“Implementing recommended safety improvements that address helicopter operations can mitigate risk for thousands of pilots and passengers each year,” said NTSB chairwoman Deborah Hersman, referring to the recently released NTSB Safety Alert SA-031. “At this week’s Heli-Expo, we are working with HAI to increase awareness and identify voluntary action taken by key stakeholders to improve the safety of helicopter operations.”
Shreveport, La.-based Metro Aviation (Booth No. 415), owner of the Helicopter Flight Training Center in Shreveport, announced at Heli-Expo that Air Medical Group Holdings (AMGH) is its launch customer for simulator training. AMGH and Metro signed a four-year training agreement using the EC135 level-D full-motion simulator as well as the AS350 and Bell 407 Level 7 flight training device.
The civil helicopter industry is, at last, taking advantage of simulators in pilot training decades after the fixed-wing aircraft industry began to do so. Simulators are proliferating around the world and, after having been concentrated in the medium-twin segment, now also include light turbine singles. The emergence of rotorcraft simulators in recent years was prompted by a combination of factors: technology, cost, insurance and a realization that the industry must improve a poor safety record.
The FAA issued a rule on November 5 specifically aimed at improving advanced pilot training for Part 121 pilots. The regulation is a direct result of a U.S. Congressional mandate following the 2009 crash of Colgan Flight 3407 near Buffalo, N.Y., in which the pilots first stalled and then lost control of the aircraft on approach.
Implementation of a new Brazilian requirement mandating the use of level-D simulators for renewing privately operated business aircraft type ratings has had to be postponed until next year due to a shortage of suitable training equipment in the country.
SimCom and Mitsubishi Heavy Industries America (MHIA) have qualified a second MU-2 simulator, which is located at SimCom’s Orlando, Fla., training center. The simulator is qualified to Flight Training Device (FTD) Level 5 standards and can be used for Special Federal Aviation Regulation (SFAR) pilot training, which is mandatory for all MU-2 pilots. Under SFAR 108, MU-2 pilots must receive specific initial, recurrent and requalification training. The new simulator replicates most MU-2 models except the MU-2F and earlier.
The Singapore Airshow is Asia’s largest aviation event and one of the three most important aerospace and defense exhibitions in the world. Held biennially, it is organized and managed by Experia Events. The 2014 event, to be held at the Changi Exhibition Centre February 11 to 16, will be the fourth since it started as Singapore Airshow in 2008, under the new organizers.
More than 22,500 pilots who have trained in Helisim helicopter flight simulators since the company opened in 2000 have contributed to it reaching a 100,000-hour milestone, which was celebrated by the French company just before the 2013 Paris Air Show.
Under a memorandum of agreement signed on June 4, Rockwell Collins and Avic subsidiary Beijing Bluesky Aviation Technology will form a joint venture to design, manufacture and market commercial flight simulators. The joint venture should begin operating by the end of the year, pending a final agreement and regulatory approvals. Products offered by the venture will serve training needs for regional, narrow- and widebody airliners in China and around the world, including training devices and full-flight simulators.
The European Corporate Flight Attendant’s Committee chair Paul Milverton of Gama Aviation, Stafford, Connecticut, and vice chair David Hulme managed and moderated this year’s NBAA Cabin-Crew Symposium held here in Geneva on Monday. The symposium, sponsored by the NBAA Flight Attendants Committee, the International Subcommittee and EBAA staff, featured a program on issues relevant to business aviation cabin-crew operations and addressed topics ranging from safety and security to service and training.
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