FlightSafety International cut the ribbon on the major expansion and renovation project at its Teterboro, N.J learning center yesterday. The expansion increased floor space by 50 percent and refurbished the entire facility, including a new lobby area and café.
A combination of growth from new business aviation markets such as the Middle East and Asia and recovery in the more mature markets of Europe and North America has inspired flight-training provider CAE to triple investments in facilities. Half of all investment is going into new simulators. The group has been adding these at a rate of two to four each year and expects to install another 25 new units at its worldwide locations over the next five years.
Illinois-based aircraft training device manufacturer Frasca International, Inc. (Booth H304) announced here at ABACE 2014 it has just completed factory acceptance by the Civil Aviation Authority of China (CAAC) of a Citation CJ1+ Level D full flight simulator (FFS) purchased by Nanshan Flight Academy in Shandong.
“Factory acceptance per CAAC guidelines is like certifying an airplane,” said Niu Tao, Frasca’s Beijing-based Chief Representative in China. “The requirements for the simulator are very stringent.”
Business aviation continues to grow in China and the rest of the Asia region, and the demand for pilots and technicians is stronger than ever. With a generally accepted ratio of five qualified pilots required for each business jet in service, supplying training for those pilots–and the technicians who will service the aircraft–remains one of the industry’s more profound challenges.
“Implementing recommended safety improvements that address helicopter operations can mitigate risk for thousands of pilots and passengers each year,” said NTSB chairwoman Deborah Hersman, referring to the recently released NTSB Safety Alert SA-031. “At this week’s Heli-Expo, we are working with HAI to increase awareness and identify voluntary action taken by key stakeholders to improve the safety of helicopter operations.”
Shreveport, La.-based Metro Aviation (Booth No. 415), owner of the Helicopter Flight Training Center in Shreveport, announced at Heli-Expo that Air Medical Group Holdings (AMGH) is its launch customer for simulator training. AMGH and Metro signed a four-year training agreement using the EC135 level-D full-motion simulator as well as the AS350 and Bell 407 Level 7 flight training device.
The civil helicopter industry is, at last, taking advantage of simulators in pilot training decades after the fixed-wing aircraft industry began to do so. Simulators are proliferating around the world and, after having been concentrated in the medium-twin segment, now also include light turbine singles. The emergence of rotorcraft simulators in recent years was prompted by a combination of factors: technology, cost, insurance and a realization that the industry must improve a poor safety record.
The FAA issued a rule on November 5 specifically aimed at improving advanced pilot training for Part 121 pilots. The regulation is a direct result of a U.S. Congressional mandate following the 2009 crash of Colgan Flight 3407 near Buffalo, N.Y., in which the pilots first stalled and then lost control of the aircraft on approach.
Implementation of a new Brazilian requirement mandating the use of level-D simulators for renewing privately operated business aircraft type ratings has had to be postponed until next year due to a shortage of suitable training equipment in the country.
SimCom and Mitsubishi Heavy Industries America (MHIA) have qualified a second MU-2 simulator, which is located at SimCom’s Orlando, Fla., training center. The simulator is qualified to Flight Training Device (FTD) Level 5 standards and can be used for Special Federal Aviation Regulation (SFAR) pilot training, which is mandatory for all MU-2 pilots. Under SFAR 108, MU-2 pilots must receive specific initial, recurrent and requalification training. The new simulator replicates most MU-2 models except the MU-2F and earlier.
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