With safety the key focus of rotor operations, Heli-Expo is showcasing a wide range of training products and programs, and training providers have announced major news here in Dallas.
Ensuring that pilots train properly from day one, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University (Booth No. 10637) added an Aeronautical Science Rotary Wing degree program at its Prescott, Arizona campus in 2010. Helicopter instruction is provided through long-time rotor training school Universal Helicopters. “We have no grads from our program that are not flying turbine [helicopters] somewhere,” Universal Helicopters President Gordon Jiroux told AIN at the Embry-Riddle booth.
FlightSafety International (FSI; Booth No. 5305) is showing a Graphical Flight Deck Simulator, designed for self-paced and instructor-led training, and driven by the same software that runs the company’s level-D full-motion simulators.
FSI said here that its new level-D-qualified AgustaWestland AW139 full-flight simulator will feature advanced technologies, including a 220-degree–by-60-degree field of view glass mirror display, providing superior optical performance, sharper image clarity, and are night vision capable, according to the company.
“Incorporating FlightSafety’s latest advances in technology into our Level-D qualified simulators will significantly enhance the training we provide,” said Bruch Whitman, president and CEO. FSI also announced it will be adding new level-D simulators for the AgustaWestland AW139 in Lafayette, Louisiana, and the Sikorsky S-76D in West Palm Beach, Florida. The company will also add 17 simulators and advanced flight training devices for helicopters to half a dozen of its worldwide network of training facilities.
Training provider Frasca International of Urbana, Ill., announced that Korea Forest Service, Republic of Korea, has completed factory acceptance of its level-7 AS350B2 Helicopter Flight Training Device (FTD), which will be installed in its training facility this month.
A Frasca CPT (crew pilot training) simulator for the Bell 407 is drawing crowds at the Bell Helicopter display (Booth No. 9846), helping bring attention to Bell Helicopter’s Training Academy.
The Academy, which provides training for both pilots and maintenance technicians, announced here it has received EASA approval for maintenance training courses on Bell 212 helicopters enabling the facility to offer EASA-approved training on all variants of the Bell 206 product line.
As Bell’s training academy indicates, more than pilots are benefiting from the focus on training. Peters Software of Cologne, Germany, is displaying its HeliSys 135 systems trainer, providing detailed graphical views of all systems, ideal for training maintenance technicians as well as pilots. General manager Wilfried Peters stressed that the HeliSys 135 is not a simulator, but rather a “comprehensive presentation of helicopter systems and their functions, with the key objective of the understanding of systems and how they work together.”
Instructors need training, too. Sky Helicopters of Garland, Texas announced at Heli-Expo it has been awarded a contract from the FAA to provide initial and recurrent training awareness ground school and flight training for helicopter-rated FAA inspectors/pilots in the Robinson R44. The training is for FAA flight standards operations inspectors and aircraft certification pilots, and will be conducted at Sky Helicopter’ facilities at the Garland Airport.
Meanwhile, All American Helicopters is living up to its name. The company announced here that the FAA and Veterans Administration have approved the company for a Part 141 helicopter ATP course, allowing qualified veterans up to 25 hours of flight instruction and 40 hours of ground school, with the VA covering all costs but the checkride. After successfully completing the two-week program, pilots will earn his or her ATP rating.