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Texas trainer selects Terrain radar altimeters for fleet
In helicopters, radar altimeters feed critical altitude data to terrain avoidance and warning systems, which are integral to the safety of pilots flying both VFR and IFR. FreeFlight Systems' latest is 5G-tolerant.

Helicopter Institute, an OEM-alternative pilot training provider in Fort Worth, Texas, has selected FreeFlight Systems' Terrain series radar altimeters for its fleet of Bell 206, Bell 407, Bell 505, Airbus AS350, MD500, MD600 and Robinson R44 aircraft.

It is implementing FreeFlight Systems' RA-5500 and RA-4500 MK II devices as an Alternative Method of Compliance to mitigate interference from the recent rollout of C-band 5G telecommunications networks.

“Helicopter Institute's mission is to improve helicopter safety, one pilot at a time,” mentions Randy Rowles, president at Helicopter Institute. “Recognising the risk to flight safety in the face of potential radar altimeter C-band spectrum interference, it was clear that we needed to equip our aircraft with the Terrain series product line to ensure continued safe operations while also educating prospective pilots on the need to be proactive amidst changing environments.”

With the first major upgrade to RF circuitry design in decades, digital signal processing (DSP) technology and exceptional test performance mitigating C-band 5G interference, the Terrain series radar altimeters are powerful and high-reliability devices that will equip Helicopter Institute with a 5G-tolerant solution that ensure situational awareness and safety.

"In helicopters, radar altimeters feed critical altitude data to terrain avoidance and warning systems (TAWS), which are integral to the safety of pilots flying both VFR and IFR. It is gratifying to see our 5G-tolerant radar altimetry solution adopted by helicopter operators to ensure this data is not compromised,” says Anthony Rios, president at FreeFlight Systems. “We commend Helicopter Institute on its emphasis on flight safety and look forward to developing our partnership with it.”

Designed for all segments of aviation including rotorcraft, uncrewed aviation, military and defence, business and general aviation, the Terrain series radar altimeters are the lightest, most advanced in their class. The Terrain series' Design Assurance Level (DAL) B criticality, altitude measurement range of up to 2,500 feet and 55,000 feet service ceiling come in a small footprint design that can easily be installed in place of legacy altimeters from various manufacturers.

The Terrain series incorporates the latest ethernet connectivity standards for new platforms while retaining an analog ARINC 552 interface for integration with legacy indicators and components. For additional display options, FreeFlight Systems offers the RAD45 standalone indicator which meets EASA AMC1 SPA.NVIS.110(b) guidelines.

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