Leonardo’s Norway Training Centre (NTC) is currently teaching aircraft type-training to the latest Royal Norwegian Air Force (RNoAF) search and rescue (SAR) crews as they convert from the Sea King to the AW101 SAR Queen helicopter. The crews will form the third SAR base in Norway at Banak.
Over the course of the next three weeks, the crews will focus not only on flight handling skills but also on how to operate some of the latest generation technologies on-board the SAR Queen fleet.
On the training, Richard Fox, the Norwegian programme lead pilot instructor at Leonardo Helicopters (UK), commented: “Emphasis is placed on multi-crew cooperation, the glass cockpit, advanced automation and mission systems, including the game-changing Leonardo Osprey 30 Radar.”
The NTC predominantly supports the Norwegians with Conversion to Type training, currency and operational training. It houses a Level D Full Flight Simulator and a System Operator Console Simulator. This enables training to both pilots and system operators to be separated or linked together.
Once this training is complete, it will mean 20 crews will have been through Leonardo’s Norway training programme since May 2017. On completion of the conversion course, the crew will continue with the RNoAF Operational Training & Evaluation team (OT&E) for their role training. The OT&E will teach the crew how to do SAR operations using the helicopter.
These crewmembers will then join their 330 Squadron colleagues, who are actively conducting SAR operations from Sola and Ørland.