Home' Army News : June 29th 2017 Contents June 29, 2017
the performance and safety
of a twin-engine helicopter
and will replace the Army’s
Kiowa and Navy’s Squirrel, which
are more than 40 and 30 years old
The elegantly styled EC135 is widely
used by police, firefighting and ambu-
lance services and for oil and gas work,
or corporate transport across the world.
With its gloss black and yellow liv-
ery, the helicopter has a high-visibility
glass cockpit, a multi-axis auto-pilot and
advanced technologies to help instructors
perform training missions.
Qualified Flying Instructor Capt
Adrian Ludman, of the Joint Helicopter
School, said the previous training aircraft
were single-engine helicopters with all
“The EC135 is an electronic-age
modern helicopter with digital displays,
replacing the analogue instruments,
and dual certified GPS navigation sys-
tems allowing flight in cloud with no
requirement for ground-based navigation
systems,” he said.
“The EC135s are fitted with winches/
hoists and a hook for underslung loads
and are capable of carrying up to six
people, although in the training role it
will carry four crew.”
On pilot training sorties a pilot and
a pilot instructor will be in the cockpit
with the instructor in the left seat.
For aircrewmen training sorties, two
qualified pilots will be up the front with
an instructor and student in the cabin
learning how to operate the equipment
in confined areas, providing clearances
to the pilots.
Capt Ludman said other features of
the EC135 included inlet barrier filters,
which protected the helicopter engines
from ingesting foreign objects like
stones or larger debris.
“It is unique as it is one of the few
helicopters in the world to have the
fenestron or protected tail rotor, instead
of the conventional tail rotor,” he said.
“It increases safety for people on
the ground and lowers susceptibility to
foreign object damage and is one of the
quietest helicopters in its class.”
It has an anti-resonance isolation
system to dampen vibration from the
main rotor and the fenestron tail rotor
helps reduce take-off and overfly noise,
which makes it popular for police and
emergency medical services flying in
Capt Ludman said in certain con-
figurations the twin-engines meant the
EC135 could continue flying if it lost
“The Squirrel and Kiowa have single
engines, so if they failed it was inevita-
ble the helicopter was landing,” he said.
“All operational ADF helicopter
types now have twin engines, which
means the EC135 is excellent for future
Capt Ludman spent the past six years
flying CH47 Chinooks with 5 Avn Regt,
including the new ‘F’ models, which
have only been in service for two years.
He said it was fantastic to be a part of
the Joint Helicopter School because
it was the future of Army and Navy
“We have the ability to influence and
support the frontline units so it’s good
to come from such a unit into a training
environment and shape it to what they
need,” Capt Ludman said. “One of the
unique things about current Army and
Navy aviation is we have crewmen on
every platform except the ARH Tiger,
which is a multi-pilot aircraft.”
Cpl Mark Doran
PILOT Training Officer Maj David
Oddy, of the Joint Helicopter
School, is a lateral transfer from the
Royal Navy Commando Helicopter
He joined the Australian Army in
2007 as a Black Hawk pilot after 21
years in the UK and is a Qualified
Maj Oddy said his role at the school
was to assist Boeing Defence Australia
prepare the training for future Army
and Navy helicopter pilots.
“When the school opens my role
will be to oversee the training,” he said.
“The Commonwealth will then own
the operator’s courses – pilot, aircrew,
aviation warfare officer and aviation
sensor operator – with all other training
and maintenance belonging to Boeing.
“The main challenge is getting the
integration up and running.”
Maj Oddy said the HATS facility
was one of the best in the world.
“This is also the best made-to-
measure flying training solution I have
ever seen and the hardware is second-
to-none,” he said.
“It’s exciting to be a part of it
because it’s all new and at the moment
we are fashioning how we use it.
“When the students arrive from the
basic training fixed-wing school, the
level of automation they are familiar
with will flow on through HATS and
then through to the even higher level
Pilot instructors asked to be the best
of automation when they go to their
Maj Oddy said although he was
from the old analog system of knobs
and dials, he realised the younger
generation were comfortable with the
modern technology being embraced by
the aviation industry.
“The basic skills of flying a helicop-
ter haven’t changed and the controls
are the same, but the level of automa-
tion and what the aircraft can now do
from the mission aspect is hugely
“For the modern pilot, information
technology is the key and the younger
Maj David Oddy says the HATS facility is one of the best in the world.
Photo: LS Justin Brown
generation is well suited to this from
their background as a part of the
Key elements of the modernised
training solution include advanced
over-land flying, formation flying, use
of night vision aids and deck land-
ings on the multi-role aviation training
Maj Oddy said in the past heli-
copter training concentrated on the
physical aspect of flying the aircraft.
“Now we have complicated multi-
engine aircraft and complicated infor-
mation technology systems,” he said.
“HATS will expose trainees as
early as possible to the high-level
information systems and an aircraft
with a greater capability.
“The high level of training resourc-
es available during basic training,
at this school and the operational
conversion units will set the students
up well for the future aircraft they are
going to fly.”
Maj Oddy said the vision of the
school was “excellence”.
“Instructors coming here will be
asked to be the best,” he said.
“For students, helicopter flying is
demanding no matter how we train
or what we use, so they will need to
“How we train hasn’t changed
much, but what we do it with has.
“I’m looking forward to working
with some highly motivated staff and
EC135 T2+ helicopters
await their first
trainees at the Joint
Helicopter School at
Photos: Cpl Mark Doran
Qualified Flying Instructor Capt Adrian Ludman, of the Joint Helicopter School, prepares for a training activity on the
Airbus EC135 T2+ helicopter.
Photo: Cpl Mark Doran
The new training helicopter is technologically impressive, Cpl Mark Doran reports.
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