VRM Switzerland certifies VR Flight Training Device as EASA Level 3
VRM Switzerland has been conquering milestone over milestone and their Airbus H125 simulation is officially certified by EASA as a Level 3 device while already in service with Helitrans.
Norway’s largest inland helicopter company Helitrans has qualified their VRM Switzerland simulator as the world’s first VR FTD3 and the company will now use the simulator for pilot training and checking.
According to Fabi Riesen, CEO of VRM Switzerland, “For VRM Switzerland it is a milestone to open the door for flight schools and operators to train and execute checks on a VR FTD3. Because our technology provides the pilot with the important 3D visual references and the feel of the helicopter. On top of the required FTD3 standard, our system is based on an electrically driven high dynamic motion system which enables the pilot even to feel where the skids are touching the ground. Normal and emergency procedures can be trained realistically and without risk, even such which cannot be trained in the real helicopter.”
“The entire involved team of Helitrans, Norway’s largest domestic helicopter operator, is proud to be the first company worldwide to operate a qualified Virtual Reality FTD Level 3. This certificate of EASA confirms our decision to invest in this new technology which will be paramount in increasing the safety level.” Added Ole Christian Melhus, CEO of Helitrans. The company has already invested in two VRM Switzerland training devices “that will be set up as a part of a new independent flight school providing training for pilots of Helitrans as well as of other Scandinavian helicopter operators to increase the general flight safety.”
Training Manager Einar Viken underlines that “This system allows us to execute training and checks on a simulator at a high standard without any adaption time. Pilots on all experience levels can profit to enhance their competencies.”
Cooperation with Airbus Helicopters
VRM Switzerland and Airbus Helicopters signed a commercial partnership agreement during the 2022 Heli Expo in Dallas, Texas, for the commercialization of the simulator. In the frame of this agreement, both companies will cooperate to deploy the device worldwide and identify new areas of development for other helicopters and missions.
“With this type of simulator, you can put the pilot in operational situations which would be very risky in real flight but which bring a significant added value to training. It is true for emergency procedures but also for scenarios like flying in weather conditions that gradually deteriorate. This partnership is aligned with the EASA Rotorcraft Safety roadmap, one of the main objectives being to enable the development of more affordable training devices for helicopters,” says Gilles Bruniaux, Head of Product Safety at Airbus Helicopters.
Sabrina Barbera, Head of Training and Flight Ops describes what the team thought when they first got in contact with the VRM Switzerland product: “When we first met VRM Switzerland, we instantly recognized the great potential of the simulator and its added value in the training environment. Today with FTD level 3 EASA qualification, a new step has been reached, with simulator hours that will bring credits in training. Such an innovative means will bring so many benefits to our customers by enhancing safety, affordability, and flexibility”.
Fabi Riesen commented that “the H125 training solution allows recurrent programs to be run more effectively. Today operators execute, as per regulation, maneuver-based proficiency checks mostly on real helicopters. With this simulator, pilots can learn more purposefully in scenario-based training completely without carbon emissions. The device is approved for proficiency checks, type ratings according to EASA part FCL, and parts of an instrument rating. With this technology, Evidence-Based Training (EBT) concepts can be implemented”.
About VRM Switzerland
VRM Switzerland is the leading manufacturer of VR helicopter simulators, which has also qualified the first VR training device as a type-specific Robinson R22 FNPT II under EASA regulation. The company consists of an innovative team of 30 passionate engineers, highly specialized developers, and dedicated aviation experts. All mechanical designs and electronic circuits are designed and coordinated in-house. Another strength of the team is its proximity to flight schools and operators. You can visit VRM Switzerland’s website at www.vrm-switzerland.ch
Helitrans is Norway’s largest inland helicopter company with close to 100 employees, operating 23 helicopters within a range of special operations and having 9 bases spread out from the south to north above the arctic circle. Helitrans AS was founded in 1990. Helitrans website can be found at www.helitrans.no