India's Directorate General Civil Aviation has certified the first simulator for the Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd. (HAL) Dhruv helicopter.
Located in Bangalore, the simulator is operated by the Helicopter Academy to Train by Simulation of Flying (HATSOFF), a joint venture between HAL and American simulator developer CAE. HAL says the simulator has received level D certification, the highest possible.
"We are very proud of achieving level D certification for the world's first simulator representing the indigenously developed HAL Dhruv helicopter," said Chandra Datt Upadhyay, CEO of HATSOFF. "We look forward to welcoming the Indian Air Force and other civil operators of the Dhruv in offering simulation-based training that will undoubtedly prove to be a safe and cost-effective method for training Dhruv helicopter aircrews."
The civil/conventional Dhruv simulator cockpit can be rolled in and out of a full mission simulator. This allows cockpits of different helicopter types to share the simulator. The other cockpit available at HATSOFF is for the Bell 412. In 2012 the training centre plans to add cockpits for the Indian Army/Air Force variant of the Dhruv and the Eurocopter Dauphin.