Simulating helicopter rescues at minesites

COAL Services’ virtual reality training facilities might be designed to suit the needs of the coal industry but will also provide specialised training to pilots from Newcastle Rescue Helicopter Services.
Simulating helicopter rescues at minesites Simulating helicopter rescues at minesites Simulating helicopter rescues at minesites Simulating helicopter rescues at minesites Simulating helicopter rescues at minesites

Image courtesy of Westpac Rescue Helicopter Service.

Blair Price

The Coal Services Health and Safety Trust will fund a $190,000 project to deliver a helicopter safety-training package to Westpac Helicopter Service Teams.

By customising some of its VRT modules, Coal Services will provide some high-tech training exercises to boost the situational awareness of the pilots.

The pilots will be trained to use night vision apparatus. They will also receive training in crew management during approaches to confined landing pads.

Coal Services will also use its customised VRT modules to train minesite personnel for emergency response situations where helicopters retrieve seriously injured mineworkers.

A QinetiQ safety expert will lead the training of the helicopter rescue crews.

QinetiQ already provides simulation services for the Australian Defence Force and recently won the $1.6 million contract to develop the next generation of VRT technology for Coal Services.

“The use of Virtual Reality Training will allow immersive learning, which can improve the decision-making process of aircrew,” Coal Services chairman Ron Land said.

“The learning outcomes from this training can be applied to enhance specific minesite safety training, and provide our Virtual Reality Training with the ability to further support the mining industries response capabilities.”

The pilot training project will start in November.

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