CHC Helicopter announced today that it has successfully completed a pilot partnership with Priority 1 Air Rescue to deliver groundbreaking Virtual Reality (“VR”) training to its Search and Rescue (“SAR”) technical crew members. The trial involved winch operators from CHC’s operations in Ireland.
With the trial successfully completed, CHC will roll out Priority 1 VR training to all new Winch Operators – starting in Ireland, with a view to deploying to other markets around the world. The investment demonstrates CHC’s commitment to delivering industry-leading safety standards.
Using next-generation VR simulations for training, CHC’s technical crew members can prepare and practice emergency procedures for a variety of challenging SAR events in a safe, controlled, and realistic environment; including procedures that cannot be practiced on a live aircraft. This innovative method is the first of its kind to be accepted by the European Aviation Safety Agency (‘EASA’) and the Irish Aviation Authority (‘IAA’), and represents a unique development in providing safe, effective and reliable helicopter services worldwide .
Guided by outside experts at Priority 1’s state-of-the-art training facility, CHC’s technical crews can perform and redo winch operating procedures in mock booths and a range of weather conditions until they are perfected. They can also realistically practice for emerging industries, such as supporting offshore wind platforms.
Dennis Groeneveld, director of Flight Standards, CHC, said: “Safety is at the heart of CHC’s global operations. It is our mission to keep our people and passengers safe as we travel to remote and challenging destinations. We are pleased with how the trial has turned out and are excited to expand the program to roll out.
“Our technical crews must be well prepared to implement emergency procedures and deal with challenging conditions. This groundbreaking partnership with Priority 1 enables our crew members to practice repeatedly how to handle complex situations in a realistic yet safe environment, ensuring that they are fully equipped to act quickly and effectively in real-world SAR events.”
Steve Barreau, Chief Operating Officer Priority 1 Air Rescue France, added: “Our SAR training courses are developed and designed with industry partners to equip them with the skills and capabilities to perform at their best in all conditions. Our Advanced Aircrew Mission Simulators (AAMS) are perfect for this kind of realistic Search and Rescue training , and especially for events that cannot be practiced in reality. It was fantastic to see CHC Ireland crews make full use of our facilities to improve their skills and practice complex procedures.”
Implementing this new form of VR training also supports CHC’s sustainability commitments by ensuring that training can be completed in a shortened period of just eight weeks, compared to the industry standard of nine months.
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NOTES TO THE EDITORS
CHC Helicopter is a leader in providing helicopter support to the offshore energy market, search and rescue and government agencies, as well as organizations requiring helicopter maintenance, repair and overhaul services through the Heli-One division.
For more than 75 years, CHC Helicopter has provided safe, reliable and cost-effective helicopter services in some of the world’s most remote and challenging environments. Our commitment to safety and our reputation for quality and innovation help our customers go beyond what they thought possible.
About Priority 1 Air Rescue
With over 23 years of proven performance relevant experience in our highly specialized profession, the Priority 1 Air Rescue group provides the most innovative and effective helicopter search and rescue and tactical training and SAR/MEDEVAC operational crew, support and program implementation capability in the world.