Introduced at last year’s ALEA convention, American Eurocopter’s Inadvertent Instrument Meteorological Condition (IIMC) training course is an advanced safety innovation for helicopter operators of all models and missions. The course utilizes American Eurocopter’s AS350 Level B Full-Motion Flight & Mission Training Simulator to introduce pilots to the intense challenges of an IIMC encounter and the realism and feel of initiating a proper recovery.
“Inadvertent IMC conditions are a serious risk throughout the industry. American Eurocopter introduced its IIMC training course during ALEA 2011 to coincide with the NTSB recommendation for ALEA to require Inadvertent IMC recovery training in its accreditation standards,” explained Jack Reichert, American Eurocopter’s simulator marketing consultant. “American Eurocopter has received a tremendous response for its course from airborne law enforcement pilots, both Eurocopter and non-Eurocopter customers, and expects this to increase as more people learn about the course.”
With the unique capabilities of the AS350® simulator, the course was designed to be non-airframe specific. This allows pilots of any helicopter type to receive this important training. After a quick familiarization with the controls of the simulator, pilots are flying and the training begins.
Two examples of non-Eurocopter customers who completed the IIMC training course are the Houston Police Department’s Aviation Unit and the Gwinnett County Police Department.
The Houston Police Department’s Air Support Division sent all of its pilots through the IIMC course. “We chose this course because we recognize the importance of this potentially lifesaving training and the benefits of conducting it in a full-motion simulator,” explained Daniel B. Schwarzbach, Senior Police Officer/Pilot, Houston Police Department Air Support Division. The training also helped the department fulfill the requirements for accreditation through the Airborne Law Enforcement Accreditation Commission.
Gwinnett County Police Department’s Aviation Manager and Certified Flight Instructor, Marcus Head, took the course to evaluate it for inclusion in the Department’s training program. "The IIMC Recovery Course and simulator experience gave me an increased awareness of the hazards associated with inadvertently flying a helicopter into instrument conditions,” he said. “It
is this type of training that can help pilots make better decisions when they encounter the unknown.”
American Eurocopter’s AS350 Level B Full-Motion Flight & Mission Training Simulator can be customized to accommodate various settings and provide realistic scenarios. It can incorporate inadvertent IMC conditions into customer-specific missions and environments, so pilots can experience the effects of inadvertent IMC while performing missions in environments similar to their own.
Pilots in all industries and missions can encounter inadvertent IMC conditions, and the unique features of the AS350 simulator make American Eurocopter’s IIMC Training Course appealing to address training requirements in these areas. Earlier this year, both Air Methods and Metro Aviation signed agreements with American Eurocopter to utilize the AS350 simulator to train new pilots, to perform transition and recurrent training, as well as IIMC training.
The IIMC course is only one of the courses that can be conducted in the AS350 Level B Full-Motion Flight & Mission Training Simulator. American Eurocopter’s Training Department offers training for aircraft emergency procedures, NVG training, Helicopter Emergency Medical Services (HEMS) mission training, and Airborne Law Enforcement (ALE) mission training. With its full cabin, the simulator is also ideal for Crew Resource Management (CRM) training.
For more information about the AS350 Level B Full-Motion Flight & Mission Training Simulator or the training courses available, stop by American Eurocopter’s ALEA booth #112 or contact American Eurocopter’s Training Department at [email protected]
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