Airbus Helicopters Southern Africa (AHZA) has commissioned its first flight simulator for single engine helicopters, expanding the range of pilot training services it provides at its Grand Central Airport base near Johannesburg.
Airbus Helicopters said yesterday that the Flight Navigation Procedures Trainer (FNPT) is based on the widely-used single-engine Airbus Helicopters H125 (formerly AS350) Squirrel aircraft, of which over 170 are in service in Africa and other territories in AHZA’s region with 70 operators including law enforcement agencies in South Africa, Namibia, Botswana, Angola, Lesotho and Malawi.
“The addition of this new simulator enables us to offer a fully comprehensive, very cost-effective and low-risk training package for AS350/H125 pilots in the region. It augments the already proven training systems that we have in place for aircrew and technicians who fly and maintain our products. It will also make a significant contribution to improving flight safety in the region,” said Arnaud Montalvo, Managing Director of Airbus Helicopters Southern Africa.
Entry into service of the FNPT follows its certification by South Africa’s Civil Aviation Authority on 21 April 2016.
Its simulated visuals and flight conditions, including day, night, good and adverse weather in addition to systems and mechanical failures, enable the creation of challenging and unique flight scenarios, designed to help crews improve their operational proficiency, situational awareness and decision-making skills, Airbus Helicopters said.
The FNPT’s core is a full-scale replica of a H125/AS350 cockpit with all of its navigation, flight control and communications avionics. It is configured with dual controls so that a student pilot and instructor can “fly” together.
Airbus Helicopters Southern Africa is also offering customised training courses specifically adapted to local operations and environments. The company also operates a Super Puma simulator for training aircrew operating large-category helicopters. It is the only full-motion helicopter simulator in Africa and is situated on the Denel campus, adjacent to Johannesburg’s O.R. Tambo International Airport.