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Business Air News Bulletin
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SAF Aerogroup adds VR capability to global air ops
The multinational conglomerate has purchased an EASA-qualified Airbus H125 VR FSTD for crew training and an Airbus H145 VR FSTD for rescue pilots, both bound for its academy in Tournon, France.
SAF Aerogroup CEO Tristan Serretta and Loft Dynamics COO Jens Westh.
Read this story in our May 2024 printed issue.

SAF Aerogroup, a multinational aviation conglomerate providing pilot training, aircraft operations, sales and maintenance services to governments and NGOs, has invested in Loft Dynamics’ virtual reality (VR) flight simulation training devices for its two academies; an EASA-qualified Airbus H125 VR FSTD and an Airbus H145 VR FSTD for rescue pilots.

The simulators will be housed at the group’s X-Aero Training Academy Tournon base in Savoie, France, and will offer high fidelity pilot training for those enrolled in its academy. Students now have access to a first-of-its-kind VR training experience: Loft Dynamics’ unrestricted 360° 3D view, which enables precise control of the helicopter according to high resolution references; a six-degrees-of-freedom highly dynamic motion platform, which accurately replicates the aircraft’s movements and haptic sensations including the feeling of skids touching the ground; and a proprietary pose tracking system that makes cockpit operations intuitive.

“We had never seen this level of precise helicopter replication before, especially when it came to flight behaviour. It was an easy decision to invest in Loft Dynamics’ training solution. We strengthen important skills we wouldn’t otherwise be able to do onsite, and we free up onboarding and operations time as Loft Dynamics handles it all,” says CEO Tristan Serretta.

“Pilots need to be able to train for the variety of scenarios they may encounter, including recovery from a vortex ring state, inadvertent IMC prevention, mountain landing with varying up and downdrafts or sling load operation; that type of training can’t be done safely and regularly today. Loft Dynamics’ sims fill that critical void for us. This is undoubtedly the future of pilot training and we are confident that Loft Dynamics’ technology will help establish SAF Aerogroup as one of the foremost helicopter training organisations in the world.”

“Training and checking in real helicopters come with certain risks and hinder commercial operations,” explains Loft Dynamics COO Jens Westh. “The simulator enables training and checking in a safe environment at any time, independent of weather conditions. Training is made as realistic as possible, allowing for the simulation of malfunctions as they would occur in reality. This forces pilots to take concrete actions rather than just discussing what would be done in each situation. We are convinced that this will enhance flight safety in both the short and long term, in line with the EASA Rotorcraft Safety Roadmap.

“Qualifying an FSTD is complex, time-consuming and requires specific knowledge. Operating the device also presents challenges. We relieve our customers of these burdens and enable them to focus on what matters most – operations.”

Other News
Marshall University adds rotor-wing component to aviation programme
May 23, 2024
Adding the H125 to its current fleet, as well as a futuristic simulator for rotor-wing training, will allow current and future aviators to pursue a wider range of certifications.
HMotion takes two H145 VR FSTDs from Loft Dynamics
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First customer HMotion has acquired a VR simulator that represents the four ton-class twin-engine H145. It will be installed at a new simulator center in Oberpfaffenhofen, Germany.
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