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The Helicopter Community Meets to Increase Safety at FlightSafety’s 2006 Helicopter Safety Forum

LA GUARDIA AIRPORT, New York (May 18, 2006) – FlightSafety International welcomed over 200 helicopter operators, government officials, representatives from aircraft manufacturers insurance companies and helicopter industry associations and members of the media to the 2006 Helicopter Safety Forum.

The purpose of the Forum, held in Dallas on May 4-5, was to provide attendees with the opportunity to discuss and develop ways to increase Helicopter safety by participating in seminars and discussion groups and to receive the latest information on helicopter safety from fellow operators, industry experts and government officials.

Ret. Colonel P.J. Penny, Director of Flight School XXI in Fort Rucker, Alabama was the keynote speaker. He discussed the importance of simulator-based training and described the challenges and success of the U.S. ARMY flight training at Fort Rucker.

“It’s impossible to train an individual or a crew to proficiency in today’s sophisticated aircraft without simulators,” said Colonel Penny.

The attendees addressed issues relevant to Air Medical, Law Enforcement, Fire, Offshore as well as other Corporate and Commercial operations. There was a particular emphasis on night operations, inadvertent IMC, controlled flight into terrain, automation management and basic decision-making in the flight environment.

Numerous helicopter operations experts participated in the forum. They included Roger Baker, President, Safety Focus Group; Ed Stockhausen, Director of Safety, Air Methods; Kimberley Turner, CEO, AeroSafe; LCDR Chris Schaier, Safety Officer, U.S. NAVY; Roger Coleman, Human Factors Manager, American Airlines; Keith Johnson, Director of Safety, ALEA, Eileen Frazer, Director, CAMTS and Larry Mattiello, President, AIRSURE and Chairman of the HAI Insurance Committee. Dave Downey and Matt Rigsby from the FAA also facilitated a number of valuable group discussions during the event.

Presentations and discussion topics included Safety Management Systems, Transition from Military to Civilian Operations, Human Factors, Crew Resource Management, Decision Making, Fatigue, Stress, FAA guidelines and initiatives, NTSB recommendations, CAMTS accreditation, ALEA Standards, Insurance Recommendations, Automation and New Technologies.

Attendees had the opportunity to evaluate and discuss the use of night vision goggles, terrain awareness equipment and FlightSafety’s new Graphical Flight Deck simulator. It uses the same software code that runs the company’s full flight simulators and is equipped with electric control loading and FlightSafety’s VITAL visual system.

The Helicopter Safety Forum was sponsored by Air Methods, American Eurocopter, Avstar Media, Bell Helicopter, Chelton Flight Systems, Heli-Dyne, Honeywell, Max-Viz and Sikorsky.

FlightSafety International is the world’s premier aviation training organization. Over 75,000 pilots, technicians and other aviation professionals train at FlightSafety facilities each year. The company designs and manufactures full flight simulators for civil and military aircraft programs and operates the world’s largest fleet of advanced full flight simulators at over 40 training locations.