Helicopter pilot training school Guidance Aviation has installed Garmin G500H glass panels on its helicopter fleet. Last year, the organization, with flight operations in Prescott, Ariz. and Baton Rouge, La., announced its decision to upgrade its aircraft. Now, the organization’s fleet upgrade is in its final phase with all of the IFR fleet installations complete.
Photo courtesy of Guidance Aviation
“Currently, we have (13) R44s in the fleet, with (2) more on the way,” says Jason Kidd, Guidance’s director of maintenance. “So as we add new R44s, they will have the G500H glass panels installed. We also have (3) R66 turbines in the line-up, a fourth R66 arriving in Feb. 2015, and a fifth one new from the factory in March, 2015. All of the new R66 turbines have Aspen EFD 1000H Pro/HSI glass panels. Finally, we are already initiating ADS-B compliance in our helicopters. Our ADS-B work is well ahead of the FAA’s 2020 ADS-B mandate designed to improve situational awareness and safety for pilots.”
“Almost all actual instrument flying in helicopters is done in ships that have glass cockpits such as the Garmin G500H and Aspen EFD 1000H Pro/HSI glass panels, so using this equipment for our students’ initial instrument training is a great advantage to our graduates when they get to real IFR,” says John “JJ” Johnson, Guidance’s director of academics. “The Garmin and Aspen glass panels also complement our tablet based software and the Computer Based Training we already have in place. The great thing is that all this added together equals less in-flight time needed for our students to get ready for the instrument checkride.”
Dave Roy, Guidance’s director of flight operations, adds, “We have now configured our (13) helicopter flight simulators by X-Copter to represent the G500H glass panels now found in our aircraft. Our students and instructor pilots can step into a state-of-the-art helicopter flight simulator to practice their procedures and scans all while using G500H simulation. We’ve taken these aircraft upgrades and included them into our training, simulation and course outlines.”