but he was later sentenced to 60 days in prison by the Hålogaland Court of Appeals due to new information provided by an expert witness. The verdict came following the statement from the Norwegian Institute for Public Health, which explained that a body would not possible be able to consume the 2,29 per mille alcohol concentration found in the pilot’s blood after the accident in such a short time thereafter.

The accident itself occurred on 15 August 2015, as a commercially operated Swedish EC 120 was en-route from Alta (Norway) to Kiruna (Sweden) on a ferry flight. The pilot states that, when passing near Reisadalen in Troms County (northern Norway), he saw arctic foxes on the ground and decided to take a closer look. As the helicopter made a descending turn it ended up in a vortex ring state and hit the ground hard, according to the pilot. The aircraft was damaged, but the pilot, who was the only person onboard suffered some back pain in the accident.
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South Pacific aircrew opts for Swedish flight suit design
7 December, 2016
[New Caledonia/Sweden] “New Caledonia is a really exciting workplace, and I’ve done a few”, says Franklin Eck. “Our base is on a scarcely populated island 70 km wide and 410 km long, studded with green peaks and surrounded by turquoise water. The main challenge is the wind which is pretty much constant, so it gets exciting up in the mountains at times.”

When Helicocean recently decided to upgrade their personal equipment they chose to kit the entire crew with the AUK Protection G1 Flightsuit. “It is the lightest and most comfortable suit I’ve worn” says Franklin.

“There is an incredible attention to detail. Like the integrated cloth for visors and shades, and how storage and ventilation is designed".

"I also have to mention the integrated knee protection, they've made daily inspections and cabin chores like working the winch much more comfortable. The G1 really makes a difference in the air”.

Helicocean operates seven Airbus Helicopters AS350 ‘Ecureuils’ and two twin engine EC135's. With this combo the company covers everything from forest fires to drill rig assembly for the local nickel mining industry, as well as Ambulance and SAR missions with the EC135's.

“But that’s not all though”, says Franklin. “Every other year, we fly aerial culling missions to reduce the deer population to protect the local eco system, and when hurricane Pam struck in 2015 we ran rescue operations in Vanuatu with an AS365 ‘Dauphin’. So yeah, this is as versatile as it gets”.

The G1 was released under quiet circumstances last year, following extensive research and development in northern Norway and Greenland. The main difference to conventional flight suit design is its focus on supporting and enhancing pilot movement patterns.

High performance materials have been carefully selected by leading designers for comfort, insulation properties and the right amount of movement support. All true to the company's commitment to user centered design.

AUK Protection is now well into their next development cycle, upgrading their product portfolio and taking steps to serve a growing demand for a fresh approach to personal safety equipment within the aviation industry.
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Swedish police helicopter back from Greece
1 December, 2016
[Sweden/Lesbos] The Swedish National Police has resumed to full strength after its seventh Bell 429 has returned from a two-month deployment in Greece. One helicopter and more than 20 people from the Swedish Police have participated in Operation Poseidon Sea, coordinated by the European Border and Coast Guard Agency, Frontex.

The helicopter was used to patrol the Schengen border in the Aegean Sea during October and November. The unit was organized to look for migrants on their way to Greece by boat, and to assist in potential search and rescue situations by alerting relevant authorities of persons in distress at sea. In a total, Frontex saved 301 lives, and many experiences were made. The two-month deployment resulted in:

• 224 flight hours
• 163 check-ups
• 90 missions
• 8 search and rescue missions

The unit earned a lot of knowledge during the deployment, including how to plan for endurance far from home, with aspects covering personnel planning, spare parts and maintenance of the helicopter.
- These kinds of experiences would take many years to obtain in Sweden, says Rickard Henningsson who was executive officer and team leader on site. We are not used to situations with so many distressed people at sea at the same time. In Greece, we have sometimes had about 70 people at a time. This could only match up to the Estonia accident [back in 1994], he says.

The Bell 429 helicopters were delivered to the Swedish National Police about a year ago, and the police reports that the equipment worked well in Greece. This was the first time the Swedish Police Wing participated in an operation of this kind.
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Scandinavian MediCopter becomes Babcock Scandinavian AirAmbulance
30 November, 2016
[Stockholm/London] Starting today, Babcock International – the owner of Scandinavian AirAmbulance and Scandinavian MediCopter – is renaming its Scandinavian subsidiaries as part of a global branding synchronization. Scandinavian MediCopter, the division, takes the new name Babcock Scandinavian AirAmbulance AB, and the fixed-wing branch will be named Babcock SAA FW AB.

The companies have been part of the Babcock International Group since 2014, but they will now be fully incorporated members in the Babcock family by sharing the same logo and brand as its owner.

“As part of Babcock we have been able to take advantage of both the size of the company, but also the skills of our sister companies in the UK, Spain, Australia, etc., who also works with air ambulance services” says the holding company Babcock Scandinavia in a press release.

Babcock Scandinavian AirAmbulance and SAA FW AB are two large Swedish sister companies that operate a wide range of intensive-care airplanes and helicopters throughout large parts of Scandinavia. They have airplanes stationed in Luleå, Umeå, Stockholm and Gothenburg, as well as helicopters in Gällivare, Lycksele, Stockholm, Uppsala, Visby and Östersund in Sweden and Kuopio, Rovaniemi and Uleåborg in Finland. In total the companies have a fleet of twelve helicopters and eight airplanes, and they employ more than 200 people. The company is currently waiting for brand new Leonardo AW169 helicopters to its bases in Gällivare, Lycksele and Östersund.

The new names are active from the 30th of November 2016, however the structure and the line of business of the companies remains the same. As SAA puts it, “where you see Babcock logo you will find Scandinavian AirAmbulance quality”.
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Final report after rotor strike near Särna
30 November, 2016
[Särna] The Swedish Accident Investigation Board (Statens Haverikommission, SHK) has published its final report following an incident that occurred near Särna in Sweden on 18 February 2016.

The aircraft involved in the incident was a commercially operated Eurocopter EC 120B registered SE-JLZ. The helicopter was about to land on a small forest road in the snowy outback near Lövnäsvallen when its main rotor hit a couple of tree crowns. All three main rotor blades obtained damages, but the aircraft landed safely without any injuries to the two occupants onboard.

The Investigation Board concluded that the accident was caused by insufficient reconnaissance prior to landing. The minimum distances stipulated in the company’s operations manual could not be maintained at the selected landing spot. The SHK left no safety recommendations following its investigation.
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First Maximum Pilot View Kit to Scandinavia
18 November, 2016
[Stockholm] Swiss Rotor Solutions announces that the sling-load specialist Stockholms Helikoptertjänst becomes the launch customer for its AS 350 Maximum Pilot View Kit in Scandinavia. The kit will be installed on SHT’s newly purchased AS350B3, which arrived from France on 17 November.

SHT says that the kit will improve safety and efficiency on external-load operations, and that the kit will give the AS350 “near-Lama” characteristics in terms of visibility and precision.

SHT says that the helicopter will operate parallel to the company’s sling-load Lama, which is due for retirement within a few years. Although the company is not new to B3s, this is the first one to be purchased by SHT. It will join the current fleet of one Lama, one AS355, two MD500s, one Long Ranger, one R44 and one Schweizer 300. The Maximum Pilot View Kit will be mounted on the B3 this winter.
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Northern Helicopters changes company structure
25 October, 2016
[Gothenburg] The rotor-wing flight school Northern Helicopters announces that it is changing its company structure and transferring the activities to the company Northern Air Training AB. Northern Helicopters will remain the brand name, but the new company will eventually handle all the intended flight training. However, since Northern Helicopters’ ATO certification has expired the company has no Swedish certification for the time being.

Northern Helicopters says that its Danish venture did not turn out as planned, and that this, in combination with the decline in the offshore industry and local operational off-airport difficulties, forced the flight school to close its Danish branch and focus solely in Sweden. The current fleet consists of a Robinson R44, but the company states that it intends to add a Bell 206 in 2017, as well as opening a winter training location in Siljansnäs. The company has not yet issued a statement regarding the expected time frame for its new ATO certification.
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Final report after R44 roll-over near Storlien
24 October, 2016
[Storlien] The Swedish Accident Investigation Board (Statens Haverikommission, SHK) has published its final report following an accident that occurred near Storlien in Sweden on 14 March 2016.

The helicopter involved in the incident was a privately operated Robinson R44 registered LN-OCX. The helicopter was en-route from a holiday home north of Ånn near Harsjövallen in Jämtland County, Sweden, to Værnes Airport near Trondheim in Norway. As the flight went on the weather deteriorated, and the pilot eventually chose to land safely in the alpine terrain. The pilot later decided to move the helicopter to Storlien in order to find better visibility. However, as the helicopter was about to take off the pilot experienced a gust of wind and the helicopter rolled over to the right in the snow. None of the two occupants were injured.

The Accident Investigation Board concluded that the accident was caused by the helicopter not being appropriately equipped for landing in snow and that the load-bearing capacity of the snow cover was unable to cope with the load that resulted from the rear part of the right skid landing gear when the helicopter began to lift off, which resulted in a dynamic roll-over The investigation did not issue any safety recommendations.
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More than 10.000 hours on the Black Hawk
27 September, 2016
[Linköping] Last week the Swedish Armed Forces Helicopter Wing passed 10.000 flight hours on its fleet of UH-60M Black Hawk. The type, which is locally designated HKP 16, has served since early 2012, and it has already been operating in Afghanistan and on various national high-profile tasks. A total of fifteen Black Hawks are in service, and they were all handed over to the Armed Forces in 16 record-breaking months.

The first 10K hours were passed during a routine exercise with the Swedish National Police. The next historic landmark for the Armed Forces will be the passing of 30.000 flight hours on the fleet of Leonardo 109LUHs, locally designated HKP 15.
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Swedish Police sends Bell 429 to Greece
22 September, 2016
[Greece] The Swedish National Police is sending one of its Bell 429 helicopters to Lesbos in Greece as part of operation Poseidon Sea, coordinated by the European Border and Coast Guard Agency, Frontex. This is the first time the Swedish Police Wing participates in an operation of this kind.

The helicopter will patrol the Schengen border in the Aegean Sea during October and November this year. The task is to detect migrants on their way to Greece by boat, and assist in search and rescue situations by alerting of persons in distress at sea.

- We will serve as the outpost unit and facilitate early detection in order to scramble units that can save and manage the situation, says Rickard Henningsson, executive in charge of the operation at the Swedish Police Wing.

More than 20 people will participate in the operation. Five Swedes will be on the location simultaneously - a pilot, a flight tactical operator, a team leader and a technician on Lesbos, as well as a representative at the command centre in Piraeus.

A Greek coast guard officer will be onboard the Swedish helicopter during all the flights, since Greece is the host country. The operation is financed by Frontex.
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Norwegian maritime pilot contract to Airlift
30 August, 2016
[Norway] The Norwegian helicopter company Airlift AS has been awarded a nation-wide maritime pilot contract by the Norwegian Coastal Administration (Kystverket). The contract will be valid for six years from 1 July 2017, with an option for ten more years. Brand new AW169 helicopters will be used to transfer maritime pilots back and forth between the mainland and large ships along the Norwegian coastline.

- We will get a safe and good helicopter services with this agreement, at a lower price than we have today. This is something that I'm very pleased with, says pilot director Erik Blom at the Norwegian Coastal Administration.

Airlift is glad for the new contract that has been signed:
- Airlift is grateful for the confidence placed in us through the awarding of this contract. The contract is one of the largest in the company's nearly 30-year history. For us this is an important step in our plans for further growth and expansion, says Stian Hårklau, CEO of Airlift AS.

The current operator, Norwegian Lufttransport, will maintain its current maritime pilot transfer operations with its Dauphin helicopters until the new contract period starts.
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Noise complaints due to police patrolling
13 August, 2016
[Malmö] Cars have been set alight in the city of Malmö for nights in a row. Citizens are worried and the police authority has called in reinforcement in order to catch the perpetrators. A police helicopter has been used to patrol the sky at nights, but locals are now starting to complain. Swedish Radio P4 and the newspaper Kvällsposten reports that many people are loosing sleep due to the high level of noise over the city.
The police says that it is constantly balancing the anti-crime need versus the potential disturbance, but it emphasizes that the helicopter is needed in the search for torchers. However, unmanned drones have now been put to use as well.
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Vintage Vertol 107 added to the civil register
13 August, 2016
[Gothenburg] The Swedish aviation museum Aeroseum has obtained the formal civil registration for its soon-to-be-flying Kawasaki Vertol 107. The helicopter, which previously served with the Swedish Armed Forces, has been waiting for this since its last landing on 1 March 2011. This touchdown was also the very last landing of a Vertol 107 in the Swedish Armed Forces, after originally serving since 1964.

"Yankee 70", or ex 04070 to be precise will now carry the civil registration SE-JLY. It qualifies as the largest-ever helicopter in the Swedish civil helicopter register, and it is the only civil Vertol 107 in Europe. The helicopter will be used for flight show/demo purposes in order to show a piece of military history. It won't make it to next weekend's large airshow at Malmen Air Base (27-28 Aug), but it will be displayed in Gothenburg later this year if everything goes as planned.

The helicopter is formally owned by the National Swedish Museums of Military History (SFHM), but it is organized under the Aeroseum Foundation. SFHM has a wide range of airworthy vintage aircraft, including two Jet Rangers, two Schweizer 300s and fighter airplanes like Viggen, Draken and Tunnan.
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UH-60 makes first landing at Linköping Hospital
9 August, 2016
[Linköping] The newly finished rooftop helipad at the University Hospital in Linköping has welcomed its premiere fly-in guest. A UH-60M Black Hawk from the nearby Malmen Airbase performed the very first landing and, subsequently, the first takeoff. The operations were performed in order to safeguard the helipad functions and to verify the flight paths to and from the hospital.

The concrete helipad, which is 20 meters in diameter and sits on top of a 50-meter high building, is built to take the weight of all helicopters that operate in Sweden, including the large NH90. EMS helicopters from various parts of the country will use the helipad, but it can also welcome military helicopters in case of larger emergencies. The new helipad will replace the older one that is located next to a parking lot near the hospital. It will be opened later this year.
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NLA moves its flight training to Norway
2 August, 2016
[Stavanger] The Norwegian HEMS operator Norsk Luftambulanse (NLA) has selected Norwegian Competence Centre Helicopter (NCCH) as the provider of flight simulator and training services from 2018 and onwards. The new simulator centre will be located at Sola Airport in Stavanger, and it will include the Airbus H135 and H145 range.
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Coptersafety orders five new Full Flight Simulators
26 July, 2016
[Helsinki / Finland] The Finnish helicopter flight training provider announced today they have selected TRU Simulation + Training, to deliver five Level D Full Flight Simulators representing Airbus Helicopters H125, H145, AgustaWestland AW169 and AW189. The fifth FFS will be decided in the coming months in response to market conditions. In addition, Coptersafety will follow the possibility of converting the H145 simulator to be H135/H145 compatible in the future. All Full Flight Simulators will be certified to EASA/FAA Level D.

“With current investment we want to take the next step in improving helicopter operators’ safety performance by offering our mission-specific simulator training for a wider range of helicopter types. At Coptersafety we strongly believe in simulator based training, it’s our core business and that’s why we want to make this significant investment in the helicopter pilot training domain”, says Coptersafety’s CEO Mikko Dahlman.

In order to house all the new simulators a new training facility will be build at Helsinki Airport.
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Helicopter accident in northern Norway
20 July, 2016
[Narvik / Norway] A commercial helicopter was involved in an accident in northern Norway earlier today. The aircraft was involved in a power line construction work north of Narvik when it, by unknown reasons, ended up in wooded area, in an upright position. The pilot was reportedly uninjured, but he was brought to hospital for observation. The cause of the accident is unknown at this time, but the Norwegian Accident Investigation Board (AIBN) has been informed about the mishap.
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Offshore helicopter hit a truck in Stavanger
6 July, 2016
[Norway] A Norwegian Sikorsky S-92 offshore helicopter was damaged when it hit a truck at Stavanger Airport earlier today. None of the 16 people on board the helicopter were injured, but both the helicopter and the truck obtained damages. The incident occurred as the helicopter was about to park after a flight.
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New national HEMS contract to NLA
1 July, 2016
[Bodø] The National Air Ambulance Services of Norway has awarded a new nation-wide helicopter emergency medical service contract to Norsk Luftambulanse. The deal includes twelve bases throughout the whole country, and it is valid for six years from 1st of June 2018, with an option for a four-year extension.

A handful of operators competed for the attractive contract, and a total of 34 different offers were submitted and evaluated. The winning offer, which came from Norsk Luftambulanse (NLA), means that the operator will be the sole provider of helicopter emergency services in the country. As a consequence of this, the current EMS helicopters in Tromsø, Brønnøysund and Ålesund will switch operator, and the remaining bases will stay in NLA’s organization.
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Helicopter accident at Åre-Östersund Airport
13 June, 2016
[Östersund] A private H125 helicopter was involved in an accident while landing at Åre-Östersund Airport earlier today. The pilot, who was the sole occupant on board, was uninjured, but the helicopter obtained substantial damages. The cause of the accident is unknown at this time, but the Swedish Accident Investigation Board (Statens Haverikommission, SHK) will send a team to the accident site and launch a formal investigation.
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Critisism over SAR helicopter acquisition
11 June, 2016
[Norrköping] Below is a press release from the Swedish Competition Authority:
The Swedish Competition Authority has reviewed the Swedish Maritime Administration’s procurement of search and rescue helicopters, and is critical of the way in which the procurement was conducted.

The Swedish Maritime Administration has been criticised regarding aspects such as the lack of documentation of meetings with potential suppliers. The tender documentation also breaches the public procurement regulations on three instances.

The tender documentation entirely lacked contract conditions such as conditions regarding guarantees and termination. These conditions were drawn up by AgustaWestland, the supplier who won the procurement. Failing to advertise these terms of contract is a breach of the public procurement legislation. In the technical specifications of the helicopters reference was also made to a specific trade mark and type of a searchlight and a winch included in the equipment of the helicopters.

“Technical specifications shall not refer to a specific trade mark or type,” explains Dan Sjöblom, Director-General of the Swedish Competition Authority. “Such requirements rule out other suppliers of equivalent or better products. This thereby eliminates competition.”

The Authorities investigation of the Swedish Maritime Administration’s helicopter purchase also reveals a number of inappropriate contacts between representatives from the Swedish Maritime Administration and AgustaWestland. In addition, there was a failure to document what was discussed at these meetings, which is particularly remarkable. The Authority also takes a serious view of the fact that the Swedish Maritime Administration had one-sided contacts with AgustaWestland during and shortly before the contract notice was published in 2012.

“Obtaining knowledge of the market ahead of carrying out procurement is essential for sound procurement processes, but the contracting authority must ensure that no supplier benefits from or is disadvantaged by these preparations,” continues Mr Sjöblom.

A contracting authority must treat all potential suppliers the same way. Not documenting what is discussed at meetings – especially in the case of one-sided contacts with a potential supplier – is highly inappropriate.
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Helicopter damaged in accident in Iceland
22 May, 2016
[Iceland] A helicopter carrying five people on board was damaged in an accident near the Hengill volcano in southwestern Iceland earlier today. The occupants were transported to hospital with minor injuries. The cause of the accident is unknown at this stage.
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Bell announces Swedish Police 429s operational
18 May, 2016
[USA] Today, Bell Helicopter announced the delivery and entry into service of the Swedish National Police's seven Bell 429 helicopters. This follows exactly five months after the last two helicopters were delivered, and approximately seven months after the first helicopter (SE-JPU) made its premiere flight in service with the Swedish Police Authority, marking the formal start of the new helicopter system.

"This is now the largest Bell 429 fleet in operation in the European Union," said Jakub Hoda, Bell Helicopter Managing Director for Europe and Russia. "Customers in Europe have shown great interest in the Bell 429 for law enforcement operation. Over a quarter of the Bell 429s in service across Europe today are flying para-public missions, demonstrating the superior performance of the Bell 429."

In addition to the Swedish police helicopters, Bell Helicopter has recently delivered 15 Bell 429s to the Turkish National Police, four Bell 429s to the New York Police Department, and the first of two Bell 429s to the Slovakian Police.

Bell Helicopter says that the Bell 429 delivers exceptional speed, range, hover performance and enhanced safety margins. The state-of-the-art technology in the Bell 429 includes a fully-integrated glass cockpit, advanced drive system, WAAS navigation and IFR capability.
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US Navy Delivers 1st Seahawks to Danish Defense
13 May, 2016
[Denmark/USA] Three MH-60R Seahawk helicopters departed Sikorsky Aircraft Corporation’s William P. Gwinn Airfield May 10, aboard two C-17 aircraft to join their new home with Air Squadron 723, Karup Air Base in Denmark. This is the first delivery to the Danish Defence, which is replacing their former fleet of British Lynx helicopters with the Seahawk.

Denmark signed a Letter of Offer and Acceptance for the nine MH-60R aircraft in December 2012. As the first FMS MH-60R Seahawks in Europe, their primary missions will be maritime surveillance, anti-surface warfare, force protection and utility transport operations, e.g. supporting NATO in anti-piracy operations. The Danish MH-60R will also provide support to the Arctic and North Atlantic region, patrolling territorial boundaries, fisheries and perform search and rescue.

The MH-60R Seahawk is already operational as the primary U.S. Navy anti-submarine and anti-surface warfare system for open-ocean and littoral zones. The Royal Australian Navy was the first to procure the MH-60R through the FMS program; their 725 Squadron achieved initial operating capability in September 2015.
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New HKP15 maintenance contract to Saab
2 May, 2016
[Linköping] Defence and security company Saab has received an order from the Swedish Defence Materiel Administration, FMV, regarding continued delivery of complete support and maintenance for AgustaWestland 109 LUH (HKP15), for the years 2018 and 2019.

The order includes 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 as well as on-call services in the form of additional technical personnel and services.

- Our ability to deliver a complete commitment to the support and maintenance of "Helicopter 15" enables us to contribute to a high operational availability of our customer, says Jonas Hjelm, head of Saab business area Support and Services.

Helicopter 15 has been operational in the Swedish Armed Forces for over ten years and Saab has since 2012 had a total commitment to secure the available flight time. 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.
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Ecureuil helicopter in minor accident at Høyland
30 April, 2016
[Stavanger / Norway] A single-engine Ecureuil helicopter was involved in an accident at Høyland in southern Norway earlier today. The Norwegian Police in Stavanger says that the aircraft was involved in a training flight, carrying two people onboard, when the accident occurred. None of the occupants were harmed, and their damaged helicopter remained parked upright after the touchdown. A post-impact fire broke out, but it could soon be extinguished.

The cause of the accident is unknown at this time, but the Norwegian Accident Investigation Board (AIBN) will send a team to the accident site and launch a formal investigation.
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Many dead in large Norwegian helicopter accident
29 April, 2016
[Bergen / Norway] A Norwegian offshore helicopter was lost in a fatal accident west of Bergen in southern Norway today, 29th of April. The accident occurred near Turøy Island moments prior to 12:00 local time, just as the helicopter had reached the coastline. The aircraft involved in the accident was an offshore H225 helicopter engaged in North Sea operations, and it was on its way home to Bergen-Flesland Airport from the offshore Gullfaks B oil platform when the accident struck - with only minutes left to its destination.

The aircraft carried 11 passengers and a crew of two. The Rescue Coordination Centre is confirming the recovery of many dead bodies from the scene, and all on board are believed to have lost their lives.

Witnesses, videos and post-impact images are indicating that the five-blade main rotor assembly came loose prior to impact. Airbus soon announced that it had decided to put all commercial EC225LP passenger flights on hold until preliminary elements of the accident inquiry becomes available.
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H145 to cover for HEMS ops. in Gothenburg
24 April, 2016
[Gothenburg] The regional helicopter emergency medical service in the Västra Götaland Region, in southwestern Sweden, is using a new helicopter for the first time in 14 years. The unit is normally operating a Sikorsky S-76C+ helicopter, but a brand new Airbus Helicopters H145 will now be covering for the regular aircraft while it is in for its month-long annual routine maintenance, starting on Monday.

This will be the first time the unit is using another helicopter type than the S-76 since the launch of the HEMS station in Gothenburg back in January 2002. The region has been lacking a reserve aircraft for some time, but it will now have full access to a newly delivered company backup aircraft (SE-JXC).

The Västra Götaland Region has been a member of the EMS helicopter federation Svensk Luftambulans since 2015. Four affiliated councils are currently sharing organization - Värmland, Dalarna, Uppsala (not operative) and the Västra Götaland Region. All bases except Gothenburg are currently using the H145 helicopter as standard aircraft.
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MediCopter gets new HEMS contract in Stockholm
20 April, 2016
[Stockholm] Today, Stockholm’s County Council publicly announced that it has awarded a new contract for airborne emergency medical services in the Stockholm region to Scandinavian MediCopter. The new contract will be valid from 1 December 2017 to 30 November 2022, with an option to extend the period by two additional years. The decision comes after a new remade public tender that followed after last year’s annulled tender.

The contract calls for a larger helicopter in order to give better possibilities to work whilst airborne to the medical crew. The contract also stipulates the possibility to use a second helicopter for daytime operations all year if needed. Adding to this, the customer has also placed clearer demands in terms of pilot qualifications as well as more stringent safety parameters for the helicopter and its equipment.

Scandinavian MediCopter, a subsidiary of Scandinavian AirAmbulance, is currently operating the EMS helicopter in Stockholm, utilizing one EC135 for H24 operations and a second EC135 for daytime summer alerts. The company has been responsible for the helicopter operations in the region since 2001, when its predecessor Lufttransport acquired Osterman Heli’s HEMS division in Stockholm.

The unit, which is stationed at in Gustavsberg east of Stockholm, performed 2470 missions in 2015. Approximately 80% of these were high-priority emergency calls, where the conditions of the patients were considered to be life threatening.

The new contract cannot be formally signed by Stockholm’s County Council until a ten-day appeal period has been passed, starting from today.
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Mora’s EMS helicopter takes off
11 April, 2016
[Mora] The brand new helicopter emergency medical service in Mora, Dalarna County, took to the skies earlier today. The very first emergency call came in midday Monday, and it led the crew to the village of Rättvik.

Dalarna County’s new HEMS unit is stationed at the airport in Mora. It covers the whole region and has the possibility to operate in surrounding districts as well. The brand new H145 aircraft is operated by Svensk Luftambulans (SLA), which is an EMS helicopter federation that is shared by affiliated councils - currently Värmland, Dalarna and the Västra Götaland Region. The aircraft is manned with one pilot, one anaesthesiologist and one HEMS crew member.

The new helicopter base in Mora brings the total of HEMS stations in Sweden to an all-time high, with nine active locations. The bases are shared by the two operators Svensk Luftambulans (3) and Scandinavian MediCopter (6). The helicopters are located in Gothenburg, Visby, Stockholm, Uppsala, Karlstad, Mora, Östersund, Lycksele and Gällivare.
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Helicopter accident near Storlien
16 March, 2016
[Storlien] Swedish and Norwegian state television (SVT and NRK) reports that a private Robinson R44 helicopter was involved in an accident in the vicinity of Storlien, west of Åre in Jämtland County, a few days ago. The accident, which occurred near Åhlenstugan north of Storlien, took place on Sunday, and it was reported the day after. The occupants, the pilot and a passenger, obtained minor injuries, but the helicopter was severely damaged.

The cause of the accident is currently unknown, but it will be examined by the Swedish Accident Investigation Board (Statens Haverikommission, SHK).
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Swedish NH90 in serious incident in Norway
27 February, 2016
[Norway] A Swedish NH90, locally designated HKP 14, was involved in a serious incident during an exercise in Norway today, according to the Swedish Accident Investigation Board. The helicopter was operated at low level in a two-ship formation when it contacted the ground unintentionally. No people or equipment was injured or damaged in the incident, but the Swedish Accident Investigation Board is investigating the mishap.
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Bristow Norway is looking for 25 new pilots
22 February, 2016
[Norway] Bristow Norway is recruiting 25 first officers for its offshore helicopter operations in the North Sea. The announcement comes less than a month after the company was awarded new contracts with Statoiol for offshore personnel transportation services in Bergen and Florø.

The contracts, which are starting on 1 May 2017, are valued at around NOK 1 billion in the 5-year fixed period. In addition, the contracts include four yearly options.

Minimum requirements
• Valid JAR/FCL helicopter licence: CPL(H)
• Valid instrument rating for helicopters: IR(H)
• ATPL theory
• Minimum 800 flight hours

Read more about the position on finn.no
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Alcohol presumably involved in 2015 accident
12 February, 2016
[Norway] Several news magazines, including Swedish Norrbottens-Kuriren and Norwegian iTromsø, reports that the pilot involved in the 2015 Reisadalen accident is suspected of flying under the influence of alcohol.

The accident occurred on 15 August last year, as the EC 120 helicopter was en-route from Alta (Norway) to Kiruna (Sweden). When passing near Reisadalen in Troms County (northern Norway), the helicopter had a hard landing. The pilot was airlifted to hospital due to back pain. His blood alcohol concentration was checked a few hours after the accident, and it read 2,29 per mille. It has not, however, been established whether the alcohol was consumed prior or after the accident.

The Norwegian Nord-Troms District Court will now handle the case. The cause of the accident itself is unknown at this time, but it is currently under investigation by the Norwegian Accident Investigation Board.
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New offshore contracts for Bergen and Florø
1 February, 2016
[Norway] Statoil has awarded new contracts for offshore personnel transportation services in Bergen and Florø to Bristow Norway. The oil company says that the new contracts will ensure the safety of its transportation services. However, at the same time, the contracts reflect a market situation with lower activity offshore, and a continuous need for flexible and cost-efficient solutions.

The contracts, which are starting on 1 May 2017, are valued at around NOK 1 billion in the 5-year fixed period. In addition, the contracts include four yearly options.

“The contract awards will strengthen the competitiveness of the Norwegian continental shelf (NCS) through opening up for more efficient flight programme that will help reduce costs for the petroleum business. This ensures predictability in relation to long-term activities and adds value on the NCS. We look forward to further develop the cooperation with Bristow Norway, and working closely on the new contracts,” says Astrid Sørensen, Statoil’s senior vice president for joint operations support.

By combining the new contracts with the current helicopter portfolio, Statoil will have five permanent personnel transportation helicopters in Bergen and one in Florø from 1 May 2017, and it will have the ability to increase the capacity when needed.

Statoil seeks to cooperate with other operators in Florø on helicopter services. “Since 2013 we have seen the number of passengers to the Norwegian continental shelf drop by 30 percent. Increased flexibility to adjust to changed demands has therefore been emphasised in the contract strategy,” says Jon Arnt Jacobsen, Statoil’s chief procurement officer.
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First Swedish HKP 14F handed over
27 January, 2016
[Ronneby] Today the Swedish Armed Forces Helicopter Wing took delivery of its very first medium-heavy HKP 14F naval helicopter. The aircraft, internationally known as the NH90, was handed over by the Swedish Defence Materiel Administration (FMV) in a formal ceremony at the F17 Kallinge Air Force Base in Ronneby, southern Sweden.

The event marks a historic step for the Swedish Armed Forces, as a new anti-submarine warfare capacity is starting to take place within the organization following a decade on idle. The Defence Materiel Administration handed over the logbook to the Commander of the Swedish Air Force, Major General Mats Helgesson, who passed the logbook to the chief of the helicopter wing, Colonel Peder Söderström.

The helicopter is the very first naval helicopter out of nine on order. It was accepted by FMV and flown to Sweden from Airbus Helicopters’ factory in Donauwörth, Germany, in December 2015. It will now be used for ground training before it takes to the sky. A second HKP 14F is expected to arrive later in the spring, after which the final version of the mission-ready utility E models will be delivered.

In brief, the state-of-the-art fly-by-wire aircraft features underwater sonar, tactical radar, electro-optical sensors and high cabin for improved interior space. It is also equipped with two work stations, so called Mission Management Systems, in the cabin. The workstations are of the same type that are already on board Navy ships, which will facilitate job rotation and knowledge transfer between the Navy and the Air Force for years to come.

In total, Sweden has ordered 18 NH90s, locally designated HKP 14. Of these, 13 were originally intended to be equipped for inland operations and five in anti-submarine warfare configuration. Since then, FMV and the manufacturer NHIndustries have signed a contract to modify four already delivered NH90s (HKP 14 A/B) from inland operations to ASW configuration, bringing the total Swedish NH90 fleet to nine ASW (F models) and nine utility aircraft (E models). All D models have been delivered, but they will gradually be upgraded to E models.

The NH90s were ordered in 2001, with an expected delivery between 2005 and 2009. The assembly and acceptance ran late, but the first basic A/B versions were eventually handed over in April 2011. Seven mission-ready international-mission HKP 14Ds were delivered between 2013 and 2015. Following the historic hand-over of the first anti-submarine warfare helicopter today, the Armed Forces is now operating a total of 12 NH90 from its bases at F21 Air Force Base in Luleå and F17 Air Force Base in Ronneby.
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No state-funded pilot training for the next year
22 January, 2016
[Stockholm] The Swedish National Agency for Higher Vocational Education will not offer any new pilot courses for the autumn of 2016 and the spring of 2017. This was made official when the new course catalogue was published a couple of days ago.

The agency got a lot of attention when it decided to fund a total of 60 slots for new commercial helicopter pilots two years ago. The ground-breaking decision changed the helicopter training climate by adding an unprecedented number of simultaneous students. Two flight schools where granted 20 and 10 students respectively a year, for two years, back then, and they have actively been training the new government funded pilots since the start. The flight schools, Svensk Pilotutbildning (SPU) and BF Scandinavian Aviation Academy (SAA), have organized the ground- and flight training in Gothenburg and Västerås.

The Swedish National Agency for Higher Vocational Education (Yrkeshögskolan) established that helicopter pilot training were consistent with the agency’s profile back in 2012, and it concluded that the civil helicopter industry had a surge for 20 new pilots a year. The reason for the agency’s 2016 decision is unclear, but it will give time to determine the factual employment rate of the new state-funded pilots.
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Final report after EC 130 driveshaft failure in Norway
21 January, 2016
[Norway] The Norwegian Accident Investigation Board (AIBN) has published its final report following a serious aircraft incident that occurred at Rørvik Airport, in the Norwegian Nord-Trøndelag County, on 12 August 2015.

The helicopter involved in the incident was a commercially operated Eurocopter EC 130B4 registered LN-ORR. The helicopter was about to land at Rørvik Airport for refuelling, with the pilot and a loadmaster on board. As the aircraft approached the runway the helicopter started to rotate to the left. The pilot cut the engine power and performed an non-powered emergency landing from a height of approximately 5-10 meters. No injuries or damage occurred to the helicopter or the occupants.

The Accident Investigation Board concluded that the tail rotor shaft had fractured due to an incorrect installation of a tail rotor shaft bearing. The incorrect installation led to cyclic loads in the tail rotor, which eventually caused a fracture. The bearings on the tail rotor shaft were replaced in connection with scheduled maintenance some 98 flying hours prior to the incident. The Accident Investigation Board issued no recommendations in connection with the investigation.
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