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Wednesday, April 1, 2009

FAA Rolls Out New Airman Education Opportunities for Helicopter Pilots at the Safety & Training Summit 2009

Sharon Valencik

Washington DC April 1, 2009 With the debut of their new GAT-II HELO flight training device at Rotor & Wing’s Safety & Training Summit 2009 on April 27th and 28th in Denver, Colorado, the FAA officially extends its Airman Education Programs into the helicopter market. The GAT-II HELO is one of four such flight training devices used by the FAA’s Civil Aerospace Medical Institute as part of the Airman Education Programs, which are based in Oklahoma City at the Mike Monroney Education Center, and is the first and only of the four devices dedicated to helicopters. Instructors from the Institute’s Airman Education Program will use the new trainer to demonstrate vertigo to helicopter pilots at the Safety & Training Summit 2009. The HELO device will be based thereafter at the Oklahoma City facility and available to travel around the country to participate in Wings Weekends throughout the year and to reach a much larger pilot population via air shows and aviation venues across the nation. Personal demo time slots in the unit are available all day Monday, April 27th at the Safety & Training Summit and may be reserved online now at http://www.safetyandtrainingsummit.com.

The new GAT-II HELO is a multifunctional helicopter flight trainer that emulates the performance of a light utility helicopter in a realistic flight environment. It combines the capability to support training in spatial disorientation, as well as basic flight and instrument navigation. The FAA will begin using the device as part of the Airman Education Program to simulate a helicopter flight environment likely to initiate spatial disorientation so that the helicopter pilot can experiences the reality of this phenomenon, learn to recognize and thus avoid those conditions that promote it, and learn to reject the misleading vestibular effects by relying solely on instrument indications. Unusual attitudes are both a cause and a consequence of spatial disorientation.

The Safety & Training Summit 2009 is a unique conference created as a forum to allow helicopter operators of all sizes from all industries to share with each other the real-world safety and training problems they face in their own operations, and the real-world solutions they have developed within the confines of today’s tight operational budgets. While the conference was not initially conceived as a venue for exhibitors, several companies have signed-on as sponsors of the Safety & Training Summit 2009 along with the FAA so that they can showcase the safety solutions they offer to helicopter operators within an environment dedicated to finding new answers. Current sponsors include American Eurocopter, who has chosen the event to showcase the new training opportunities they offer at their Grand Prairie facility including the new EC135/145 full flight simulator; Frasca, with a wide range of helicopter-specific flight training devices, as well as companies like, SAGEM, Winslow Life Raft and FLIR – each to showcase how their in-aircraft equipment can offer greater margins of safety.


To Register for the Safety & Training Summit 2009

For Additional Sponsorship Opportunities Available to Safety and Training Providers
Randy Jones 214-679-4615 or rjones@accessintel.com

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