Swiss rescue flight operator Swiss Air-Rescue Rega has purchased an Axis full-flight simulator for its Bombardier Challenger 650 fleet. This is the first FFS for this aircraft type in Europe, the first Axis FFS for a Bombardier type and the first Axis simulator with a Rockwell Collins visual system.
Twice a year Rega's 27 jet pilots must complete legally mandated simulator training of various flight manoeuvres and emergency procedures in order to be ready for any eventuality. Heretofore they were forced to travel to Montreal, Canada, as that was the location of the closest simulator for the three Bombardier Challenger 650 ambulance jets that Rega uses to bring patients from around the world back to Switzerland.
Now Rega has purchased a Challenger 650 simulator from Axis Flight Training Systems in Austria. The new simulator is slated to go into operation in September of this year. At that point Rega will save regular transatlantic travel costs, and its pilots will be available for repatriation flights sooner after completing their training sessions.
This Level D full flight simulator will enable crews to practise realistic scenarios in a safe and controlled setting. It will be installed near Zurich Airport in Opfikon, where Lufthansa Aviation Training (LAT) will operate it on Rega's behalf and offer unused capacity to other customers. Rega is investing around CHF 13 million in this project.
The new Axis Level D full flight simulator has a HUD and EVS. It features a Rockwell Collins ProLine Fusion 21 avionics system and Rockwell Collins EP8100 visual system, as well as an E2M motion system. This is the first time Axis has installed a Rockwell Collins visual system in a training device. It is also the first Axis FFS for a Bombardier aircraft. Finally, it is the first and so far only full flight simulator for the Bombardier CL650 anywhere in Europe.
Rega pilot and nominated person crew training Urs Baltisberger expresses great satisfaction with the move to an own simulator: “We operate three of these aircraft and each year fly around a thousand people back home to Switzerland in them, for a total of some 4,800 annual flight hours. That makes Rega the world fleet leader in this aircraft type; nobody uses the Challenger 650 more intensively than we do. So it makes sense that we should also have our own simulator for the type. After careful research we came to the conclusion that Axis is the best partner for us, because of its technical leadership and outstanding service, among other things.”
Axis COO/CFO Christian Theuermann notes: “We have an excellent portfolio of simulators for regional airline and business aircraft like the Bombardier Challenger 650, and we are delighted that the fleet leader chose us. It speaks volumes for the innovation and care that we put into all of our simulators.”