Helicopter Aviation Training Symposium (HATS) Tops Off World Aviation Training Summit

Pam Landis, Rotorcraft Pro

The World Aviation Training Summit (WATS) is the gathering of aviation training professionals serving airlines, helicopter operators, regulators, training providers, and the training industry. It attracted over 1,200 attendees from 50+ countries during a recent three-day conference and tradeshow. The theme for this year’s conference in Orlando, Florida, was “Aviation Simulation and Training: A Critical Safety-Driven Industry Prepares for the Future.”

While the majority of the WATS conference focused on the fixed-wing industry, Rotorcraft Pro attended the summit’s helicopter side, the Helicopter Aviation Training Symposium (HATS). The 2-day conference brought leaders and experts to the stage to present a variety of subjects related to helicopter training. Representatives from both operators and OEMs spoke at HATS, which included such companies as Metro Aviation, Airbus, Frasca, PHI, Flight Safety, and Bristow Academy.

The themes shared by several speakers focused on one major point: The rotorcraft industry as a whole is not doing enough to provide high-quality training and should integrate simulation into more aspects of training. Terry Palmer, Metro Aviation’s Helicopter Flight Training Center director, made the case that what is still lacking, to some degree, is education. Not just education of operators on how to build a training program, but education among other stakeholders, which includes the FAA, the NTSB, and even insurance companies.

Another key talking point addressed one of the most common barriers to utilizing helicopter flight training simulators — economics. John Frasca of Frasca International pointed to his company’s line of products and how they are working to bring the price of simulation training down for operators through a mix of improved technology, regulatory enhancements, partnerships, and making a business case for improved safety and cost effectiveness.

Rick Adams, chair of HATS and the technology writer for CAT & MS&T magazines summarized the event by saying, “The helicopter training community has made great strides the past several years in simulation technology and the educational efforts of the international safety teams. However, more needs to be done to make simulation-based training affordable, particularly for lighter-weight aircraft operators, to preclude the high accident rate of in-aircraft training. HATS highlighted some of these innovations with speakers who are passionate about safety. The final session also offered some insight to the future airspace environment as we begin to coexist with drones and Uber-like self-flying electric pods.”

18 May/June 2017

Elbit Systems of America, LLC, was awarded an indefinite delivery/indefinite quantity (ID/IQ) contract for approximately $50 million by the U.S. Navy to provide the Helmet Display and Tracker System (HDTS) with the Continuously Computed Impact Point (CCIP) algorithm for the MH-60S. The work will be performed in Fort Worth, Texas, and completed by June 2021. An initial order of approximately $14.2 million was received.

This award represents the Navy’s first production order for the line-of-sight helmet tracking system, and the integration of targeting symbology in the Armed Helicopter Weapon System (AHWS) for the MH-60S fleet.

Elbit Systems of America Awarded Approx. $50 Million Navy Contract for Helmet Display and Tracker System (HDTS) and Continuous Computing Impact Point (CCIP) Mission Processor

“Elbit Systems of America is strategically focused on delivering capabilities that aircrews can trust to increase mission effectiveness,” said Raanan Horowitz, president and chief executive officer of Elbit Systems of America. “The HDTS and CCIP are prime examples of our advanced display and targeting solutions that give aircrews a decisive edge during critical missions.”

The advanced technology of the helmet and processor provides pilots and crews with line-of-sight tracking to improve interaction with the flight navigation system, enhance pilot and copilot situational awareness, and increase the accuracy of weapons delivery. The HDTS systems include day/night helmet mounted displays that provide full color symbology.

This allows pilots

to keep “heads up, eyes out” while also seeing key flight information. With the new systems, flight crews know exactly where the pilots are looking and where they are pointing the weapons. In addition, the advanced processor allows a weapon impact symbol to be continuously displayed on the pilot’s and crew’s visors for improved deployment accuracy.

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