Aerospace manufacturer Boeing Defence Australia has commenced the first H135 Type Conversion course at Nowra’s new Helicopter Aircrew Training System (HATS) facilities at HMAS Albatross.
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Key elements of the modernised training solution include advanced over land flying, formation flying, use of night vision aids and deck landings on the Multi-role Aviation Training Vessel (MATV). Upon qualification of the training mid-year, pilots will commence training on Thales Australia modern simulators.
Boeing HATS program director Terry Nichols said the training will support first-of-type courses that will commence in the near future.
"The eight Royal Australian Navy and Australian Army qualified flying instructors (QFI) and qualified aircrewman instructors (QAI), and five Boeing Defence Australia instructors currently receiving the Boeing-led training, will support first-of-type courses commencing in early 2018," Nichols said.
"Over the duration of the training, instructors will approve the ab initio course material, and gain proficiency and instructor knowledge of the advanced H135 training helicopter."
Nick Brown, a Boeing QFI participating in the trainer course, commenced practical training on the aircraft last week.
"The H135 training helicopter offers an evolution in ab initio training with instructors familiarising themselves with the new aircraft type and advanced systems that will provide students with a world-leading modernised training solution," he said.
Under the joint helicopter training school program, Boeing will deliver training to up to 130 Australian Defence Force students per year at full maturity, including pilots, aviation warfare officers, aircrewmen, sensor operators and qualified aircrew returning for instructor training.
The government’s $157 million investment in HATS is part of its $500 million investment in upgrading the facilities at HMAS Albatross, which was inspected by Minister for Defence Marise Payne last week.