Businesses that fly helicopters must provide their pilots with regular training experience, but a simulator can be substituted for real-world flying in many cases. Using a helicopter pilot training flight simulator whenever possible has several benefits for businesses.
Ensure Pilots Get Necessary Experience
Helicopter flight simulators make it possible to ensure that all pilots get the experience they need regardless of what else is going on. Even if actual flights are grounded for an extended period of time due to weather or a pandemic, pilots can still get the hours they need by working in a simulator.
Decrease Training Expenses
Using helicopter flight simulators to train pilots is much less expensive than sending pilots up in actual helicopters for their training. Although purchasing a simulator may require a substantial upfront investment, simulators don't require the fuel and maintenance that helicopters do. Once a simulator is acquired, there are no ongoing equipment expenses to worry about.
Review Critical Situations
When flying an actual helicopter, pilots have little control over the exact situations they may come across. While pilots can schedule training flights in different general conditions, they can't control the precise conditions they'll have to deal with.
For example, pilots can make sure they have flights scheduled at night and during an upcoming rainstorm. They can't control for a situation where a 35-mile-per-hour crosswind comes up 3 seconds before their helicopter touches down, however.
A flight simulator makes it possible to stipulate the precise conditions that pilots will face in the air. Wind speeds and directions, lighting conditions, terrain, and more can all be preset before a training flight.
Experience Diverse Flying Climates
On an even broader scale, helicopter flight simulators make it possible for pilots to experience different flying conditions that they'd otherwise have no access to.
For instance, a helicopter pilot in the South can see what it's like to fly during a snowstorm by using a simulator. They can even try their hand at a snow landing, such as what a search-and-rescue pilot in the snowy mountains may have to do.
Similarly, pilots can also try flying different types of helicopters. Depending on what a flight simulator has programmed into it, pilots may be able to try flying larger helicopters, passenger helicopters, cargo helicopters, medical choppers, and even equipment used by the armed forces.
Peripheral experiences like these give pilots a broader skillset to draw on when they face different situations while flying.