Elite sim­u­la­tors in Africa


The Star­lite In­ter­na­tional Train­ing Academy, South Africa’s lead­ing heli­copter train­ing or­gan­i­sa­tion, has or­dered an Elite Evo­lu­tion S723T FNPT II - the first Elite ro­tary-wing train­ing sim­u­la­tor sold in Africa. The de­vice will be in­stalled at Star­lite’s train­ing academy at Mos­sel Bay Air­field and will be used to en­hance heli­copter flight train­ing there – a lo­ca­tion which, to­gether with Star­lite’s base at Dur­ban Air­port, has al­ready trained over 1,000 heli­copter pi­lots.

Star­lite’s Man­ag­ing Di­rec­tor Train­ing and Chief Fly­ing In­struc­tor, Kate Oden­daal, spent two days at Elite’s head­quar­ters at Düben­dorf, Switzer­land, to as­sess the sim­u­la­tor and its per­for­mance and then placed the or­der. The Elite S723T repli­cates the twin en­gine Euro­copter AS355 and will have a 3-chan­nel CAVE vis­ual sys­tem, dual pi­lot lay­out with dy­namic con­trol load­ing on the cyclic and ped­als, an orig­i­nal Garmin GNS430 GPS, and a nav­i­ga­tion and RealView data base cov­er­ing all of South Africa with spe­cific ul­tra-high res­o­lu­tion air­port insets for the air­ports at Mos­sel Bay, Dur­ban, Port Elizabeth and Ge­orge.

Elite’s Mar­ket­ing and Sales Di­rec­tor, René Hud­dle­stone, said: “We were so im­pressed with Kate Oden­daal’s pro­fes­sional knowl­edge about ev­ery­thing to do with he­li­copters. We have sold fixed wing sim­u­la­tors in Africa but this is the first pur­chase in that con­ti­nent of an Elite heli­copter sim­u­la­tor, and we are very pleased that it has been or­dered by the lead­ing ro­tary-wing train­ing or­gan­i­sa­tion in South Africa.”

Star­lite fo­cuses on pro­vid­ing mil­i­tary stan­dard avi­a­tion train­ing, of­fer­ing ab ini­tio and spe­cialised cour­ses to the mil­i­tary, para­mil­i­tary, com­mer­cial and in­sti­tu­tional sec­tors and con­tin­u­ously up­dates both the flight and ground school syl­labi to meet chang­ing civil and mil­i­tary cri­te­ria.

Kate Oden­daal, who be­came Chief Fly­ing In­struc­tor at Star­lite in 2009 and now leads a team of 11 ro­tary-wing in­struc­tors and who sits on the board of ad­vi­sors of the South­ern African Women in Avi­a­tion and Aero­space group, said of the pur­chase of the Elite S723T: “Star­lite is hon­oured to be the launch cus­tomer for the Elite heli­copter sim­u­la­tor in Africa. It is the first EASA, JAA, FAA, SACAA ap­proved FNPT II heli­copter sim­u­la­tor to be ap­proved un­der the new South African Civil Avi­a­tion (SACAA) reg­u­la­tions of 2013. “We be­lieve that the twin en­gine, mul­ti­crew, dual EFIS, fully IFR con­fig­u­ra­tion will add sig­nif­i­cant value to the scope of train­ing that we cur­rently of­fer.

“I was very im­pressed with the real feel of the flight con­trols pro­vided by the dy­namic con­trol load­ing and in par­tic­u­lar dur­ing sim­u­la­tion of emer­gen­cies such as hy­draulic fail­ure, au­toro­ta­tions and tail ro­tor con­trol fail­ures.

Work­ing closely with René Hud­dle­stone and his team at Elite, who ex­pertly in­ter­preted our re­quire­ments, re­sulted in hav­ing the cus­tom de­signed RealView 3D vi­su­als of the ar­eas in which we train devel­oped specif­i­cally for our needs, as op­posed to us­ing generic views.

“With such an ac­qui­si­tion, Star­lite has again po­si­tioned it­self to de­liver the high­est stan­dard of train­ing, with added ben­e­fits to our di­verse clien­tele list which in­cludes the air forces, armies and po­lice air wings of South­ern Africa. We look for­ward to a long and re­ward­ing re­la­tion­ship with the Elite team.”

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