DRF Flugrettung, based in Filderstadt, Germany, is expanding the training portfolio at its in-house academy. The first seven flight students started their training on Thursday as part of a fly-in of the training machine, a Robinson R44 Raven II, at the DRF Luftrettung Operation Center.
The six men and one woman will be trained to become professional helicopter pilots at DRF Luftrettung over the next two years. At its Operation Center at Karlsruhe/Baden-Baden Airport, DRF Luftrettung officially included the brand new R44 training helicopter in its training fleet today and presented it to the trainee pilots.
“The start of our new course is a milestone for DRF Luftrettung. After we have been offering special courses for experienced pilots within our flight school for almost twenty years, we are adding an important component with the new basic training. In doing so, we are pursuing the goal of passing on our expertise to third parties and, as one of the largest European air rescue organizations, making a further contribution to aviation safety. At the same time, we also secure our own offspring for the currently 29 DRF Luftrettung stations in Germany. Because we also need highly qualified pilots for the special field of air rescue in the long term," says Peter Huber, CEO of DRF Luftrettung.
The air rescue organization plans to offer prospective pilots further prospects at DRF Luftrettung or its subsidiaries after completing their professional helicopter pilot training. Suitable candidates could join the DRF Luftrettung as co-pilots at selected stations in order to gain further experience under the supervision of experienced pilots and to become fit for air rescue operations.
During the entire training process, the students are instructed and accompanied by highly experienced flight instructors from DRF Luftrettung. The trainee pilots will particularly benefit from their extensive know-how, for example in night flights, winch rescues and take-offs and landings in densely built-up areas through to operations in impassable and alpine terrain.
The course takes place at the DRF Luftrettung Academy in Bühl and at the DRF Luftrettung Operation Center at Karlsruhe/Baden-Baden Airport. "In addition to the regular training content, the participants will also receive practical insights into the various areas of air rescue organization, for example in the form of seminars with the technical and medical departments of DRF Luftrettung," explains Florian Klinner, the project manager responsible for the training program.
Since 2001, the DRF Luftrettung has included the Austrian ARA Flugrettung with two stations and a winter location, and since 2019 the NHC Northern Helicopter, which carries out air and water rescue operations at three stations. In addition, the DRF Luftrettung is involved in the Swiss Alpine Air Ambulance, which operates two air rescue stations.