15-Feb-2012 Source: American Eurocopter
Metro Aviation has signed an agreement with American Eurocopter to use the AS350 Flight Simulator as part of the operatorâ€™s pilot training program. American Eurocopter owns the only AS350 Level B full motion flight simulator in the world.
â€œWe are strong advocates of simulator training for EMS pilots,â€ said Mike Stanberry, President of Metro Aviation. â€œIn fact, we have been using simulator training for all our pilots for the last three years. The availability of the AS350 simulator will allow us to put our AStar pilots into the actual model they fly and practice emergency procedures that you couldnâ€™t perform in a real airframe.â€
The arrangement with American Eurocopter is a dry lease agreement with Metro Aviation providing its own instructor pilots. The operator has a long-standing relationship with American Eurocopter, whose helicopters represent the core of their fleet.
â€œWe continue to add new Eurocopter helicopters to our fleet and have accumulated training credits, which we are utilizing with this program,â€ continued Stanberry. â€œThe fact that this was a full motion simulator was very important to us. We are also going to take advantage of the additional capabilities this simulator offers such as training for inadvertent instrument metrological conditions (IIMC).â€
American Eurocopter has developed a new IIMC course which is not model-specific. Metro Aviation pilots will go through IIMC training, practice system failures, and perform emergency procedures as part of their time in the simulator. Preparations for the program are underway, with the first instructors arriving in Grand Prairie this week. At first, theAS350 simulator will be used for recurrent training, but Stanberry expects it will be used for some initial pilot training as well.
Metro Aviation, based in Shreveport, LA, has been in the air medical service business for over 30 years. The company currently operates a fleet 91 rotary-and fixed-wing aircraft, which includes a fleet of 81 Eurocopter helicopters. With these aircraft, Metro Aviation serves 25 programs across the United States.
Metro Aviationâ€™s Aircraft Operations Division provides traditional aviation services including emergency transport as well as inter-hospital transfers. Metro Aviationâ€™s Aircraft Completion Division provides turn-key completions for a wide range of medical, offshore, law-enforcement, VIP, corporate and utility helicopters.