DRF Luftrettung’s 2nd International HHO Symposium deemed ‘big success’


“A big success”: Even more participants participated in the 2nd International HHO Symposium than last year. DRF Luftrettung Photo

Virtual training concepts and systems are an important component in the training of crew members. This conclusion was also made by roughly 120 experts from all over the world at DRF Luftrettung’s second Helicopter Hoist Operation Symposium at Karlsruhe/Baden-Baden Airport.

Safe.Hoist.Operation: in September, DRF Luftrettung’s Operation Center became a meeting place for hoist experts from Europe and overseas to discuss current issues relating to safe hoist operation. “Virtual training concepts are the future because they professionalize the crew members’ training,” said Sebastian Schneider, head of training at DRF Luftrettung and organizer of the symposium, summing up the main topic. Whether floods, climbing accidents or transporting workers, augmented- and virtual-reality technologies let complex deployment scenarios be played out repeatedly, realistically and independently of factors such as weather and time. The European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) also emphasized that they are a useful addition to real-life flight training from an official point of view. In addition to leading training provider Priority 1, Reiser Simulation and Training and DRF Luftrettung also provided insights into current developments. The two partners demonstrated flight simulator connectivity for the first time, one of the outstanding features of their new HHO simulator. The audience was able to watch live and see how a connection was made to the Reiser Full Flight Simulator Level D in Frankfurt and how the hoist operator simulated a scenario with the pilot.

Practical demonstrations: from emergency procedures to catastrophes

The 15 specialized presentations examined the challenges of safe helicopter hoist operation from a variety of perspectives. “Social factors such as communication between one another are now being considered more closely for the crew’s cooperation, in addition to their professional skills. The crew members work hand in hand; precision and teamwork are always important,” explained Jörg Redetzky, head of crew training.

The cable cut demonstration showed what such teamwork might involve in extreme cases. The audience was able to watch live how a DRF Luftrettung helicopter with an activated hoist and a rescue stretcher flew in and the hoist cable was cut off. A representative from Collins Aerospace explained the steps of this rare emergency procedure which requires maximum concentration. On the second day, American manufacturer Vita Inclinata presented a new product that can be particularly useful in disaster or crisis situations: a self-stabilising load-carrying system. It prevents stretcher spin on the hoist using thrust technology.

Working together for safe hoist operation

From vision to reality: “We are proud to have succeeded in establishing a European platform for helicopter hoist operation. The positive response from our participants and the even greater response compared to last year shows us that we are all pulling together to make helicopter hoist operation even safer. We are deeply grateful to our sponsors Bell Helicopters, Breeze Eastern, Collins Aerospace and Vita Inclinata. We absolutely want to continue the symposium over the next few years,” said Sebastian Schneider.

This press release was prepared and distributed by DRF Luftrettung.

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