During a rollout ceremony in late September, Helisim Eurocopter Training Services unveiled its NH-90 full flight mission simulator. The company has already received orders for training contracts using the simulator from various parties, including the Australian Army and French Ministry of Defense. The NH90 simulator allows training in the use of night vision goggles, including Thales TopOwl, as well as battlefield scenarios to prepare for emergencies. According to Helisim, the trainer uses a satellite database of images to create response scenarios for emergency situations. HeliSim, 33-44-277-3900, www.eurocopter.com/site/en/ref/HELISIM_433.html
In August 2009, Frasca International became the first organization to receive Level 7 qualification from FAA for its Eurocopter AS350B2 flight training device (FTD). Based at the FlightSafety International learning center in Tucson, Ariz., the FTD features FlightSafety’s VITAL X visual system, which supplies a 220 by 100-degree wrap-around view, including 60 degrees down and 40 degrees up. A graphical instructor station (GISt) and ECL 2.0 digital electronic control loading system are also included in the simulator. Detailed texture-enhanced scenes provide a realistic view of standard and weather-restricted operations. Initial and recurrent training on the AS350B2 FTD is now available, including courses focused on aircraft systems and emergency procedures, as well as specialized training for subjects such as human factors and inadvertent IMC. Bottom right photo shows Chuck McCabe, program manager for the AS350 and Learjet 20/35 at FlightSafety Tucson, at the controls of the FTD. Frasca has applied for two additional Level 7 qualifications for FlightSafety—a Bell 206B/206L FTD in Lafayette, La. and a Bell 407 simulator that is scheduled for installation in Lafayette. Bell, Eurocopter and Sikorsky helicopter training is also available at FlightSafety locations in Fort Worth, Texas, Lafayette, Palm Beach, Fla. and Farnborough, England.
Fort Worth, Texas-based Bell Helicopter Flight Training Academy recently introduced its First Responder helicopter safety training program. The course provides information on the hazards and safety precautions in the helicopter environment and the knowledge and skills to mitigate potentially dangerous situations. Available as a DVD set, the course is designed to provide a low-cost alternative for just about any size operation, according to Bell. Curriculum includes helicopter capabilities, safety procedures and rescue operations, as well as an exam, checklists for first responders, feedback form and sample certificate of completion.
Bell Training Academy, 1-800-368-2355,
HATSOFF, a joint venture between CAE and Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd. (HAL), is set to begin offering training courses in the second half of 2010 from a facility in Bangalore, India. The approximately C$60-million Helicopter Academy to Train by Simulation of Flying (HATSOFF) training center will feature a CAE full-mission simulator with roll-on/roll-off cockpit design, which allows various helicopter types in the same simulator. The companies anticipate training up to 400 helicopter pilots each year when the complex becomes fully operational, with annual revenues of around C$20 million. HATSOFF will initially offer training for four helicopter types—the Indian Army/Air Force and civil variants of the HAL-built Dhruv, the Bell 412 and the Eurocopter AS365 Dauphin. Other features at the center will include a training management information system, multimedia-equipped classrooms, computer-based training and brief/debrief rooms. CAE plans to achieve FAA and JAA Level D qualification for the simulator. CAE, 1-514-341-6780, www.cae.com
Era Training Center signed a deal in September 2009 to partner with AgustaWestland in building two AW139 flight simulator training devices (FSTDs). The first FSTD will be based at the Era Training Center in Lake Charles, La. Plans call for the first simulator to be delivered in 2011. Both FSTDs will meet certification requirements covered in FAA Part 60, Level 6, according to Era. Frasca International will support the production of the devices, with work taking place at Frasca’s U.S. facilities and at AgustaWestland’s plant in Sesto Calende, Italy. Era says that the simulators will represent the cockpit of a standard offshore AW139, with high-fidelity replications of the controls, displays and systems to train crewmembers on a variety of ground and flight ops procedures.
Era Training Center, 1-337-656-4200, www.eratrainingcenter.com
EADS subsidiary Eurocopter Training Services (ETS) unveiled a new course in November—Helicopter Landing Officer (HLO). Based on OPITO standards, the course allows users to gain knowledge and proficiency in offshore helideck routine operations, as well as emergency response scenarios. Contents include hazards identification, helideck equipment, landing and departure supervision, loading/unloading of cargo and passengers, refueling, communication and common signs, emergency procedures for firefighting and special information about the main types of helicopters used in offshore roles. The HLO course involves four days of initial training and three days of recurrent training.
Eurocopter Training Services, 33-0-44-285-6008,
Port Lucie, Fla.-based Night Flight Concepts has launched a program to train crewmembers in the use of night vision goggles (NVGs). The core of the program is the Night Readiness Virtual Terrain Board (VTB) system—an NVG simulation platform with high-definition graphics and a physics-based representation. In addition, FAA has granted Part 141 approval for Night Flight Concepts’ NVG initial, recurrent and instructor pilot training courses. The Part 141 classes are being offered in partnership with Palm Beach Helicopters, which helped to develop the first NVG-equipped Robinson R44 in 2008, along with Bedford, Texas-based REB Technologies. Under the current agreement, Night Flight Concepts supplies all the course material and instructors for Bell 206 and R44 classes, which take place in Palm Beach, Fla. Both new offerings are part of Night Flight’s Turn Green…Turn Key program.
Night Flight Concepts, 1-888-632-8764, www.nightflightconcepts.com
Bakersfield, Calif.-based SRT Helicopters has obtained approval under the M-1 Visa student and exchange visitor program. SRT is the first non-Part 141 flight training school in the U.S. to receive the designation, which follows site visits from representatives of the departments of U.S. Homeland Security, State, and Immigration and Customs. Following those visits, SRT “achieved a significant milestone in flight training,” says Christian Gadbois, president and CEO. “We see the M-1 Visa approval as a significant accomplishment and a validation of our training program.”
SRT Helicopters, 1-661-393-4567, www.srthelo.com
Merlin Simulation’s Sikorsky S333 Pro Series AATD simulator, which was released in mid-2009, offers “new generation” features such as advanced technology, high-quality visual imagery, and flight modeling that was previously only available in high-end flight training devices. According to Merlin, the S333 simulator offers a nearly 180-degree field of view using high-resolution graphics; high fidelity cockpit and systems replication, including engine start up and shut down with all of the associated malfunctions; and an easy-to-use instructor station with record/playback functions. The S333 also has a Garmin 530 GPS/nav/comm moving map. Merlin says the simulator provides students with a realistic and complex flight environment, with lots of room for things to potentially “go wrong.” The company delivered its first S333 simulator earlier this year to Rotors of the Rockies, a flight school based at Rocky Mountain Metropolitan Airport in Broomfield, Colo.
Merlin Simulation, 1-734-424-9024, www.merlinsimulation.com