Sikorsky Aerospace Services has broken ground on a helicopter training complex at the Melgar Air Force Base in Colombia. The UH-60 Black Hawk flight training center, scheduled for completion later this year, will feature a full-motion, high-fidelity simulator to provide training for the Colombian Armed Services and other Latin American Sikorsky operators. Two pilots will act as operators when the center opens later this year. The complete UH-60 cockpit replica is rated to FAA Level D. The Melgar simulator comes on the heels of Sikorsky’s strengthening of its service offerings in Colombia to add a maintenance support team. David Adler, president of Sikorsky Aerospace Services, stated that plans to expand depot capabilities for crash and battle-damaged helicopters are also underway. According to Sikorsky, Colombia operates the world’s fourth largest Black Hawk fleet, which recently surpassed 300,000 total flight hours.
Australia-based Heliwest has concluded its first night vision goggle (NVG) training course at its Jandakot headquarters. A modified Bell 206 LongRanger acted as the classroom for the three inaugural students—two EMS pilots and one ATP-licensed civilian helicopter pilot. During the course, the students received five hours of flight training and a 1.5-hour flight test. The course used NL-94-au night vision goggles and exposed to the students to brightly lit urban areas, as well as low-light rural locations.
More than 150 soldiers were airlifted 190 miles in five hours using NH90 tactical transport helicopters (TTHs) during a recent Finnish Defense Forces training exercise. Eight aircraft from the Finnish NH90 Utti Jaeger Regiment’s Helicopter Battalion, plus a reserve, flew two rotations from Helsinki to Kauhava with 157 troops from the Guard Jaeger Regiment. The units also preformed two hot refueling exercises. Operation Pyorremyrsky—Finnish for “whirlwind”—featured a total of 40 flight hours. The battalion currently has a fleet of 10 NH90s.
A Boeing CH-46E Sea Knight preps for a night training operation with the U.S. Marine Corps 11th Marine Expeditionary Unit’s maritime raid force. Photo by Lance Cpl. Ryan Carpenter