AgustaWestland has been testing the high- and low-altitude capabilities of its AW169 in California. A prototype of the 10,000-lb-class, 10-passenger helicopter performed hover, low-speed flight and rescue-hoist/cargo-hook testing at the airport in Big Bear, California (which has an elevation of 6,752 ft), according a report by the Big Bear Grizzly newspaper. Those tests followed earlier ones at higher elevations in Colorado. Such tests also were performed at Thermal, California, which is 138 ft below mean sea level and about 50 nm southeast of Big Bear in Southern California. AgustaWestland is working to gain FAA certification of the Pratt & Whitney PW210A-powered light intermediate twin by mid-2016; the European Aviation Safety Agency issued a type certification for the helicopter on July 15.