South Africa joins HFTC roster of international training partners

Aerios Global is the first South African company to train at the Helicopter Flight Training Center (HFTC) in Shreveport, Louisiana, and says it will be back annually.

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Aerios Global's newest aircraft, the EC145, hovering over a helipad by the water
Aerios Global’s newest aircraft, the EC145, which was retrofitted by Paradigm Aerospace Corporation. Stefan Smuts Photo

The offshore and land-based helicopter services company, stationed in Cape Town, currently operates a variety of aircraft including an H120, AS350, AS365 and the newest addition, the EC145. The EC145 was retrofitted in Pennsylvania by Paradigm Aerospace Corporation, a Metro Aviation company, for Aerios.

Two pilots from Aerios Global spent a week at the HFTC in the Western Hemisphere’s first EC145 Level D Full Motion Simulator.

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“It completely blew my mind,” said pilot Stephen Merry. “It is an incredible training tool, and we were able to do so many things in the simulator that we would not be able to do in real life in an actual aircraft.”

Compared with training they have completed elsewhere, Merry said: “this training is up there with the best training you can receive. On top of that, the people we worked with are incredibly friendly and professional.”

Merry and his colleague will now travel back home to South Africa to train their counterparts on the EC145, with plans to visit the HFTC annually for recurrent training.

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