Helicopter pilots unexpectedly straying into IFR conditions and losing control of their aircraft has been identified as the cause of the greatest number of rotorcraft fatalities, according to the International Helicopter Safety Team (IHST). The group, which is focused on greatly reducing helicopter accidents by 2016, has reported that NTSB figures from 2011 indicate that 45 of 52 such accidents proved fatal to occupants. “That means the chances of surviving an inadvertent encounter with IFR are just 14 percent,” according to IHST.
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.
Lifting off from Fullerton Airport in the back of an Orange County Fire Authority (OCFA) Bell 412EP, the nighttime world of Southern California exploded into a vast ocean of suburban lights, interspersed with darker but clearly visible unlit areas, and all intersected by pulsing bright currents of car-clogged streets.
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.
Simulators could see a revolution in the quality of visuals as new ray-tracing technology comes to the fore and replaces rasterized images, and new multi-core chips make it possible to use multiple projectors simultaneously. That was one of the conclusions to emerge from a Royal Aeronautical Society conference in London on flight simulation research in late November. Whether the increased cost of greater “fidelity” is necessary to meet training goals was another matter for discussion.
Two years ago, FlightSafety International nearly doubled the size of its Dallas Learning Center at DFW. The company’s largest campus, founded in 2000, has grown to 210,000 sq ft and now features 24 simulator pads, more classrooms and an engine shop, allowing FlightSafety to add several new programs. The Dallas center has 250 employees (125 of them instructors) and graduates 10,500 students annually. One-third of those students are from outside the U.S.“Dallas is just a great place to get to with direct flights, and that helps a lot,” said center manager Dan McClellan.
FlightSafety International will start construction this spring on an expansion and renovation project at its learning center in Teterboro, N.J. The project is slated for completion early next year.
The existing building will be renovated and reconfigured to provide more amenities and improve workflow, FlightSafety said. A new wing will be added that features facilities for flight crew emergency training, including a pool and other specialized equipment, as well as more classrooms and office space.
CAE’s Gulfstream G450/G550 flight simulator in Shanghai, China, recently received Level D certification by the Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC). The G450/G550 training programs are set to start soon at the Shanghai Eastern Flight Training Centre (SEFTC), in the Shanghai Pudong Waigaoqiao free trade zone. Both programs will feature standard CAE courseware in Mandarin, as well as English. The Shanghai facility is CAE’s 10th business aviation training location worldwide.