Bell Textron Inc. announced on 2 March that it had signed a purchase agreement with Southern Utah University (SUU) for a Bell 505 Jet Ranger X to add to its existing fleet of helicopters for student training.

Southern Utah University provides training for rotary or fixed-wing pilot courses. These courses share a common core of common education and general aviation core courses. SUU Aviation is a university flight training programme in Cedar City, Utah with the largest collegiate helicopter fleet in the nation and the most robust flight training capabilities.

“We’re proud to offer our students of the Professional Pilot Aviation Program at SUU with one of the market’s newest and most technologically advanced short light single aircraft,” Mike Mower, executive director, SUU Aviation. “We’ve conducted training using a Bell 206L for several years so adding the Bell 505 to our fleet is the logical decision that will allow us to offer advanced pilot and technical training for the industry’s future aviators.”

SUU’s additional special curriculum courses include turbine transition, external load, night-vision goggles, mountain flying, SFAR 73 Transition, and both single engine and multi-engine fixed wing training. The university also offers pilot licenses and ratings for private pilot, instrument rating, commercial pilot, certified flight instructor, certified flight instructor: instrument

“As the industry faces a shortage of fixed and rotor wing pilots, it is critical to offer safe, high quality education like SUU’s Professional Pilot Aviation training program,” said Greg Maitlen, regional sales manager, Bell, North America. “The Bell 505 is the only aircraft in its class that offers operations at 22,500ft density altitude and will be instrumental in training requirements, specifically the mountain flying course.”

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