Conair expands pilot training capability
Aerial firefighting pilots will be trained in a simulated environment
Conair Group Inc. has announced the integration of three additional Flight Training Devices (FTDs) into its Mission Training System (MTS) platform, which will be used to train aerial firefighting pilots in a simulated environment.
These additional FTDs completes the networks of six, allowing pilots the ability to train over the same wildfire at the same time, practicing the coordination to produce more effective and safer missions.
“The addition includes two AT802 FTDs, both wheeled and amphibious float versions, plus one C208 bird dog or lead plane,” said Mike Benson, Director of Business Development with Conair. “We can now offer our pilots training for the majority of our aircraft types. Each FTD is an exact replica of our fleet cockpits.”
Mark Baird, Simulator Program Manager, added: “The aerial response to wildfires is complex. Often there are multiple aircraft over a fire, challenged by smoke, turbulence, terrain, and heat. Training together in an environment that mimics that real life, including complex radio communications, is beneficial for our crews, not just new pilots, but those with years of experience.
“It means when they step into the field on deployment day, they are ready to execute, and not still getting their legs under them. We can offer hours of additional training to our pilots, plus we can practice maneuvers and emergency exercises in a safe environment, something you can’t practice during on-wing training. We can use the simulators to train more pilots faster, keeping up with the rising demand for aerial firefighting aircraft.”
In October 2022, Conair Aerial Firefighting was awarded the Back in Bevington Air Safety Trophy.