First Time Helo Simulation Has Been Exclusively Considered By
Under the auspices of the Royal Aeronautical Society (RAeS), an
International Working Group (IWG) has been working Since early 2007
on developing new criteria for the classification and qualification
of civil helicopter Flight Simulation Training Devices (FSTDs).
This work is intended to result in the publication, by the
International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO), of a new volume,
dedicated to helicopters, of the "Manual of Criteria for the
Qualification of FSTDs" - and its subsequent adoption as Regulation
by civil aviation authorities worldwide.
The work, which is based on helicopter pilot training tasks,
takes advantage of a similar effort for aeroplanes which has
already been published by ICAO. It is intended to facilitate a
step-change improvement in the safety of helicopter operations by
enhancing the training capability of FSTDs and reducing the risks
involved in actual flight training.
The Helicopter IWG has expert international representation from
the industry, including regulators, helicopter and simulator
manufacturers, training organisations, helicopter operators and
One of the principal aims of the work is to improve
accessibility to synthetic training across the helicopter industry
and thus improve safety. This is the first time that helicopter
simulation has been exclusively considered as a subject by ICAO.
The draft document has been submitted to ICAO; publication is
expected later in 2011.
Helicopter pilot training tasks and licences were used as the
basis for defining five baseline FSTD types, which provide the
foundation for international harmonisation. The IWG has remained
actively engaged with the wider helicopter industry throughout the
entire process, with regular briefings at major events and
conferences. In November 2010, the work was endorsed by the
delegates at the RAeS Flight Simulation Conference and draft
documentation was made available for comment on the RAeS website.
The comment period closed on 20 January 2011, and the comments have
now been considered and incorporated where appropriate; the draft
was submitted to ICAO on 1 March 2011.
The work of the Helicopter IWG is part of the largest
harmonization effort ever attempted in the history of the flight
simulation industry. It is anticipated that achieving an
internationally accepted definition of helicopter FSTDs will have
significant benefits across the industry. This should:
- Reduce and simplify the administrative burden for
- Permit a more consistent approach by simulator
- Provide a clear expression of the suitability of use of
specific FSTDs for the training tasks associated with licences,
ratings, checks, etc. for training organisations and
- Improve the quality of training and reduce costs.
Ultimately, it will improve access to flight simulation and thus
quality of training, and provide a welcome improvement in aviation