Read all about the most recent news from around the world, showcasing updates from the vibrant world of Heliops

Safer Hawaiian HEC - Windward Goes Twin

Windward Aviation’s owner Don Shearer started the company in 1990 and became the largest supplier of helicopter utility services in the state of Hawaii. Despite a long history of specializing in operations with the single-engine MD500 series, Shearer had long bemoaned not having the safety features that are offered by a twin

A Safety Mantra - Wilson Construction

A large Oregon power line construction company is setting impeccably high standards in helicopter operations and safety, establishing a dedicated, integrated aviation department to support their main business. The Wilson Construction Company is a superb example of how an aviation support component can be structured and operated.

Not Just a Power Company

In almost 90 years, the Tennessee Valley Authority’s mission has been unwavering – Improving the lives of the people of the Tennessee Valley. Evolving to meet the challenges of 21st Century, the largest public power utility in America uses its clean electricity generation as a strategic asset to drive economic growth across seven southern states

Harden Up - SoCal Edison's Grid Hardening

California has a history of numerous, intense wildfires in remote areas. Many of these have damaged or threatened power generation, transmission, and distribution networks, leading to a statewide framework of mitigation requirements.

A Hard Act to Follow - the Shotover M2

When two companies that are leaders in complimentary fields merge, the combination of specialties can foster the development of products notably more advanced and capable than either could achieve alone.

The Aqua Limers in Sweden

It is generally believed that the acidification of Scandinavian lakes, which has been researched since the 1970s, is caused by human atmospheric pollution. Jimmy van Drunen visited Scandair Helicopter to observe the Swedish operator’s participation in widespread lime-spreading

The Only Game in Town

Although the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office has operated an aviation unit for some time, the last seven or eight years have seen cultural and operational reorganization within the unit and upgrading of its equipment, resulting in a dramatic increase in capabilities and performance

High Energy Teamwork - Flying NZ's Power Grid

Powerline flying presents challenges and hazards that differ very little, no matter where in the world it is conducted. Procedures, methods, and policies to effectively cope with those risks, however, can vary between different counties or locales.

Look Deeper - What Makes Metro Different

With operators worldwide struggling to find and employ the right aircrew for their needs, prospective hires often have several employment options to consider. Financial remuneration can be an important factor, but Metro Aviation illustrates that selecting the right position should be predicated on an appreciation of the entire employment package.

Bird on a Diet - Air Methods Goes Light

Air Methods subsidiary Mercy Air recently put a 429 fitted with a lightweight interior into service from its base at Hemet, California, its first in the PacWest region and the first to be put into a community-based service, as opposed to a hospital-based inter-facility operation

The Hot Rod Club - Kiwi 500 Fly In

The Hughes/MD500 has been an iconic sight in New Zealand skies for decades from the time that American Mel Cain imported the very first one for venison recovery; an industry that would account for the majority of 500s imported into New Zealand.

Alpine Weightlifters - Colorado's Mountain Bladerunner

Mountain Blade Runner is the brainchild of Bryson Gray and wife Skyla, who started the company when Gray was just 21 years old. The couple targeted the business at aerial work in mountainous terrain and now, still only in their early thirties, operate a busy fleet of seven helicopters

Picking a Winner - Las Vegas Metros New Platform

After around five decades of operating the venerable MD500 series airframes, Las Vegas Metro PD has introduced the Airbus H125 into its aerial law enforcement operation, as senior Air Support Unit personnel discussed with Ned Dawson.

Ready for Anything - Dubai Police Air Wing

Operating from Dubai International Airport, the Dubai Air Wing serves the aviation needs of the government of the Emirate of Dubai. Although a single entity, the Air Wing includes separately named ‘divisions’, including the Dubai Police Air Wing and the Dubai Royal Flight

Mosquito Sqn - Batting an Infinite Enemy

Mosquito Squadron? No, not that beautifully sleek wooden De Havilland aircraft from the 1940s, but a mixed fleet of more contemporary fixed and rotary wing aircraft, operated as part of an integrated approach to mosquito control in the Collier Mosquito Control District

Throwing Rock at the Ground

In a slight variation from normal agricultural operations, a helicopter operator in The Netherlands has been carrying out some interesting and ecologically advantageous spreading operations over recent months, as Jimmy van Drunen reports.

Works Well With Others - Maricopa Sheriff

Replacing an aging Bell 407 with a brand-new Bell 429 has given the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office the opportunity to expand its capabilities, particularly in the rescue role. Jason Jorgensen looks at the aviation unit’s newest machine and how it enhances the department’s mission.

Disruptive Lab - Airbus Pushes the R&T Envelope

Airbus Helicopters appear to be on something of a Research and Technology charge.  In recent months, Heli Ops has covered the progress of the RACER (Rapid and Cost-Effective Rotorcraft) project, as it leverages the flight test experience and lessons of the X3 lift/thrust compounded 'tractor' propeller demonstrator into the final assembly of the 'pusher' propeller RACER prototype. 

Bell Stalwarts - Welcome to Collier County

Ned Dawson reports how, over the span of several years, the Collier County Sheriff’s Office Aviation Unit has expanded its mission profile and capabilities under the leadership of Sheriff Kevin Rambosk.

One of a Kind - Al Sharqiya in Oman

Until very recently, no commercial helicopter operators existed in the Sultanate of Oman. The owners of Al Sharqiya Aviation, however were among several groups seeking to be the first

Urban Air Mobility - Building the Infrastructure

The vertical flight industry is seemingly continuing to witness new start-up companies and an ever-broadening array of air vehicles targeting a perceived future market for personal and urban aerial mobility markets. 

Playing to its Strengths - Pacific Crown

While some companies endeavour to capture market share by catering to the broadest possible clientele, Pacific Crown Helicopters thrives by concentrating on providing the fullest range of maintenance support to helicopters from a single manufacturer, with particular emphasis on a single model series

Eagle Eyes - Fontana Air Support

The Fontana Police Department first started air support operations in the late nineties, when they contracted to provide officers to fly as TFOs (tactical flight officers) with the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s department aviation unit. The Fontana Police department air support unit then started its own stand-alone law enforcement aviation operation in 2005.

Dressed for the Occasion

Fresh into service after recent delivery are a pair of new Airbus H130-T2s, with which Nautilus Aviation services scenic flight contracts for two of the Quicksilver Group’s reef-tour operations on the Great Barrier Reef off Australia’s eastern coast.

The Scientific Method - Pasco County Mosquito Control

 Hot, wet conditions in coastal Florida encourage large-scale breeding of mosquitos and the pesky, blood-sucking females not only cause discomfort and nuisance but can also spread a range of diseases. To combat the pests, several counties run mosquito control programs

The Extraordinary Journey of the Candy Cane 505

One Alaskan couple recently turned the experience of taking delivery of their new helicopter into an international odyssey, travelling from Canada to Alaska, circumnavigating most of the USA and venturing into south America and the Caribbean along the way.

Selling Comfort - Saving Time

Specialist VIP helicopter transport operators are a rarity in the New Zealand aviation market, but Volta Aviation is a young company that now operates a high-end corporate charter and VIP operation with the Sikorsky S-76, from its base at Auckland’s Ardmore Airport.

Special VFR - Legal Entrapment

Year after year, we see multiple general aviation accidents and fatalities involving visual flight rules (VFR) flights continuing into instrument meteorological conditions (IMC). Does 14 CFR 91.157 entice pilots to continue flight in dangerous weather conditions?

In Their Prime at 35 - Wake Forest HEMS

In May of 2021, Atrium Health Wake Forest Baptists air ambulance program celebrated a 35-year history since its first flight in May 1986. During that time, the AirCare program has transported nearly 26,000 patients

Compact & Competent - Dutch Police Aviation

The Politie afdeling luchtvaart also known as Dienst Luchtvaartpolitie (Police Aviation Service) is a branch of the Dutch National Police Corps, providing police aviation services throughout the Netherlands with its nine-strong fleet of EC135s and AW139s

Airbus Racer - Simple & Sophisticated

At a time where the focus of rotorcraft development is on the military, Paul Kennard provides an overview of new technologies being developed by Airbus for the civil helicopter market under its RACER (Rapid And Cost Effective) Rotorcraft program.

Iron County Air Ops

The Air Operations Unit of the Iron County Sheriff's Office located in Cedar City, Utah, is unique not only for operating in a beautiful yet unforgiving mountainous environment but also its partnership with an institution of higher learning, Southern Utah University.

Help Without Borders

International cooperation between several European agencies has resulted in the creation of a dedicated HEMS service based in Liechtenstein and carrying out HEMS missions into all the countries surrounding the tiny principality

When Inches Matter - CHI in Hawaii

Unlike small single-engine helicopters, which are frequently pilot-only operations, operating larger, more complex machines on precision utility work requires a team of personnel, each with their own specialty and tasks.

Flying for the Viewers - 36th Americas Cup

Utilizing the technology of onboard cameras and extensive helicopter-based aerial footage, Australia’s 1986-1987 defense of the America’s Cup sparked a dramatic advance in what was achievable in live broadcast coverage.

High Altitude Tours in Tahoe

Flying helicopters at high altitudes in the mountains is a notoriously difficult affair. Few companies conduct daily operations in those climates and fewer still, choose to do so in small, piston-engine helicopters.

Specialisation Done Right

Rotex Helicopter is the only European operator of the K-max K1200, a unique type designed exclusively for the lifting role and capable of lifting more than its own weight.

The Power of Recovery

There has been a significant move away from training in touch down autorotations. Has this move served the industry or created a new problem? Glen White explores.


The Unseen Danger

If air was visible, it would be seen as a fluid swirling around us with a flow often appearing to be random, but sometimes with defined patterns, like the patterns seen in a fast-flowing stream with rocks and boulders. We would see turbulence as waves of air rushing towards and crashing around us, much as we experience with surf at the beach.

Frontier Guardians of the European Union

The Bulgarian Border Police is among the latest frontier guard services in Europe to develop its own aviation unit. Specialised in patrolling and surveillance, the Sofia-based air unit currently operates modern law enforcement technologies to protect the increasingly problematic southern external borders of the European Union.

One One Flights - Italian Heli Skiing

Europe’s highest mountain, the 4,807-meter Mont Blanc, comes into view as the helicopter approaches the nearer peaks to finally land on a small spot on ​​a snow-capped mountain top. The winter sports enthusiasts on board get out and watch closely as the ski guide unloads their ski gear from the helicopter’s bucket.

Concurrent Evolution

On a clear and windless May morning in the heart of California’s Central Valley, Greg Grouleff Jr. follows in the footsteps of two preceding generations of his family, readying his specially modified Grouleff Aviation Robinson R66 for work, in near perfect conditions for aerial application of the various products the agriculture industry calls for.

A Mountainous Challenge

In the heart of Europe lies the iconic alpine scenery of the famous Alp mountain range, with views that have stunned, shocked, and amazed admirers for generations. Catching the spectacular views from the air, however, comes at the cost of contending with some of the most perilous flying scenarios

Cutting No Corners

Oxford Police Department’s aviation unit is new and, by worldwide law enforcement aviation standards, very small. For the size of the department however, it is surprisingly substantial, and the story of its development is an object lesson in how to achieve an optimum result through fierce determination, abundant creativity and adherence to high standards, but with limited resources.

Airbus Flightlab - Proving Future Technologies

Airbus Helicopters recently revealed the first details about its 'FlightLab' initiative. The press release was accompanied by a picture of a smart looking H130, and an infographic highlighting some of the technologies that the aircraft is intended to help mature.

SDG&E Introduce the Bell 412EPX

San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E) recently put a new Bell 412EPX into service, with the next-gen’ variant of the proven 412 line plugging a gap in capability between the company’s H145 and S70/UH60 Blackhawk aircraft.

On Safari Through Europe

Six years ago, an idea of HeliCentre pilots and instructors to conduct four-day trip to France has grown into a five-day trip through Europe. In 2022, 18 pilots and instructors took part in