Training equals safety at Leonardo's Training Academy in Yeovil

21 December 2020

During the Covid-19 pandemic, Leonardo has delivered continued training support through its global network and leveraged its digital technologies in the delivery of training services to military and civil pilots.

Leonardo’s Training Academy in Yeovil specialises in military rotorcraft training, pilot and aircrew ground school training, as well as technician and manager training.

In addition to the delivery of courses specifically dedicated to military products (the AW101, AW159, Lynx and Sea King), the Academy provides Instructional Design and Development services to support customers in the design and in the development of tailored training solutions to meet their specific training needs.

In 2019, the Academy trained more than 2,100 students, which meant almost 7,000 simulator hours and 750 live training hours in an aircraft. The Academy also completes in-house training.

Despite the pandemic, the Training Academy has seen more than 3,000 personnel undertake training – a large proportion of these are maintenance technicians, in addition to aircrew.

The Academy recently went through an upgrade to its site facilities to enhance the user experience and reinforce Leonardo’s commitment to offering modern training solutions. This was celebrated by Simon P Jones, VP of Customer Support & Training at Leonardo Helicopters (UK), and Gary Wilshaw, Head of Training UK at Leonardo Helicopters (UK), cutting the ribbon to mark the official opening of the upgraded facilities.

Gary Wilshaw, Head of Training UK at Leonardo Helicopters (UK), commented: “Our student numbers have been up this year when compared with 2019 and this is in spite of the pandemic. Customer satisfaction is above 95%. This high score is demonstrative of the top-class instructors we have here at the Academy, and now with our upgraded facilities it highlights further our contemporary classrooms which are equipped with the latest training technologies.”

Wilshaw added, “the more you train the more efficient and effective you become but, more importantly, training equals safety. Our continued support to our customers and students has meant no break in their learning and that’s crucial to their development.”

In addition to the Training Academy in Yeovil, Leonardo Helicopters has seven major training sites around the world spanning Europe, North America, and Asia. Between February and October this year, Leonardo Helicopters was able to deliver over 350 courses, which were streamed, to more than 2,300 students worldwide.

Covering customers and operators in Europe, there is the A Marchetti Training Academy based at Sesto Calende in Italy. The academy comprises of: one Flight Training Device (FTD) Level 3 and one Full Flight Simulator (FFS) Level D for the AW109 helicopter series (AW109E, AW109S, AW109N and AW109LUH); two AW139 FFS Level D, one AW189 FFS Level D, one AW169 FTD and one AW169 FFS Level D.

On the pandemic’s impact to training services, Paolo Petrosso, VP of Training at Leonardo Helicopters, said: “We’ve not stopped and this has been appreciated by our customers. We have used e-learning solutions to cope during this time.”

He continued: “We substituted the standard practice with streaming instructors. It took four to five days to get regulatory approval and start delivering the training, so we never actually stopped. Customers appreciated this. In two months, more than 600 people were trained this way. Therefore, if you invest in digital, when you need it you have it.”