Talks have begun on US certification of the Kamov Ka-32A heavy-lift helicopter following Canadian approval last month. The Russian manufacturer denies press reports that Transport Canada approved the aircraft after intense diplomatic pressure despite safety concerns.

Kamov developed the Ka-32A-11BC variant, powered by Klimov TV3-117VMA turboshafts and modified for Canadian certification, for logging and firefighting operations in British Columbia.

The helicopter is not certificated to carry passengers because the captain and co-pilot positions have been switched as part of modification. This means firefighters will be unable to pick up casualties from fire scenes.

Although passenger certification was desired in Canada, certification to Part 29 transport-category standards in the larger US market is more important, says Anatoly Kruglov, chairman of Russian airworthiness organisation ARMAK.

Source: Flight International