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SAF Hélicoptères EC135s feed data to first in-house simulator
SAF Hélicoptères, one of a group of sister companies that includes Helicap and Air Courchevel, has launched its own EC135 flight simulator, the company's first in-house device.

SAF Helicopteres, one of a group of sister companies that includes Helicap and Air Courchevel, has launched its own EC135 flight simulator, the company's first in-house device.

Developed in conjunction with Thales, it is a JAR-FSTD FFS level B and FTD level 3 simulator, and will be used to train more than 50 of SAF's own pilots until the end of the year and will be then available for third party pilots. The DGAC is expected to certify the new facility in September. Thales has supplied the equipment, but much of the software is the result of cooperation between Thales and SAF. In order to define flight profiles, the companies equipped a real EC135 with a multitude of sensors. These provided the necessary flight data to the simulator, and collection took about 20 hours of flying, reports Louis Agnel, chief pilot.

The simulator is located at Tournon, where the building offers enough room for a second simulator in the future.

Meanwhile, Eurocopter's EC135 simulator at Donauwörth has received Level B certification to provide fully comprehensive training operations in Germany, and this is the first EC135 FFS in Europe to obtain this certification.

The simulator became operational at the end of 2009 as a full-motion Level 3 flight training device and so far has clocked up over 2,500 flight hours. It allows operators to perform initial and recurrent type training as well as specific training on emergency procedures, instrument flight rules, offshore, night flights, night vision goggles and Cat A operations.

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