Leading helicopter company honors Aerospace for excellence in pilot training

The UND John D. Odegard School of Aerospace Sciences was recently honored for its exemplary training efforts with S-300™ helicopters by Sikorsky Global Helicopters, a business unit of Sikorsky Aircraft Corp. The award was presented to UND Aerospace at the recent international Heli-Expo in Houston, Texas.

Aerospace has operated S-300 series helicopters in its training program since 1983. The school currently operates six Sikorsky light helicopters and has four more S-300C helicopters on order this year.

"The strength of our training program depends on the quality and dependability of the aircraft we operate, particularly the S-300C helicopter," said Al Palmer, director of UND Aerospace flight operations. "We are proud of our long association with Sikorsky Global Helicopters and the solid training helicopter they provide."

The school provides specialized pilot training programs to commercial and military helicopter operators and has a growing undergraduate helicopter training program.

"Many civil and military operators look to UND Aerospace to provide world-class helicopter training," said David Oglesbee, director, Sikorsky Global Helicopters, Light Helicopter Division. "The partnership we have with UND has been influential in introducing Sikorsky light helicopters to future pilots in a variety of missions."

This year, Aerospace began training pilots from the Ministry of Interior, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (MOI) in S-300C helicopters. Recently, the MOI took delivery of two S-434 helicopters. The MOI students first attend one year of English language classes and then a 20-month helicopter training program.

Aerospace also has a long history of training Army ROTC cadets already enrolled as undergraduates in the school's aviation program. Since 2003, UND Aerospace also has also provided summer training courses to cadets from West Point and other Army ROTC programs around the country. The school is also active in commercial helicopter pilot training. Saudi Aramco, the global oil company, has sent pilots to UND Aerospace for training since the late 1980s.

Recognized worldwide as a leader in rotary and fixed wing flight training, Aerospace combines first-class, hands-on instruction with advanced technology to prepare students for the rapidly evolving aviation field. The school operates one of the largest fixed wing and rotary wing training fleets in the world and offers undergraduate and graduate programs in aviation, atmospheric sciences, computer science, and space studies.
-- Juan Miguel Pedraza, Writer/Editor, University Relations, juanpedraza@mail.und.edu, 777-6571