A new helicopter flight school has been established on the border with the aim of helping the long term health of the aviation industry in Australia.
Forest Air Helicopters, who have been operating in the region since 2005, opened the flight school in September and will offer a range of advanced flight training courses.
The long standing commercial helicopter operator says branching out will allow them to provide real added value to their students.
“There has been for a long time a tradition of new pilots being trained by flight schools that only conduct primary flight training as their main business,” said Mark McConnell, head of operations in flight training.
“These businesses also tend to employ instructors that are teaching as a way of building flight hours before they move onto something else.
“Forest Air wants to offer something different. We believe that there is a real benefit to students, and therefore the industry as a whole, in having the next generation of pilots being trained by instructors with real world flying experience and in having that training backed up by a real world commercial helicopter operation.”
Forest Air is also involved with the growing tourism industry in the border region. They offer a number of scenic flights and charters to wineries and lodges around the region.
During the snow season they conduct transfer flights from Albury airport and the surrounding regions to the ski fields at Mt Hotham and Falls Creek as well as a heli-shuttle service between the two alpine resorts. Forest Air pilots and aerial assets are also heavily involved in firefighting during the summer fire season in both Victoria and New South Wales. Forest Air Training is planning to offer courses on aerial firefighting in the future.
“Helicopters are an integral part of the rural firefighting system in Australia,” said Mark. “It is vital for the protection of property and lives in our communities that the pilots are well trained. Forest Air’s crews will be in an excellent position to draw on real world experience to ensure that their knowledge is passed on to the future aerial attack pilots.”
For more information on Forest Air Helicopters click here or call 1300 731 450.