|Level D full flight simulators
provide the highest level of realism available on the civilian market.
Photo courtesy of CAE
Energy production companies serving Canada’s Newfoundland and Labrador are investing approximately $16 million in a new training, research and development center to benefit their local offshore businesses. The Hibernia Management and Development Company, Ltd. (HMBC), and the Research & Development Corporation (RDC) are jointly funding the new center, which will provide flight training to HMBC’s primary offshore transport operator – Cougar Helicopters. The center will be located in the capital of the province, St. John’s, and is slated for completion by early 2016.
CAE, a prominent Canadian training and simulation provider, has been chosen to develop the center and its Level D full flight simulator (FFS). As the highest level available for civilian training, a Level D FFS provides accurate force feedback on flight controls, realistic sensations of motion, aerodynamic performance and cockpit avionics. The FFS will accurately simulate offshore facilities and adverse weather conditions common in Cougar’s helicopter operations off the Atlantic coast, and it will also be the first such device approved in Canada for night vision training. CAE reports that it hasn’t yet received instructions on what helicopter configuration will be incorporated into the design, However, Cougar operates both the Sikorsky S-76 and S-92 for offshore missions, and in all probability one of these models will be chosen for the pilot interface.
In addition to flight training, the facility will double as a research center, which officials expect to create high-tech job opportunities and attract valuable R&D talent to the province. In particular, the center will host a series of research projects conducted by HMBC and Cougar employees to test new products and processes with the goal of improving offshore transport.