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6 May 2009 Eurocopter research on pilot assistance for rotorcraft
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In the past years, for HEMS operations the number of helicopter accidents increased significantly. This is partly caused by an increase in the number of operations but it was also caused by the fact that the operators have been trying to extend the operation time and the operating conditions of the helicopter into the night and into adverse weather conditions. Based on this fact, the NTSB has started a concerted effort "to improve the safety of emergency medical services flights". The project "Pilot Assistance System for Helicopters" which was started in 2003 and funded by the German Federal Ministry of Economics and Technology tried to find solutions to exactly these types of problems. The project should provide an electronic system which improves the situational awareness of the pilot and support the pilot in routes planning considering all external and internal constraints. It should monitor the execution of the helicopter flight during the mission taking care of all hazards like terrain, obstacles, bad weather zones, air traffic and airspace restrictions. The system developed was called PILAS and included a projection of the current environmental situation of the helicopter into the future as well as a module for proposing alternate solutions for avoiding hazardous situations. During all phases of the flight the system should be an alerted assistant to the pilot.
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Wolfgang Kreitmair-Steck, Stefan Haisch, Stefan Hess, and Swen Jank "Eurocopter research on pilot assistance for rotorcraft", Proc. SPIE 7328, Enhanced and Synthetic Vision 2009, 732808 (6 May 2009);

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