Ryan Aerospace is helping to save lives via effective helicopter simulator safety training

The Australian company is collaborating with several US-based entities to help increase pilot survivability in dangerous situation.


Full press release:

RYAN AEROSPACE (AUSTRALIA) is working with some of the world’s leading aviation safety organizations using their helicopter simulators to improve helicopter safety and training with respect to avoiding and / or dealing with UIMC (Unintentional Instrument Meteorological Conditions).

The results thus far will be on show at HAI Heli-Expo next week in Dallas, Texas, USA – the world’s largest helicopter exhibition.

For helicopter pilots, the depth of their decision-making abilities can mean the difference between a safe arrival and a fatal accident. As pilots accumulate different types of flight experiences, they can make better decisions before their flight occurs and while they are flying the aircraft.

The U.S. Helicopter Safety Team (www.USHST.org) is supporting this concept as it teams up with Precision Flight Controls, Ryan Aerospace, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University and the Helicopter Institute. Precision Flight Controls and RYAN AEROSPACE have supplied the Embry-Riddle campus in Prescott, Arizona, and Helicopter Institute in Ft. Worth, Texas, with HELIMOD MARK III helicopter simulators that include virtual reality head-mounted displays.

The simulators use scenario-based training so that helicopter pilots can rehearse aeronautical decision making related to loss of control-inflight, unintended flight in instrument meteorological conditions and low altitude operations. Embry-Riddle and Helicopter Institute are developing the training scenarios for the virtual reality simulators. They are taken from detailed scenarios created by the U.S. Helicopter Safety Team in its Recommended Practice – Simulation Training for Aviation Decision Making. The training scenarios are scheduled to be running for pilots to use this summer.

UIMC and 56 Seconds to Live

A portion of the training deals with unexpected weather and visibility issues and throughout this year, the USHST is placing a strong emphasis on the fatal topic of Unintentional Instrument Meteorological Conditions involving helicopter operations.

U.S. accident statistics reveal that a helicopter pilot operating under Visual Flight Rules who unintentionally continues flight into IMC will very likely lose control of their aircraft and be dead within a median time of 56 seconds.

To help reverse this alarming and unacceptable trend, the USHST has created a video, “56 Seconds to Live,” aimed at saving lives and making sure that those 56 seconds never occur.

The USHST conducted research using NTSB data on 31 unintentional IMC accidents in which telemetry data was available. Analysis of these events determined that the median estimated time from UIMC entry to the fatal crash was 56 seconds. The “56 Seconds to Live” video offers a graphic depiction of how those 56 seconds feel to a desperate helicopter pilot.

The U.S. Helicopter Safety Team is a government/industry cooperative group of volunteers formed to improve the safety of civil helicopter operations in the National Airspace System. The USHST is a partner of the Vertical Aviation Safety Team, which focuses on worldwide helicopter safety.

Managing Director of RYAN AEROSPACE, Chris Ryan said he was “delighted to take part in this investigative research and thrilled that RYAN AEROSPACE helicopter simulators were at the core of the training”.

RYAN AEROSPACE has had recent success with the US military, but markets have also increased in Europe and Asia; especially with new products leveraging the power of virtual and mixed reality technologies.

Mr Ryan said “the face of simulation and training is changing dramatically and our products are part of a disruptive move to train helicopter and fixed wing pilots more safely and at a much lower cost.”

Media contact: Chris Ryan, MANAGING DIRECTOR. +61 429 300 228


Sérgio Costa

Sérgio Costa

Sérgio is HeliSimmer.com's editor and writer and one of the Three Grumpy Simmers, a YouTube series and Podcast produced together with YouTubers Bel Geode and NovaWing24, obviously dedicated to flight simulation.