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Above: Helicopter Simulators at FlightSafety International’s Learning Center in West Palm Beach, Florida Inset: AeroSimulators USA - EC135 Simulator was recently delivered to Air Methods Corp.


the training experience and lower the overall cost, and that was the primary driver.


Aviation Training Devices (AATD) have been gaining in popularity and recognition. This category of


The Rest of the Story Aviation Training Devices (ATD) and Advanced training


devices has been entirely driven by FAA regulation. The devices have been evolving since about 1999. The standard and FAA approval has only been available since 2001. In the world of simulation, these devices are quickly becoming popular


not only for the flight schools which they were


originally designed for, but also for fleet operators, EMS, Law Enforcement and transportation companies that are taking advantage of these new devices. FAA cognizance for these devices is AFS 800 (General Aviation and Commercial Division) not AFS 205 (National Simulator Program Office).


What’s the difference? The difference between Level 5, 6 and 7 FSTDs and


AATDs is their method of approval. The Level 5, 6, and 7 FEBRUARY 2012 38


devices have objective testing as the basis for approval. Objective testing includes engineering flight data that is compared against the devices flight data objectively. The level 5 is somewhat less stringent in that the aeromodel reviewed can be a third part generic model (in fact the FAA has a model library that you can draw from) whereas levels 6 and 7 are developed against real flight test data. This flight testing or purchasing of flight test data is costly. A typical flight test program to capture the appropriate data could, and does go as high as $1M. The other method of obtaining the data is to obtain it from the OEM, but those data pack- ages are as expensive or maybe more expensive than testing


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