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November Flite Facts

Page 3.

METROPOLITAN AIR SERVICES (cont'd)

skims a few inches above the ground or water supported by a cushion of air forced downward by ducted fans. It is capable of a maximum speed of 70 knots, having a seating capacity of 15 people. It “skims” between the two airports and downtown San Francisco. Significant of its performance, its trans-bay schedule is 20 minutes. (TWA summer block time for jets is 19 minutes.)

TWA employees have pass and half-fare privileges on these carriers the same as on other interline carriers. However, a trip pass may include a helicopter extension as a connection, without being considered an additional pass. A special helicopter pass is considered one pass on the annual allotment. 

Traffic control arrangements are made through FAA with these carriers, by special letters of agreement. These cover VFR, special VFR, and soon IFR control procedures. Special routes, approach, and departure paths are specified. These rules take into account equipment performance. Separation criteria is specified and taxi operations are included. The helicopters at JFK are independent of the regular radar traffic procedures. The controllers use radar reference for fixed wing traffic advisories regarding the helicopter’s position. 

New York Airways has particular problems with weather, and has advanced well along the road to full IFR capability. They are now engaged in a pilot training program to implement their IFR certificate. They have chosen a dual Decca display as primary navigational equipment with ILS/VOR as a back-up system. The Decca, a British product, offers operational advantages in that the helicopter can be extracted from normal holding and approach patterns for specially tailored landings that will not interfere with fixed wing operations in any way. These displays each have a stylus which progresses over a moving map to indicate a continuous read-out of coordinates over a 50 mile area of the Decca station complex. In emergency, ILS can be used at jet approach speeds. Limited IFR will be started on approximately November 1, and full IFR capability in the spring of 1966. FAA specialists are in New York at present for work toward this certificate of approval. Decca uses low frequency radio, therefore static discharge requirements are quite high for accuracy. They use a dyna discharge system which maintains 1000 volts and Granger wicks on the rotors. NYA has contributed in research along its the military material progress in IFR helicopter operations. 

San Francisco, on the other hand, is blessed by a preponderance of operation over water for very low level VFR during the stratus conditions that exist in the Bay area upon occasion.

The remarkable versatility of the helicopter, particularly in these areas, and the high degree of mechanical reliability is an achievement considering the complexity of the operation. You would recognize in the aircraft’s cockpit a large number of the instruments and radios used on the TWA aircraft, and some that would be entirely foreign and related to the rotor  system and the relationship between the engines and rotors. The equipment meets the dual instrumentation requirement.

Both carriers use twin jet powered helicopters of the latest type with single engine performance capabilities and are maintained and operated at airline standards in accordance with their air carrier certificates. The pilots are ATR rated, the captain sit on the right. NYA has 43 pilots and presently needs no additional. Qualified rated helicopter dispatchers are a rarity and

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