Flight training provider FlightSafety International is now home to a level 7 Bell 407 advanced flight training device. The FAA recently granted the organization’s Bell 407 FTD Level 7 status, the highest level of flight training device issued.
Level seven FTDs replicate the cockpit, control feel, and aerodynamic handling of specific models of aircraft as well as visual elements of flight via a high level simulation program. Beyond level 7, devices progress into full motion simulators and are given a letter designation, such as the multi-million dollar level D simulators used by airlines. Simulators and flight training devices are popular for training thanks to their cost-effectiveness compared to operating actual aircraft. Even the more expensive high level devices, which may cost as much as the actual aircraft, cost pennies to operate compared to fuel, maintenance, and insurance costs required to operate the real thing. Additionally, students and instructors can benefit from the flexibility of flight training devices which enable users to jump to specific points in a flight.
FlightSafety’s Bell 407 FTD is located at their Lafayette, Louisiana Learning Center. FlightSafety plans to use the device for initial and recurrent type training as well as training VFR pilots for flight into instrument conditions. Additionally, they can simulate a number of scenarios such as those undertaken by EMS and law enforcement operators or news organizations. This capability will enable FlightSafety to train pilots for real-world uses of the popular Bell 407. Perhaps the most significant use of the device is in training for emergency situations that cannot be safely replicated in the aircraft such as engine fires or tail rotor failures. FlightSafety’s Bell 407 FTD represents one of the most realistic and comprehensive training devices available for the aircraft.