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New ICAO document for helicopter flight simulators

March 3, 2011  By Carey Fredericks

March 3, 2011, London, U.K. - Since early 2007, an International Working Group (IWG) has been working, under the auspices of the Royal Aeronautical Society (RAeS), on developing new criteria for the classification and qualification of civil helicopter Flight Simulation Training Devices (FSTDs).

This work is intended to result in the publication, by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), of a new volume, dedicated to helicopters, of the “Manual of Criteria for the Qualification of FSTDs” – Document 9625, and its subsequent adoption as Regulation by civil aviation authorities worldwide.

The work, which is based on helicopter pilot training tasks, takes advantage of a similar effort for aircraircraft which has already been published by ICAO. It is intended to facilitate a step-change improvement in the safety of helicopter operations by enhancing the training capability of FSTDs and reducing the risks involved in actual flight training.

The Helicopter IWG has expert international representation from the industry, including regulators, helicopter and simulator manufacturers, training organizations, helicopter operators and users.

Key Points
1. One of the principal aims of the work is to improve accessibility to synthetic training across the helicopter industry and thus improve safety.
2. This is the first time that helicopter simulation has been exclusively considered as a subject by ICAO. The draft document has been submitted to ICAO; publication is expected later in 2011.


Helicopter pilot training tasks and licences were used as the basis for defining five baseline FSTD types, which provide the foundation for international harmonization. Consultation. Consultation
The IWG has remained actively engaged with the wider helicopter industry throughout the entire process, with regular briefings at major events and conferences. In November 2010, the work was endorsed by the delegates at the RAeS Flight Simulation Conference and draft documentation was made available for comment on the RAeS website. The comment period closed on 20 January 2011.


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