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Thursday, March 1, 2007

Helicopter Training: From the Field

R&W Staff

Indian Aviation Academy Orders EC120s, Enstroms

The new Apoorva Aviation Academy in Bangalore, India is building its rotorcraft fleet.

The flight school, which opened last year offering ground courses to students, on Feb. 11 signed contracts for the acquisition of two EC120 training helicopters.

The academy also ordered an Enstrom 480B turbine and Enstrom 280FX piston aircraft, which the Menominee, Mich.-based manufacturer said will be delivered as early as May or June. Enstrom President and CEO Jerry Mullins said training is a very important market in India and Enstrom is poised to service it.

Located in the Bangalore suburb of Vidyaranyapura, the academy plans to start flight instruction in both rotary- and fixed-wing aircraft in the second half of this year. Its plans include ab-initio and advanced training for Indian helicopter pilots aimed at meeting fast-growing demand for highly-skilled pilots for the growing fleet of helicopters in the country.

Academy officials estimate there is an acute shortage of commercial pilots in India that will take 7-10 years to fill.

Eurocopter’s EC120 is in use at flight schools around the world. For example, the Indonesian air force and navy have used the EC120B for pilot training since 2001. The Republic of Singapore Air Force also selected the EC120 in 2005 as the training helicopter platform for its rotary-wing course.

Information on the Apoorva Aviation Academy can be found at www.apoorvaaviationacademy.com.

FAA Issues Notice On Training Certificates

The U.S. FAA has issued a notice of proposed rulemaking regarding its plans to amend the training, qualification, certification, and operating requirements for pilots, flight instructors, ground instructors, and flight schools.

The agency said the amendments are intended to "clarify, update, and correct existing federal aviation regulations" and "ensure that flight crewmembers have the training and qualifications to enable them to operate aircraft safely."

A significant proposal under this notice involves pilot and flight instructor training and qualifications for operating with night-vision goggles.

Comments are due on or before May 8 and may be submitted on the U.S. Transportation Dept. Docket Web site at http://dms.dot.gov/. They also may be submitted by mail or hand delivery to that department.

The proposal can be viewed at http://dms.dot.gov/search/document.cfm?documentid=450179&docketid=26661

CAE Opens Northeast Training Center in N.J.

CAE has opened its newest training facility, the North East Training Center near the Morristown, N.J. airport.

The six-bay center includes a simulator and training for the Sikorsky S-76.

"We are excited about the opening of the North East Training Center as we deliver on our commitment to provide high-quality, customized training in locations most convenient to our customers," said Jeff Roberts, CAE’s group president for innovation and civil training and services.

CAE moved the S-76 simulator from its Dallas/Fort Worth training center to the North East center. It can be reconfigured between various S-76 models, and is a Level D simulator featuring full-size chin windows. It is to be available for training in the first quarter of this year.

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