As 2018 comes to a close, here is a look back at the top 10 most viewed stories published by Rotor & Wing International this year.
- Fiery AW169 Crash Claims Five Lives After Leicester Football Match
The Leonardo AW169 crashed outside the Leicester City football club’s stadium Oct. 27, killing the team’s owner, the pilot and three others on board. Reports indicated Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha, the Thai billionaire owner of the team since 2010, was among the passengers when the aircraft took off from King Power stadium just after 8:30 p.m. local time.
The aircraft, with five people on board, lifted off just after a game and cleared the stadium before reportedly spinning out of control, plummeting to the ground in a nearby industrial park and bursting into flames.
- Italian Court Outlines Possible Charges Stemming From 2015 AW609 Crash
Italian prosecutors have filed a notice of the conclusion of criminal procedure and outlined potential charges that could be brought against several individuals for alleged criminal wrongdoing in the fatal 2015 crash of a Leonardo AW609 prototype.
- Everything We Know About the New York Tourist Helicopter Crash
Liberty Helicopters was operating what was supposed to be a 30-minute aerial photography flight from Helo Kearny Heliport in Kearny, New Jersey, in March. While flying at an altitude of approximately 2,000 feet, the pilot contacted LaGuardia Airport’s air traffic control tower to request entry into Class B airspace, according to the NTSB. Five minutes later, the pilot declared “mayday” reportedly after the helicopter’s engine failed.
- Sikorsky Protests USAF Huey Replacement Competition, Citing Unfair RFP
Though it eventually lost its battle against a Boeing-Leonardo team to replace the U.S. Air Force’s UH-1 Huey fleet, Lockheed Martin’s Sikorsky protested the competition before an award was even made, citing an unfair request for proposals that it said would require divulging sensitive proprietary information.
- Report: Failure Of Two-Inch Bolt Caused Fatal Japanese AH-64 Crash
The Japanese AH-64 attack helicopter that crashed into a home north of Nagasaki in February was brought down by a damaged main rotor-head bolt. Both pilots aboard the aircraft died Feb. 5 when the Boeing AH-64D crashed into a private home in a residential area of Kanzaki, Saga Prefecture. An 11-year-old girl who lived in the house escaped with injuries, according to Japan's Asahi Shinbun. The newspaper originally reported the results of a report by the Japanese defense ministry published May 28.
- Breaking Down the Bell 525 Crash Report
In 2012 under a flurry of lights at Heli-Expo in Dallas, Bell Helicopter (as it was called at the time) unveiled the 525 Relentless. Dubbed a “super-medium-lift” twin-engine utility helicopter, the Relentless was to be the first commercial helicopter with a fly-by-wire flight control system. Bell set its sights on the offshore gas and oil industry as its ideal target customer.
The 525 took its first flight July 1, 2015. Then just a year later, on July 6, 2016, tragedy struck.
- US Army Begins To Arrest Pilot Shortage 10 Years In The Making
For at least a decade, the U.S. Army has fallen short of its training goal of 1,300 pilots per year. Funding constraints held the Aviation Center of Excellence at Fort Rucker to about 900 pilots a year, most of which were trained to fly utility aircraft like the UH-60 Black Hawk and CH-47 Chinook, according to Maj. Gen. William Gayler, the Army’s chief aviator.
- Papillon, Airbus Sued Over Fuel System in Fatal Grand Canyon Crash, Reports Say
Both a helicopter operator and the original equipment manufacturer are being sued over the fatal Feb. 10 crash of a tourism helicopter in the Grand Canyon. Multiple news outlets reported that the parents of a British tourist who succumbed to injuries sustained in the crash have filed a complaint in Nevada’s Clark County District Court accusing Papillon Airways and Airbus Helicopters of negligence in failing to equip the helicopter with a crash-resistant fuel system (CRFS).
- GE and ATEC Running Hot For US Army Helicopter Engine Upgrades
General Electric (GE) and Advanced Turbine Engine Company (ATEC) touted the capabilities of their respective engines in the quest by the U.S. Army to find new engines for the Apache and Black Hawk fleets under the Improved Turbine Engine Program (ITEP).
- NTSB Approves Probable Cause of Fatal Bell Helicopter 525 Crash
“A severe vibration of the helicopter that led to the crew's inability to maintain sufficient rotor rotation speed (Nr), leading to excessive main rotor blade flapping, subsequent main rotor blade contact with the tail boom and the resultant in-flight breakup.