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Thursday, September 1, 2005

From the Factories

Eurocopter Offers Training On Night Urban Flying

The American Eurocopter Training Center is offering a course on Night Urban Flying and Emergencies. The new course is part of the center's night-vision goggle (NVG) initial and recurrent training package, for which it received FAA Part 141 certification on June 3.

Del Livingston, American Eurocopter's vice president of flight operations and trainingto conduct, said the total night training package is designed to fulfill the needs of all Eurocopter's night customers. "We are prepared to expand this training to any model for which our customers seek training."

The package provides training in unusual attitude recovery associated with recovery from inadvertent entry into instrument meteorological conditions as well as spatial disorientation training for both NVG and night urban flying and emergencies.

The NVG course is conducted in an NVG-modified AS350 B2 and EC120 and consists of a one-day ground school and six flight hours, including emergency procedures. The Night Urban Flying and Emergencies class for both the AS350 and the EC120 consists of a four-hour ground school, followed by two flight hours per student. The company said the course is an advanced night-training opportunity, with an in depth study of the eye's function during urban operations. In addition to a flight-training period demonstrating the eye's limitations, the course also includes a full set of emergency procedures to full touch down in an urban night environment.

In addition to offering the course at its Grand Prairie, Texas training center, American Eurocopter can provide the training at a customer's location, provided the customers meets certain requirements.

Information can be found at www.eurocopterusa.com.

Sikorsky's China Venture Offers Local Maintenance Training

The latest in a series of maintenance training programs for local operators of Sikorsky and Schweizer aircraft in China was conducted recently by Shanghai Sikorsky.

The one-week class included theory and hands-on experience and was conducted by the company's chief engineer and mechanic. Maintenance training is provided to all Shanghai Sikorsky customers, the company said, and is intended to help them understand how to maintain and operate their helicopters optimally.

A joint venture of Sikorsky Aircraft and Shanghai Little Eagle Science and Technology Co. Ltd., Shanghai Sikorsky has been in operation for about three years and provides sales, service, support, engineering and manufacturing for customers in China. It is the exclusive manufacturer and sales agent for Sikorsky's Schweizer Aircraft Co. product line of light helicopters. Information can be found at www.shanghaisikorsky.com.

A Side Order Of Human Factors

Bell Helicopter is providing human factors training as an extra to pilots going through its Training Academy at Alliance Airport in Fort Worth, Texas. The classroom training is provided as a safety seminar at the beginning of each week's training cycle, primarily for pilots getting recurrency or advanced training.

The seminars are given by Jim Szymanski, Bell's manager for the HELIPROPS program. HELIPROPS, for Helicopter Professional Pilot Safety, was started several years ago by a coalition of manufacturers, associations such as HAI and AHS, and agencies such as FAA and the NTSB, Syzmanski said. It was created in response to the increasing numbers of EMS accidents, and designed to reduce pilot error accidents, he said. However, "Bell is the only one still doing this, and that is my full time job."

Along with giving the safety seminars to pilots going through the Bell academy, Syzmanski also travels extensively worldwide conducting the seminars for both civil and military groups, "although mostly civil and mostly helicopter pilots," he said. He also produces a quarterly safety newsletter, titled "Human AD," designed to be similar to the FAA's Airworthiness Directives but aimed at the human factor rather than technical factors. "Human AD" is published in both English and Spanish and has a circulation of roughly 14,000, Syzmanski said.

"We are serious about the human factors involved in incidents and accidents. The way we are addressing it is that we recognize it is impossible to sit customers down and talk about the three major human factor areas, which are physiology, psychology and ergonomics, and fill their heads with everything they need to know in those three huge areas. So at the beginning of each week, I give a pilot's briefing, which could be called a seminar, addressing a topic that fits into one of those three categories. Last fiscal year I addressed disorientation, which is a very good topic to address in the helicopter world since it is a factor that has been involved in many recent accidents."

CORRECTION

We reported in our previous Helicopter Training Special Report that, prior to American Eurocopter's receipt of FAA certification of its NVG training, Bell had been the only outfit to offer Part 141 NVG training ("From The Factories, July 2005, page T5). The folks at Aviation Specialties Unlimited point out that we were incorrect. That Boise, Idaho-based company received FAA approval for its Part 141 NVG training in July 2003, "a short 18 months after Bell Helicopter received their certification in February 2002," Hannah Bosworth, ASU's director of sales and marketing noted. "ASU has currently trained over 30 EMS and 46 law-enforcement and public-service operators in the use of night-vision goggles worldwide."

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