Starting from Scratch
story & photos by Mike Reyno
Over the past four years, the Trinidad and Tobago Air Guard has been building a military helicopter capability from the ground up. Vertical visited their corner of the Caribbean to learn what that takes....
The Trinidad and Tobago Air Guard’s fleet of AW139s recently surpassed 5,000 flight hours. The unit continues to expand its operational capabilities.
On the morning of Dec. 15, 2014, Trinidad and Tobago Air Guard pilots Christen Garnes and Kevin Maharaj departed the Air Guard’s base at Piarco International Airport in an AgustaWestland AW139 helicopter. The weather was fine — warm, humid, and partly cloudy, as it often is in this twin island natio...
by Guy R. Maher | Photos by Sheldon Cohen
Vertical test pilot Guy Maher gets behind the controls of the Eagle 407HP — and finds an aircraft that performs like a workhorse on steroids....
In the interest of full disclosure, I must confess that I am a huge fan of the Bell 407. Truth be told, it’s one of my three favorite aircraft — fixed-wing or helicopter. So it should come as no surprise that I was more than a little excited when I was invited to fly Eagle Copters Ltd.’s Eagle 407HP — which replaces the stock 407’s Rolls-Royce C47 engine with a Honeywell HTS900D-2-1D for more power for “hot and high” operations. The company received a supplemental type certificate (STC) for the conversion from Transport Canada on Dec. 9 (approval from the United States Federal Aviation Administrat...
Vertical's Search for the Top 10 Helicopters of All Time
by Kenneth I. Swartz
We asked, and you voted — in your thousands. Here are the results of our survey to find your favorite civil helicopters....
In December, Vertical began the search for the helicopter community’s favorite civil aircraft. We created a shortlist of 30 helicopters from the ages that have made a particular impression on us, and then invited you, our readers, to vote for your top three on our website. Each first place vote registered three points for that aircraft, a second place got two points, with one point for a third place. Thousands of you took part over the two-week voting period, and the emotions stirred by the contest were clear from the discussion it ignited on our social media pages.
A New Legacy
story by Guy R. Maher | photos by Mike Reyno
The venerable Bell 412 has learned some high-tech tricks from its younger brother, the Bell 429, and in doing so has gained a new lease on life. ...
Have you heard that 50 is the new 40? Well, that’s what I’ve been told. I’m hoping this also means 62 is the new 52, but the problem is, I can’t seem to remember back that far as to what that felt like!
But what I do remember are the 18 years I spent flying the line in the ever-young Bell 412. It’s sometimes hard to believe that this incredibly capable helicopter was spawned from a design dating back to the ‘50s in the form of the Bell UH-1.
Stand Out Performer
by Oliver Johnson
From search-and-rescue to car chases on film sets, Talon Helicopters’ missions are as diverse as the Vancouver landscape over which it flies. ...
Eastern Promise: Helicopter expansion in China, India and Russia
by Andrew D. Parker
Western OEMs have long predicted the emergence of China and India as major rotary wing markets, and the opening up of Russia to foreign manufacturers. Here, they tell Vertical how they are placing themselves to capture this growth — and when they think these markets will mature....
Orange County Fire & Rescue
story and photos by Skip Robinson
Now celebrating its 20th anniversary, the air operations section of Orange County Fire Authority continues its evolution with ever-increasing capabilities....
Dealing with Old Man Winter
by Ed Brotak
With snow, ice, plunging temperatures and freezing fog, winter presents unique challenges to aviators....
The Cowboy Pilot
story by Elan Head | photos by Kari Greer
Montana rancher and pilot Bill Galt brings a professional, safety-minded approach to a sector of the helicopter industry more often known for its risk-taking....
Tapping Geological Exploration: Junior Mining
by Amanda Geard
Junior mining exploration companies still need to be persuaded of the benefits of using helicopter support in early stage mapping. Exploration geologist Amanda Geard explains how aviation contractors should pitch themselves to tap this market. ...