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.
National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) vice chairman Christopher Hart and a panel of industry and government experts shared “lessons learned from helicopter accidents” at a wide-ranging panel discussion at Heli-Expo yesterday. Topics discussed included maintenance, simulation and training and the advantages on-board video and data recorders provide in accident investigations.
L-3 Link Simulation & Training specializes in intelligent training solutions across civil and military fields. The company has supplied the AVCATT (aviation combined arms tactical trainer) system to the U.S. Army at 11 training sites, each suite comprising six reconfigurable simulators, a battle master control room and an after-action review theater. The system provides network-based multi-player training exercises, from basic flying to complex operational scenarios.
High-quality flight simulation is extraordinarily expensive, and Caleb Taylor, founder of flight-training provider ProFlight in Carlsbad, Calif., believes his company has found a lower-cost and better method to help pilots learn how to fly a new jet and stay current. ProFlight specializes in Cessna CitationJet training (CE-525/CE-525S) and offers a full-motion Level D-qualified CJ3 flight simulator as well as a non-motion Level 6 CJ3 flight training device (FTD). ProFlight also offers training for the Cessna Conquest I and II turboprops.
CAE has been named by Dassault as the exclusive training provider for the recently launched Falcon 5X. The agreement, announced yesterday, covers advanced pilot, maintenance and cabin crew training for the new long-range twinjet. CAE has developed the first full-flight simulators for more than 40 new aircraft from 16 manufacturers. The Montreal-based company declined to say when it will deliver the first pair of simulators for the $40+ million 5X, which is expected to fly next year and enter service in 2017.
FlightSafety International promoted Daniel MacLellan to vice president of operations. He assumes responsibility for operations at FlightSafety’s worldwide network of learning centers from senior vice president of operations Greg McGowan, who is retiring at the end of this year. In his new position, MacLellan will provide guidance and support for center operations, the development, management and delivery of training programs and interaction with aviation regulatory agencies worldwide.
Flight simulator manufacturer Redbird Flight Simulations held its third annual Migration Flight Training Industry and Design Conference earlier this week at the Redbird SkyPort FBO/flight training lab at San Marcos Airport in Texas.
Precisely where the newest digital media can and should converge with the flight simulation technology used to deliver aviation training content will be the primary topic of the Royal Aeronautical Society’s November 20th flight simulation conference in London. David Coplin, chief envisioning officer for Microsoft UK, will deliver the keynote address.
SimCom Training Centers (Booth No. N4907) announced at NBAA 2013 that it is using the Cygnus tool from Redbird Flight Simulations to link any aviation or navigation app running on an iPad, iPhone or iPod touch to a simulator. The “location” of the aircraft being flown in the simulator is passed to the portable device as if it were in an actual aircraft.
“We believe pilots should train the way they fly,” said Eric Hanson, president of Orlando, Fla.-based SimCom. “Cygnus allows SimCom customers to use GPS-enabled tablets in the same way they do in their aircraft.”
FlightSafety International is here at NBAA 2013 displaying the latest step forward in its quest for truly realistic flight simulation: the Vital 1100 visual system (see it at Booth No. N1921).
Dan Myers, FlightSafety’s director of marketing for visual simulation systems, told AIN that development of the Vital 1100 came about following extensive feedback from FlightSafety customers. “We were able to provide a high-end, quality product in the previous Vital system, but customers would often suggest, ‘what if you did this?’ Our engineers ran with that,” said Myers.