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I was performing the FAA AW169 certification course of training that is broken into two types of simulator training: six hours of VFR flight maneuvers followed by four hours of IFR flying. Because I was not attending training with a colleague, I was paired with Leonardo Training Captain Antonio Moya, a fast-paced Spaniard who speaks three languages (Spanish, Italian, and English), to act as both my instructor and copilot. Because many of my classmates were colleagues from similar companies, and were there in pairs, they could fly together and train in a true multi-crew environment.


Since instructors usually sit in the back of the FFS while training – or torturing – us pilots, being in the cockpit was probably a challenge for my instructor Captain Moya. It was, however, a tremendous benefit to me. He was able to quickly point out areas that needed my attention. Because he knows the checklists inside and out, he made one hell of a copilot! This did not get me off the hook during more complex emergencies, such as engine fires in flight, since Captain Moya insisted that we alternate between the flying pilot and non-flying pilot so I could run the checklists and perform the procedures myself.


Because the simulator doesn’t fly exactly like the real helicopter (I have yet to fly one that does.), I estimate that approximately


rotorcraftpro.com 49


85 percent of the experience you gain in the simulator transfers directly into the actual helicopter. This really pays off when it comes to the most challenging of all maneuvers: Category A takeoff-and- landing profiles during normal operations and engine failures.


These takeoff and landing profiles have multiple airspeed and altitude gates that must be flown rapidly and precisely. The simulator builds muscle memory and trains a fast instrument scan during the maneuvers. If you can nail it in the sim, flying it in the actual helicopter is much easier.


Training Tip #4:


Using the distance learning training materials available online before the course, study the Cat A and Cat B takeoff profiles, and memorize the airspeed / altitude gates for each.


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