USAIG and Airbus Helicopters North America (AHNA) have a robust tradition of teaming to encourage helicopter operators to consistently participate in high-quality recurrent training endorsed by the manufacturers of their aircraft. The AHNA Training Center in Grand Prairie, TX, has long been a USAIG Safety Bucks program participant. That program enables policyholders that operate turbine-powered helicopters to select $2,500 in Safety Bucks to go toward helicopter pilot or maintenance technician training expenses in each year of policy coverage.
USAIG started the Safety Bucks program in the 1990s to assist and incentivize policyholders to make recurrent helicopter simulator training standard practice. It was later expanded to include helicopter maintenance technician training and some in-aircraft training activities. In 2015 it was integrated into USAIG’s broader Performance Vector safety initiative, which provides a portfolio of safety services from which eligible policyholders can make one annual selection.
“Safety Bucks is a great option as the annual safety benefit for many of our helicopter policyholders,” said Kevin Kovarik, USAIG Senior Vice President and Lead for Rotary Wing Underwriting. “We are proud to boost the reach and positive impact of our policyholders’ safety and training resources, and excited to continue expanding opportunities with Airbus Helicopters.”
The AHNA Training Center in Texas boasts a wide range of opportunities for operators to apply Safety Bucks. The training center leverages its experienced instructors and modernized fleet of company-owned training aircraft and training devices to deliver world-class initial and recurrent maintenance and flight training courses for the light- through-heavy range of Airbus Helicopters models. The AHNA Training Center looks forward to the upcoming rollout of a new level D H145 full flight simulator by its simulation partner Helisim LLC, which already owns and operates AS350, EC135, and EC145 simulation devices. These simulators complement Airbus Helicopters’ initial, recurrent, and safety courses such as Inadvertent Instrument Meteorological Conditions (IIMC), which was designed to combat the increasing number of fatal IIMC accidents by providing pilots with effective avoidance and recovery techniques.
USAIG, Airbus Helicopters, and Helisim recognize that IIMC training addresses a critical safety threat faced by the entire helicopter industry. That triggered a discussion about how USAIG could encourage its policyholders to have pilots attend the IIMC course, and a limited-time opportunity was born. USAIG and the AHNA Training Center will extend the value of a $2,500 USAIG Safety Bucks certificate to fully cover one pilot’s full IIMC course tuition (currently a $3,900 value) for courses booked within the remainder of calendar year 2020 and commenced before July 1, 2021. Safety Bucks will retain their standard face value when applied to any other AHNA Training Center courses.
“We believe the IIMC course is a must-have for any helicopter pilot,” said Lindsay Cunningham, Head of Customer Training for AHNA, “and this limited-time offer is a great way for operators who are USAIG policyholders to benefit from the course while deriving maximum advantage from their Safety Bucks.”