Ecureuil Aircraft To Be Used For Hands-On Training
Future generations of Chinese aviation technicians will benefit from hands-on training experience with an Ecureuil (AS350 family of helicopters) donated by Eurocopter China to the Civil Aviation Flight University of China (CAFUC). The aircraft is to be located at the CAFUC campus in Guanghan, Sichuan Province as part of the Eurocopter-supported training courses for students who seek qualification as helicopter technicians in pursuing aviation industry careers.
“Our well-established relationship with China has always included strong contributions to the country in developing a viable, capable and safe helicopter industry – which includes offering the best training possible to the technicians who will keep its aircraft flying,” explained Bruno Boulnois, CEO of the Eurocopter China subsidiary.
The donated Ecureuil provides a full-scale training tool, where students get to receive both ab-initio and type-rating practical training. It offers trainees with the rare opportunity to not only be trained on structural maintenance and repairs, but also assembly of a real helicopter complete with rotor blades, main gearbox and other dynamic components.
This initiative also enables students to work on an aircraft representative of the best-selling Ecureuil family that is used globally in operations ranging from passenger transportation, utility work and flight training to fire fighting and parapublic missions. It is also the most popular lightweight turbine helicopter product line in China, with about 36 in operation today.
Eurocopter’s donation continues the company’s close relationship with the CAFUC, which has resulted in their long-term strategy to create a pool of qualified helicopter technicians capable of filling jobs in China’s expanding general aviation sector.
The cooperation was initiated in 2011, and aims to establish the capacity for training 120 Chinese helicopter technicians annually by 2015. This includes a “train the trainer” scheme – with Eurocopter educating CAFUC instructors in both China and at the company’s training academy in Germany, allowing the university’s personnel to be certified at the highest international standards. These instructors have since completed their training and are now qualified to provide ab-initio training for CAFUC student technicians at Guanghan.