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HeliTorque Forum Index » Simulation

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Eurocopter simulator strategy underway
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 03, 2011 9:35 am    Post subject: Eurocopter simulator strategy underway Reply with quote

Eurocopter simulator strategy underway
February 02, 2011

Eurocopter’s plan to install flight simulators in strategic locations around the world already appears to be paying dividends.

Both CHC and Bond Offshore Helicopters have signed up to use a new EC225 flight simulator installed at Eurocopter UK’s new North Sea Service Centre, which was officially opened in Aberdeen on 1 February.

The facility also provides technical support and currently holds up to £15 million worth of critical spare parts for the offshore helicopter operators flying types such as the Super Puma and the EC225.

CHC's president of European operations Tilmann Gabriel was on hand to sign the training contract during the event’s opening ceremony while Bond Offshore signed up just before Christmas. Both firms committing to at least 1,000 hours of simulator time annually for three years with options for more.

Captain Malcolm Paine, director of flight operations at Bond, told Rotorhub.com that Bond crews who had flown the simulator were ‘impressed’ by its performance and he welcomed having an EC225 simulator on the company’s doorstep in Aberdeen. Previously the company sent pilots to the Helisim facility at the Eurocopter factory in Marignane.

Derek Sharples, executive vice president of support and services at Eurocopter, said the company was taking a ‘global approach to safe flying operations’ and was looking at the installation of simulators at other worldwide locations including Malaysia, Brazil, China and Singapore. The company has recently installed an AS350 flight simulator in Dallas, Texas, for use by the law enforcement community in the US.

Markus Steinke, MD of Eurocopter UK, said the facility not only expanded Eurocopter’s onshore capabilities but also ‘reinforces Eurocopter’s continued commitment to the UK’.

Steinke also said the facility could help to prepare crews to transition to the Royal Air Force’s fleet of new Puma Mk2s before the current simulator at Benson is converted into in.

‘Although this is a dedicated EC225 simulator, the simulator could allow Puma Mk2 crews to learn the procedures and philosophies of the avionics in the Mk2,’ he said.

The new ‘Level B’ simulator was built by Spanish company Indra and features more than 150 faithfully reproduced North Sea oil and gas platforms in both British and Norwegian waters.

The simulator itself features a visual system field of view of 210° horizontal and 80° vertical, which Eurocopter says exceeds the highest Full Flight Simulator Level B requirements, indeed it describes the simulator more as a ‘Level B++’. Furthermore a 50° vertical field of view located below the horizon gives a ‘look down’ capability for SAR and night helideck landing training.

The simulator house has been built to take two full-motion simulators, and Eurocopter is optimistic that this empty space will be eventually filled with a simulator for the new EC175, which has been ordered by both Bristow and Bond.

Eurocopter pointed out that the new service centre needs to be 24 hour operation to meet the needs of the Aberdeen operators who fly during the day but carry out their maintenance during the night.

Because of the proximity of the service centre to the maintenance facilities of CHC, Bond and Bristow, Eurocopter said it was delivering parts within an hour and a half of them being ordered and, in a bid to avoid the heavy traffic on the Kirkhill Commercial Park next to the airport, many of those deliveries are being made by bicycle.

By Tony Osborne, Aberdeen
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