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HANGAR TALK Industry news relevant to your business


agility and safety in canyons and terrain from sea level up to 10,000 feet, while dropping water with tremendous precision and force.”


Cal Fire’s newly acquired S-70i Firehawk helicopter is the first of nine aircraft currently on order, with an option for three more. Cal Fire and San Diego are both first-time operators of the aerial firefighting helicopter.


Sikorsky And United Rotorcraft Deliver Three Firehawk®


California Firefighting Agencies


Sikorsky, a Lockheed Martin company, and United Rotorcraft, a division of Air Methods Corporation, recently announced deliveries of three new S-70i™ Firehawk® helicopters to California fire agencies: one each to the Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (Cal Fire), the Los Angeles County Fire Department (LACoFD), and the City of San Diego Fire-Rescue Department.


Configured by United Rotorcraft with a newly designed 1,000-gallon water tank attached to the belly of the aircraft; an extended landing gear to accommodate the tank; a retractable snorkel that can refill the tank in less than one minute; and a rescue hoist; the Firehawk helicopters will allow fire crews to attack wildfires, transport up to 12 ground firefighters to the fire line, and rescue firefighters and civilians when in need.


“We thank Cal Fire, the County of Los Angeles and the City of San Diego for their trust in the combined efforts of Sikorsky and United Rotorcraft to bring a lifesaving aerial firefighting helicopter to the urban centers and forests of California,” said Jason Lambert, vice president of Sikorsky Global Military & Mission Systems. “Their firefighters now have a powerful and proven helicopter that can attack fires at night, in strong Santa Ana winds, maneuver with


28 Jan/Feb 2020 Helicopters To


LACoFD has operated three S-70A model Firehawks since 2001. During the ensuing 19 years, the county has pioneered and perfected the tactics needed to suffocate wildfires in their early stage when a fire is most vulnerable, while working in close coordination with other aircraft and with firefighting crews on the ground. The county’s new S-70i Firehawk aircraft is the first of two — more powerful and faster than the S-70A model — that LACoFD is adding to its fleet.


“With the increase in wildfire danger, the Firehawk has never been more relevant to the State of California,” said Mike Slattery, president of United Rotorcraft. “This capability brings unmatched multi-mission capability to these firefighting agencies to protect lives and property.”


United Rotorcraft contracted with Kawak Aviation Technologies (Bend, Oregon) to design and manufacture the water tank to new specifications based on input from LACoFD. Among other equipment on each aircraft are a 600-pound external rescue hoist, a 9,000-pound cargo hook with load cell system, forward recognition lights, and a high intensity searchlight. Avionics installations include tactical communications and navigation systems.


A Firehawk begins life at Stratford- Connecticut-based Sikorsky as an S-70i Black Hawk helicopter. United Rotorcraft then converts the twin-engine aircraft to its aerial firefighting configuration. The aircraft retains its multi-mission capability, allowing aircrew to perform search-and- rescue missions, medical evacuation, and carry cargo either internally or as an external load.


New Protocols for Diabetics Seeking Air Transport and Commercial Pilots Medical Certification


The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) published in the Federal Register a notice on a “Diabetes Protocol for Applicants Seeking to Exercise Air Transport, Commercial, or Private Pilot Privileges.” The innovative new protocol makes it possible for airline transport or commercial pilots with insulin-treated diabetes mellitus (ITDM) to potentially receive a special-issuance medical certification.


Medical science has come a long way in the treatment and monitoring of diabetes. This new medical protocol takes into account medical advancements in technology and treatment and opens the door for individuals with ITDM to become airline pilots.


Since 1996, private pilots with ITDM have been issued medical certificates on a case-by-case basis after assessing their risks. This new protocol is based on established advancements in medical science that make management and control of the disease easier to monitor thereby mitigating safety risks.


To be considered under this protocol, applicants will provide comprehensive medical and overall health history, including reports from their treating physicians, such as their endocrinologist. They will also provide evidence of controlling their diabetes using the latest technology and methods of treatment being used to monitor the disease.


The FAA developed the new protocol based on the reliability of the advancements in technology and treatment being made in the medical standard of care for diabetes and on input from the expert medical community.


Public comment on the new protocols closes 60 days from the date of publication. The new protocols became effective on Nov. 7, 2019. However, the FAA may revise the new protocol based on comments.


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