The NTSB announced two helicopter safety alerts during last week’s Heli-Expo show in Anaheim, Calif. Each alert was supplemented by a short video production. One alert focuses on improving helicopter safety through the use of advanced flight simulators, while the other considers the critical role of maintenance technicians in the overall safety of flight operations.
The EASA has published a new requirement in certification–“operational suitability data” (OSD)–mandating that aircraft manufacturers, including those building helicopters, submit data the EASA considers important for safe operations. OSD covers pilot, maintenance staff and simulator qualification; the master minimum equipment list (MMEL); and possibly other areas, depending on the aircraft’s systems.
FlightSafety International is upgrading its helicopter simulator graphics with its new Vital 1100 visual system and has already qualified it in several level-D machines and for use in other advanced training devices. Providing sharper resolution and a larger field of view, the new system has five times the computing power of its Vital X predecessor and significantly enhances training by providing realistic mission-specific imagery with improved scene content and greater levels of detail, says the training provider.
“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.
Two new full-motion helicopter simulators will soon be coming online at two FlightSafety International learning centers. An Airbus Helicopters EC135 simulator is expected to be up and running at FSI’s Dallas facility, followed by a Sikorsky S-92 level-D device at the company’s São Paulo center in the third quarter.
For the hundreds of helicopter pilots that have trained or flown with Dr. Gordon Jiroux in a Robinson R22 over his 30-plus, accident-free years as a flight instructor and the countless others in the industry who know him, the announcement that he would receive the W.A.“Dub” Blessing Award (Flight Instructor of the Year) here at Heli-Expo 2014 was probably met with the thought, “Well, it’s about time!”
Last year at Heli-Expo simulator manufacturer FlyIt Technology (Booth No. 2433) enlightened attendees about the advantages of flight simulation for helicopter training and proficiency. The display of FlyIt’s “Advanced Flight Motion System,” which replicates the feel of flying in a non-moving device, was a success. Deliveries began in July 2013, with simulators going to Russia, China, Mexico, Saudi Arabia, Guatemala and Angola.
FlightSafety International (FSI) received approval from the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) for its Embraer Legacy 500 maintenance training program on February 21. Embraer Executive Jets factory and authorized service center personnel are already receiving training on the under-development Legacy 500, and FSI will begin providing training services to operators of the new jet immediately following its certification.
FlightSafety International (Booth No. 5902) is upgrading its helicopter simulator graphics with its new Vital 1100 visual system and already has qualified it in several level-D units and for use in other advanced training devices. FlightSafety says the new system has five times the computing power of its Vital X predecessor and significantly enhances training by providing realistic mission-specific imagery with improved scene content and greater levels of detail.
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