RIO DE JANEIRO, April 9, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Sikorsky Aerospace Services (SAS) today announced the opening of a new UH-60 BLACK HAWK Helicopter Flight Simulator Training Center at the Colombian Air Force Base in Melgar. The first of its kind in South America, the center provides pilot and flight crew training for the Colombian Armed Services and Sikorsky military customers throughout the region. Sikorsky Aerospace Services, Sikorsky's aftermarket business, is overseeing training and support efforts in Colombia. Sikorsky Aircraft Corp. is a subsidiary of United Technologies Corp. ( NYSE: UTX).
Sikorsky Aerospace Services made the announcement during the LAAD Defense and Security Exhibition in Rio de Janeiro.
"Operating the world's fourth-largest BLACK HAWK fleet, Colombia is a longtime strategic customer and valued partner," said David Adler, SAS President. "Based on their fleet requirements, SAS continues to expand in-country aftermarket services. In fact last year we doubled the maintenance support team and expanded depot capabilities for crash and battle damaged aircraft. The new training facility will further improve the operational readiness of the Colombian Armed Services. Additionally, it's a major milestone that exemplifies our overall commitment to Sikorsky customers in Latin America."The new training center offers the region's only full motion, high fidelity, FAA Level D Equivalent BLACK HAWK simulator – the highest qualification currently available. Equipped with industry leading motion and control loading technology, it offers a highly detailed cockpit replication of all controls and aircraft systems including wide-field outside-world visual systems. All components are mounted on six degree-of-freedom motion platforms that respond to pilot control movements and external aerodynamic factors. "Last November, Sikorsky Material Services, LLC opened a new office in Bogota offering the Colombian Ministry of Defense a central, in-country point of contact for managing all aspects of business with Sikorsky," said Frank DiPasquale, SAS Vice President, Sales and Strategic Relationships. "We recognize the Colombian Armed Services' need to maintain their fleet at optimal mission readiness. Our goal is to provide the OEM support capabilities and expertise directly where our customers operate." The BLACK HAWK simulator is housed in a special purpose facility. Overseeing the project is Corporacion de la Industria Aeronautica de Colombia (CIAC), an aerospace support provider for the Colombian Ministry of Defense. The training center is staffed with experienced BLACK HAWK pilots serving as simulator operators and maintenance personnel to keep the simulator in optimum operational state. "The BLACK HAWK helicopter is an integral component for us to successfully defeat narco terrorism. Our ability to sustain in-country pilot training is paramount. As our relationship with Sikorsky continues to evolve, we are pleased to partner in this training effort," said Brigadier General del Aire Guillermo Leon Leon, General Manager, CIAC.