Omniflight Helicopters Inc. Enters into Agreement with FlightSafety International for Simulation Training and Education

ADDISON, Texas -- (BUSINESS WIRE) -- Omniflight Helicopters, Inc., a leading national provider of air medical services, announced today that it has entered into an agreement with FlightSafety International, the world’s leading aviation training company.

The agreement with FlightSafety provides Omniflight the opportunity to train its aviation professionals using FlightSafety’s new AS350 simulator, which is a Level 7 flight training device that basically serves as a replica of the aircraft. The training will take place at FlightSafety’s educational center in Tucson, Ariz., where Omniflight’s own instructors will lead and conduct the process.

Beginning in early 2010, nearly 200 pilots nationwide will be trained using FlightSafety’s AS350 simulator. This includes training for newly hired as well as current Omniflight pilots and will focus on both regulatory and mission-specific, scenario-based training.

Conducting training in the simulator will allow Omniflight to provide instruction on certain specific maneuvers that can be performed more effectively in the device. In particular, Omniflight expects to see increased effectiveness in training for encounters associated with Inadvertent Instrument Meteorological Conditions (IIMC) and a wide range of emergency procedures.

“The FlightSafety training program will allow us to capitalize on the proven benefits of simulator training processes, which include enhanced safety and heightened performance,” said Eric Pangburn, chief rotor-wing pilot at Omniflight who will head the program for the company.

“The training will offer a decreased chance of physical risk and improved cost efficiencies since it will be conducted on the ground, which ultimately results in increased aircraft availability. It also affords us more flexibility and enhanced productivity in the type of training options it is capable of performing,” Pangburn explained.

Anthony J. DiNota, president and chief operating officer, added: “We have long seen the successes and benefits of flight simulation training when used at major airlines and within other segments of the aerospace industry. Now, the time has finally come when this type of high-level commercial simulator training is available for the AS350. It is truly exciting to have an opportunity to be among the first entities to conduct training with this new simulator, which has been specifically designed for helicopters that operate within the air medical transport arena.

“With this arrangement with FlightSafety, Omniflight is improving the quality of its pilots while helping them to excel in their abilities to appropriately respond to patient needs during the course of duty. We are delighted to be leading the charge within the air medical services sector and look forward to continuing to capitalize on additional simulator training opportunities as progression continues in the marketplace,” DiNota concluded.

FlightSafety International is the world’s leading aviation training company and supplier of flight simulators, visual systems and displays to commercial, government and military organizations. The company provides more than a million hours of training each year to pilots, technicians and other aviation professionals. Backed by Berkshire Hathaway, one of the world’s most successful and admired companies, FlightSafety operates the world’s largest fleet of advanced full flight simulators at their extensive network of learning centers located in the United States, Canada and Europe. FlightSafety trains pilots for all aircraft types – fixed-wing, rotorcraft and tilt-rotor.

About Omniflight

Addison, Texas-based Omniflight Helicopters, Inc. is a leading provider of air medical services throughout the U.S. The company operates about 100 aircraft nationally from 72 bases in 18 states, with a strong presence across the Southwest, Midwest and Southeast regions as well as certain Mountain State areas. Its focus is primarily on inter-facility and on-site emergency scene response using both rotor and fixed-wing aircraft. For more information, please visit