Simulated Flights Offer Real Benefits
While the safety and practical benefits of simulators are well known to the airline industry, they are still relatively new to civil helicopter pilots, instructors and operating companies. First, the student and instructor do not have to spend time flying to a particular place–for example, a hilly area, an offshore platform and so forth. With one click of a mouse at the instructor station, the helicopter and the crew find themselves teleported. While full-motion simulators and training devices, such as those built by CAE, FlightSafety International and Thales, lend themselves to these tasks, devices made by Heli-Expo exhibitors FlyIT Simulators (Booth No. 2433) and Frasca International (Booth No. 6811) can also be used for these types of training exercises.
Some failures are never trained for in flight, like a double engine shutdown on an oil platform. In a simulator, such a failure can easily be practiced. And using real helicopters for training runs the risk of accidents, such as damage caused by a poorly conducted autorotation.–T.D.