Friday, September 1, 2006
Helicopter Training: From the Factories
Frasca Introduces Bell 206 FTD at ALEA
Bell's Customer Training Academy at Texas' Alliance Airport will take delivery of the first of Frasca International's new Mentor-H flight training devices, which Frasca debuted at the Airborne Law Enforcement Assn.'s convention in New Orleans in July. The device, which is designed to be easily dismantled for transport to an operator's base, replicates the Jet Ranger’s instrument panel, radio stack, overhead panel, and flight controls and presents realistic, near-3D computerized cockpit views on a large monitor. An instructor’s station is on a swing arm on its left side. The unit is set up for the 206L, but can be modified to a 206B. Frasca developed the Mentor-H in response to industry demand for a transportable, high-fidelity training device.—Story and Photo by Ernie Stephens.
Bell Launches New Pro Pilot Program
Bell Helicopter launched a new training program at July’s Airborne Law Enforcement Assn. annual convention in New Orleans.
The Professional Pilot Program (P3) course modules are designed to directly target causal factors of accidents and incidents that affect the helicopter industry today. They are part of Bell's support of the International Heliccopter Safety Team and its goal of reducing helicopter accidents 80 percent by 2016.
The company is offering P3 training to professional helicopter pilots operating Bell products. It includes modules focused on market-specific training requirements. “Each market segment within the helicopter industry is unique. This course is tailored not only to the mission-specific market segment, but the specific pilot," Randy Rowles, manager of the new training program, said. While the program provides a generic course outline, "the flight training program is tailored to each pilot's experience, operational needs, and overall aptitude or ability.”
In an effort to enhance safety as well as provide a greater benefit to the Bell customer, he said, the new program will provide a train-the-trainer opportunity to those professionals employed as flight instructors. “This program will provide a flight instructor with techniques and procedures utilized by Bell staff to enhance their level of safety and skill,” said Rowles.
To attend the new training, a pilot must have at least 1,000 hr helicopter flight time and have attended a Bell Training Academy initial and recurrent training school within two years prior to acceptance. Upon completion of the new training, an attendee would receive certificates of completion specific to his or her aircraft recurrency, the flight instructor refresher clinic, an FAR Part 61.56 flight review, a Part 61.57 instrument proficiency check, and night-vision goggle recurrency (flight only). Most of those certificates require appropriate FAA certification.
AgustaWestland, CAE Open Italian Training Center
Rotorsim, the consortium owned equally by CAE and AgustaWestland, started its first A109 simulator training sessions last month when the new AgustaWestland “A. Marchetti” training academy in Sesto Calende, Italy officially opened for business.
The first class of students was slated to be performing recurrent and initial type training for the A109 Power helicopter. In addition to classroom and computer-based training, the students would be the first to use the new A109 full-mission simulator that was declared “ready for training” recently. The CAE-built A109 simulator became the first-ever A109 simulator to achieve a Level D equivalent certification, according to the companies, when Italy’s Ente Nazionale per L’Aviazione Civile (ENAC) issued a formal accreditation in June.
“The Rotorsim Training Center will set a new standard of training for operators of AgustaWestland helicopters and we are extremely pleased to welcome our first class of A109 Power students,” said Peter Mazzei, Rotorsim’s general manager. “The training center will grow quickly over the next year as additional platforms are added, and we roll out mission-specific training programs such as search and rescue and offshore operations.”
The A109 simulator features CAE’s roll-on/roll-off cockpit design, which is designed to enable cockpits representing other variants of the A109 to be used in the simulator. The simulator features some of CAE’s latest simulation technologies, including an architecture based on the CAE Strive simulation framework and a CAE Medallion visual system. CAE is under contract to deliver two additional cockpit variants to Rotorsim in 2007. In addition, CAE is to deliver the first-ever AW139 simulator to Rotorsim later this year. The AW139 simulator will also feature CAE’s roll-on/roll-off cockpit design so the simulator will be able to accept A109 cockpits as well.