DRF Luftrettung welcome first commercial pilot trainees
German air ambulance service DRF Luftrettung welcomed the first seven trainee pilots under its commercial pilot training scheme on 1 September
The new arrivals – six men and one woman – will be trained over two years, with training divided between the DRF Luftrettung Academy in Bühl, and at the DRF Luftrettung Operation Center at Karlsruhe/Baden-Baden Airport.
Training, conducted under the oversight of DRF’s flight instructors, will include night flying, hoist rescues, take-off and landings in densely built-up areas, as well as missions in impassable or alpine terrain, using the organization’s Robinson R44 Raven II training helicopters.
“In addition to the regular training content, participants will also gain practical insights into the various areas of the air rescue organisation, for example in the form of seminars with the technical and medical departments of DRF Luftrettung,” explains Florian Klinner, the Project Manager responsible for the training program.
Following professional helicopter pilot training, the air rescue organisation plans to offer prospective pilots further prospects at DRF Luftrettung or its subsidiaries. Suitable candidates could join DRF Luftrettung as co-pilots at selected HEMS bases in order to gain further experience under the monitoring of experienced pilots and become qualified for air rescue missions.
A 'milestone' for DRF Luftrettung
The initiative to train external commercial pilots for the first time in DRF Luftrettung’s 45-year history was announced in July 2021, in response to what DRF Executive Board Member Dr Peter Huber, Board Member described at the time as ‘a steadily high demand for helicopter pilots’.
Huber, in response to the launch of the new course, described the trainees’ arrival at the Operations Center as a ‘milestone’ for the organization. “Having been offering special training courses for experienced pilots within our Approved Training Organisation for almost twenty years, we are adding an important element with the new basic training. Our aim is to pass on our expertise to third parties and, as one of Europe’s largest air rescue organisations, make a further contribution to aviation safety. At the same time, we are also securing our own young talent for DRF Luftrettung’s currently 29 HEMS bases in Germany.”
Applications for the 2023 training course are now being accepted and can be submitted via the DRF Academy website.