CHC LLC : Helicopter invests in ground-breaking Virtual Reality training for Search and Rescue technical crews Nov 23, 2022

CHC Helicopter announced today that it has successfully completed a trial collaboration with Priority 1 Air Rescue to offer groundbreaking virtual reality (‘VR’) training for its Search and Rescue (‘SAR’) technical crew members. The trial involved winch operators from CHC’s operations in Ireland.

Upon successful completion of the testing phase, CHC will roll out Priority 1 VR training to all new winch operators – starting in Ireland with a view to rolling out to other markets worldwide. The investment demonstrates CHC’s commitment to delivering industry-leading safety standards.

The introduction of next-generation VR simulations for training enables CHC technical crew members to prepare and practice emergency procedures for a variety of challenging SAR events in a safe, controlled and realistic environment; including procedures that could not be practiced on a live aircraft. This innovative method is the first of its kind to be accepted by the European Aviation Safety Agency (“EASA”) and the Irish Civil Aviation Authority (“IAA”) and represents a unique development in the delivery of safe, effective and reliable helicopter services worldwide.

Under the guidance of outside experts at Priority 1’s state-of-the-art training facility, CHC’s technical crews are able to perform and repeat winch operating procedures in mock cabins and a range of weather conditions until perfected. You can also practice in a realistic way for emerging sectors, e.g. B. the support of offshore wind platforms.

said Dennis Groeneveld, Director Flight Standards, CHC: “Security is at the heart of CHC’s global activities. Our mission is to protect our employees and passengers when traveling to remote and challenging destinations. We are delighted with the performance of the study and look forward to rolling out the program more widely.

“Our technical crews must be adequately prepared to conduct emergency response and deal with challenging circumstances. This groundbreaking Priority 1 partnership allows our crew members to repeatedly practice dealing with complex situations in a realistic but safe environment, ensuring they are fully capable of acting quickly and effectively in real-world SAR events.”

Steve Barreau, Chief Operating Officer Priority 1 Air Rescue France added: “Our SAR training courses have been developed and designed with industry partners to equip them with the skills and abilities to perform at their best in all circumstances. Our Advanced Aircrew Mission Simulators (AAMS) are perfect for this type of realistic search and rescue training and especially for events that cannot be practiced in reality. It has been fantastic to see the CHC Ireland crews taking full advantage of our facilities to hone their skills and practice complex procedures.”

The implementation of this new form of VR training also supports CHC’s sustainability commitments as the training can be completed in a reduced timeframe of just eight weeks compared to the industry standard of nine months.


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About CHC

CHC Helicopter is a leader in providing helicopter support to the offshore energy market, search and rescue and government agencies and organizations in need of helicopter maintenance, repair and overhaul services through the Heli-One division.

For more than 75 years, CHC Helicopter has provided safe, reliable and affordable helicopter services in some of the world’s most remote and challenging environments. Our commitment to safety and our reputation for quality and innovation help our customers go beyond what they thought possible.

About priority 1 air rescue

With over 23 years of proven performance-relevant experience in our highly specialized profession, the Priority 1 Air Rescue group provides the most innovative and effective helicopter search and rescue, tactical training and SAR/MEDEVAC operational flight crew, support and program implementation capabilities in the world.