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At Mountain Ridge, our goal is to maintain a high stan-

dard of training in a cost effective manner. We create pilots that are safety oriented and fully prepared to succeed in a variety of situations. By taking them out of the helicopter and putting them in the FTD, we force their focus on the ever important task of understanding the instrument proce- dures and how to use them.

Jessica Parker, the author of this segment is the School Director for Mountain Ridge Helicopters located in Logan, UT. To learn more about Mountain Ridge Helicopters, visit

The Bristow Academy Perspective – A Global Approach


Bristow Academy operates flight training campuses Each campus utilizes one or more training

devices, which include a variety of helicopter makes and models. Flight Training Devices (FTD’s) are safe, econom- ical and offer training scenarios that can be hazardous to experience in the air, especially for the first time. Technology continues to march on at a rapid pace and

computer graphics can be very powerful and convincing. When you are immersed in the synthetic environment , humans know subconsciously when a situation is being sim-

ulated – even if it looks real! That’s why at the Academy, they concentrate on getting you airborne in the real world, with a physical helicopter strapped to you for Private Pilot training. There are opportunities to sit in “part task train- ers” and practice things like start up checklists. Students also have the option of using the flight training device to learn local procedures and radio calls. With this being said, the real advantage comes once you have grasped the basics of handling the helicopter and you know what could happen if the engine fails. This is the best time to climb into the Flight Training Device (FTD) and learn how to manage a variety of procedures in a safe environment where risk in basically reduced to nothing. Federal Aviation Regulations currently allow 20 of the

40 hours required for an instrument rating to be flown in an approved synthetic device (FTD). Bristow Academy has an FAA approved FRASCA Tru Flite AATD level device con- figured as a Sikorsky 300 in Titusville, FL. The school also operates a FLYIT FTD in New Iberia, LA which is also set up as an S300 which allows students to practice attitude fly- ing, holds, ILS and GPS approaches at the push of a button. Students can fly an approach in China and then fly one in Florida during the same hour, if that is their wish. They can test their abilities and fly a leg with a 40 knot crosswind or a gentle breeze of a headwind. This can be done in the clouds or VMC, depending on the student’s or instructor’s choice. All of this and more is available at the flip of a switch or the

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