The Center’s manager, Xavier Burette, said the school, a Héli-Union subsidiary, opened in April 2002 in Angoulême. “Supported by local business, the location was chosen because there is little traffic at the aerodrome, and Paris can be reached by high-speed train in 2 hours 15 minutes. The region also has a good year-round average climate. It is well equipped with navigation aids and near to airports such as Biarritz and Bordeaux.”
The facility includes three large teaching rooms, an operations and flight preparation room, two briefing and debriefing rooms, workshops and a simulation area. The center’s training fleet consists of three helicopters: a Hughes 300CBi, a Dauphin 365C2 IFR and an AS 350BA or EC 120.
It also has a Thales FNPT-II MCC civil flight training simulator representative of the AS 355N twin, which enables the number of flight hours to be reduced in conformity with JAR STD-3Hand JAR-FCL 2 regulations. Last year the center reported 1,500 flight hours, 600 of them in the simulator. Burette said that some clients want particular helicopters and the school can accommodate special requests.
Every year the center trains about 200 pilots at every level in civil and military disciplines.