I read with some surprise in "Lessons learned"(Flight International, 4-10 November 2003), that all helicopter instrument rating training had to be carried out in real time in an operational helicopter.

I would have thought that a simulator would have been useful. I also found it astonishing that organisations such as the UK Civil Aviation Authority prefer helicopter training to be carried out on the real thing. If it's acceptable for training Boeing 747 pilots in a simulator, why not a helicopter pilot?

Further, I would have thought it safer and more economical from a standpoint of fuel saving, saving of instructors' time and airframe/ engine life, to use a simulator.

A C Dyson Sutton, Surrey, UK

Source: Flight International