In parallel with global business jet sales, pilot training activity is, for the most part, stable and growing somewhat, particularly in new markets. At the same time, flight-training providers are reporting unprecedented growth in the civil helicopter sector, with much of this being driven by a surge in demand for rotorcraft support in the booming offshore oil and gas industries, plus the deployment of new-generation helicopter simulator technology.
FlightSafety International and Lufthansa HNA Technical Training have signed a cooperative agreement to expand FlightSafety’s Gulfstream maintenance training programs in China. Lufthansa HNA Technical Training instructors will deliver the training, which will initially include theoretical and practical maintenance training for the Gulfstream G200, G450 and G550.
Why all the growing interest in low-cost flight simulators?
Some announcements at this week’s Sun ‘n Fun show in Lakeland, Fla., for example, underscore wannabe and regular pilots’ fascination with these devices. Redbird Flight Simulations introduced its new low-cost Jay device, which, while it can’t be used to log time, promises to help pilots stay proficient. And Pilot Mall today unveiled the Advanced Panel, which is a modular instrument panel with flight and other controls that works with Microsoft Flight Simulator X (FSX) software.
Paul Comtois knows why safety is a tough business for some people to comprehend: “Because it’s difficult to prove that what you’ve implemented actually had any effect.” Comtois, a former fighter pilot, is director of advanced pilot training programs at ETC, a Southampton, Pa.-based training company focused on upset prevention and recovery.
The opportunity to teach pilots how to manage aircraft upsets is now available in Europe with the opening of an Aviation Performance Solutions location at Seppe Airport at Bosschenhoofd in the Netherlands. APS will use the Slingsby Firefly T-67 in the European training system. The company will use CAE’s level-D Boeing 737 simulator at Schiphol Airport in Amsterdam for clients who plan to complete the final phase of training, which uses simulation.
While regular helicopter pilot training in day-to-day operations is always beneficial, such training is not always safe when conducted in the air. FlightSafety International’s Dallas Learning Center recently offered AIN reporter Mark Huber a look at the vast range of scenario-based training flights available with Vital X graphics and five-projector technology now available on the EC135 that the simulator emulates.
Two years after its purchase of CHC Helicopter’s pilot training operation, flight and maintenance training provider CAE said that the model of partnerships between operators and training companies is gaining momentum in the industry. “We’re seeing more interest in a CHC-type level of partnership,” said Rob Lewis, CAE’s recently named v-p and general manager for business aviation, helicopter and maintenance training. “We are in the middle of training outsourcing discussions with three of the large helicopter operators around the world right now.”
FlightSafety International has begun training pilots in its new Pilatus PC-12NG simulator, located at the Dallas learning center. The FAA and Transport Canada have qualified the new full-motion simulator to Level D. EASA Level-D qualification is expected within months. The Dallas center also offers PC-12 maintenance training.
FlightSafety International said that its third Gulfstream G650 full-motion flight simulator will be installed at the company’s learning center in Long Beach, Calif., early next year. The company’s first two G650 simulators are already in operation at its Savannah, Ga. facility, where G650 training started in September. “Expanding the Gulfstream G650 training program to Long Beach will enable us to meet growing demand,” said FSI senior vice president David Davenport.
Bombardier’s Montreal aircraft training facility received FAA level-D approval for its new Challenger 300 full-motion simulator for pilot and maintenance training, the company announced today. The simulator complements another Challenger 300 level-D flight simulator located at Bombardier’s Dallas training center.