Civilian helicopter crews are increasingly required to perform a wide variety of missions, such as search and rescue, HEMS, and air policing, in complex, unpredictable, and demanding environments, involving other agencies and other surface and air platforms. Live training for the situations and emergencies they face is constrained by a number of factors, but flight simulation increasingly provides the capability to train for such conditions, and to integrate front and rear crew training into a genuine team training regime.
An RAeS inspired International Working Group for Helicopters (the IWG-H) is applying a rigorous training task methodology to develop training and simulation standards for mission training, and to help further expand the range and nature of simulator capabilities and accreditations. These expanded capabilities will entail broader training objectives than those needed for platform type qualification and routine aircraft handling, and a broader range of instructor expertise. Military air forces have considerable expertise in defining and applying the requirements for applied platform and system handling in mission training, and their experience has much to offer the civil training world as it begins to address these issues.
It is essential that all aspects of live and synthetic training are considered together in the context of the identified need, so the RAeS Flight Simulation and Rotary Groups are jointly organising a conference to bring together the rotary and simulation communities to map out a way ahead for civil helicopter mission training.