The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) issued two new safety alerts at Heli-Expo 2014 covering maintenance procedures (SA-032) and simulator training (SA-031).
Aviation insurance provider USAIG (Booth No. 4907) has recently enhanced the benefits for its rotorcraft customers. Operators that insure through the company are now eligible for Performance Vector, a safety program that offers a range of programs to helicopter operators. Complimentary training includes human factors for pilots and maintenance technicians, Z-Coach sleep-enhancing strategies and tools as well as reimbursement for line service training.
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.
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.
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.