Eurocopter endorses Canadian Helicopters Limited advanced helicopter mountain flying training
Feb. 23, 2009 – Eurocopter endorses Canadian Helicopters’ advanced helicopter mountain flight training with a signed memorandum of understanding that will see one of Canada’s premiere helicopter companies lend its name to cutting edge pilot training.
By Melissa Damota
Eurocopter endorses Canadian Helicopters’ advanced helicopter mountain flight training with a signed memorandum of understanding that will see one of Canada’s premiere helicopter companies lend its name to cutting edge pilot training.
“This endorsement is a significant step and part of the Eurocopter strategy to further develop advanced helicopter mountain training for pilots in Canada and around the world,” said Dr. Lutz Bertling, president and chief executive officer, Eurocopter Group. “As a result, our relationship with Canadian Helicopters Limited continues to be strengthened.”
CHL training capabilities were audited and approved by Didier Delsalle, a Eurocopter test pilot who received worldwide recognition in May 2005 when he landed an AS350 B3 on the summit of Mount Everest.
“Training will initially be done on EC120 B type aircraft,” said Delsalle. “The approach taken by CHL ensures that pilots are trained to understand the specifics of mountain flying with regards to weather, wind and geography.”
Training will be provided at the CHL School of Advanced Flight Training in Penticton, B.C. where the diverse terrain and variable winds of the Okanagan Valley provide ideal mountain training conditions. With over 30 years of training experience on Eurocopter models, Chief Flying Instructor, Jan Rustad, sets a high standard for six full time instructors. The course consists of 26 hours of flight training and 3.5 days of ground school. Instructors teaching the training have accumulated on average more than 6,000 flying hours in mountain flying. The school has trained more than 14,000 pilots since it was established in 1951.
“We are pleased Eurocopter has taken an active role in supporting pilot training in Canada and around the world,” said Jean-Pierre Blais, president, Canadian Helicopters Limited. “The training will prepare pilots to understand and manage the inherent risk encountered in mountain flying.”
CHL has been a long time customer of Eurocopters’ and operate a total Eurocopter fleet of 51 aircraft which includes (46) AS 350, (3) AS 355, and (2) EC 120. CHL is a Canadian operator and the largest Eurocopter operator in Canada. Aircraft are operated from 30 bases. In addition CHL has eight dedicated Air Ambulance bases and three Flight Schools.
About Eurocopter Canada
Eurocopter Canada Limited (www.eurocopter.ca) is a subsidiary of Eurocopter. Eurocopter Canada – based in Fort Erie, Ontario – has a customer support network that spans the entire country. Established in 1992, the Franco-German-Spanish Eurocopter Group is a Division of EADS, a world leader in aerospace, defence and related services. The Eurocopter Group employs approx. 15,600 people. In 2008, Eurocopter confirmed its position as the world’s No. 1 helicopter manufacturer in the civil and parapublic market, with a turnover of 4.5 billion Euros, orders for 715 new helicopters, and a 53 percent market share in the civil and parapublic sectors. Overall, the Group’s products account for 30 percent of the total world helicopter fleet. Its strong worldwide presence is ensured by its 18 subsidiaries on five continents, along with a dense network of distributors, certified agents and maintenance centres. More than 10,000 Eurocopter helicopters are currently in service with over 2,800 customers in more than 140 countries. Eurocopter offers the largest civil and military helicopter range in the world.