DENVER, March 19, 2013 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Air Methods Corporation (Nasdaq:AIRM), the global leader in air medical transportation, today announced that it has entered into an agreement with FlightSafety International to use its Dallas-based Eurocopter EC135 Level D qualified full flight simulator for the Company's pilot training program. Air Methods believes simulator training enhances the Company's pilot training program by affording opportunities to set up scenario-based and mission-specific exercises, while also providing more flexibility with training schedules.
Air Methods currently employs 550 EC135 pilots who will cycle through the simulator for their annual recurrent training. The Company will also send new hires for initial training and pilots transitioning from other helicopter models to the EC135. This simulator has Night Vision Goggle qualification from the Federal Aviation Administration and is the first qualification of its type under the National Simulator Program's Guidance Bulletin 10-01. There also will be a helicopter on-site in Dallas that will be used for en route check rides after the simulator training is completed.
"Air Methods continues to actively pursue cost-effective technology, systems and training in excess of regulations that we know can encourage safety improvements in the air medical community," said Aaron Todd, chief executive officer, Air Methods. "We believe simulator training is another step in that endeavor and are proud to add this fifth simulator solution to our robust pilot training program.""We are pleased and proud to serve Air Methods," said Bruce Whitman, President & CEO FlightSafety International. "Air Methods and FlightSafety share a mutual commitment to enhance safety by providing pilots with the highest quality training programs using advanced technology flight simulators." In addition to the Eurocopter EC135 simulator, Air Methods' pilots also utilize a Eurocopter AS350 Level B full motion flight simulator; two Eurocopter AS350 advanced aviation training devices (AATD); and a Eurocopter EC135 AATD.