ALMATY – Kazakh helicopter pilots have passed a two-week French mountain rescue training course conducted in the mountains near Almaty and will now be able to take part in complex mountain rescue operations using Eurocopter helicopters.
For two weeks, French Gendarmerie pilots trained Kazakh rescue pilots to handle Eurocopter helicopters in the Alma-Arasan gorge near Almaty. The pilots from Kazakhstan completed the training successfully and received certificates signed by the head of the French police.
Eurocopter helicopters are widely used in mountain rescue operations and have been assembled in Astana for the past two years. Until now, however, Kazakh pilots had not had the training necessary to perform some mountain rescue manoeuvres.
“Within a short period of training, the Kazakh pilots have shown impressive results, and the quality of the helicopters assembled in Kazakhstan is as good as those from France,” said Emmanuel Seon, head of the flight training centre of the French Gendarmerie.
Despite the cloudy weather, the Kazakh pilots were able to demonstrate their rescue training and the skills needed to rescue people stuck in the mountains where there is no possibility of landing.
“Today’s exercises have once again proved the manoeuvrability of Eurocopters,” said Marat Torgayev, commander of the EC-145 squadron of the air operations unit of the Kazakhstan Ministry of Emergencies.
“Our squadron has 14 such machines, piloted by 28 pilots. Four of them will be able to work in mountainous terrain after the French training. This is of special importance for Kazakhstan, with its numerous slopes and mountain tops,” he added.
The Eurocopter-145 comes with the latest medical and rescue equipment and has an autopilot function.
The French guests invited their Kazakh counterparts to visit France and take part in rescue operations in the Alps.