Conair’s Simulators First in the World to be Certified for Aerial Firefighting

Transport Canada Certifies Mission Training System Flight Training Devices to Level 4

ABBOTSFORD, CANADA (March 7, 2024) – Conair Group Inc. is excited to announce the six Flight Training Devices (FTDs) in its Mission Training System (MTS) platform are now certified to Level 4 by Transport Canada. The six FTDs are federated devices which allow aerial firefighting pilots the ability to train over the same wildfire at the same time, practicing in coordination to produce more effective, and safer, missions.

“This certification is incredibly important as it means the MTS is the first training system in the world to be certified for aerial firefighting” shares Scott Stewart, Manager, Flight Standards with Conair. ”Our pilots can now gain credit for training in the MTS, reducing the total time required in the actual aircraft. Not only can we train our pilots more effectively, in multi group simulator sessions, we can train them more efficiently, giving them significantly more experience over fires to prepare for real-world operations from within the safe confines of a simulator platform. Additional specific approvals, including low visibility and night training, allow us to train crews for the challenges of aerial firefighting in a much more realistic and meaningful manner.”

The Level 4 certification has been granted for the Dash 8-400AT, RJ85, Cessna 208B, TC690, and two AT802, wheeled/floats, FTDs.

“The aerial response to wildfires is complex. Often there are multiple aircraft over a fire, challenged by smoke, turbulence, terrain, and heat. Training together in an environment that mimics real life, including complex radio communications, is beneficial for our crews,” says Mark Baird, Large Airtanker Fleet Manager. “It means when they step into the field on deployment day, they are ready to execute. We can offer hours of additional training to our pilots, plus we can practice maneuvers and emergency exercises in a safe environment, something you can’t practice during on-wing training.

And we can use the simulators to qualify more pilots faster, keeping up with the rising demand.”

“This spring we are training Conair pilots, plus Aero-Flite crew, our US subsidiary company, and we are welcoming our first third party customer” shares Scott. “Another benefit to the MTS is our ability to partner with our government agency customers, helping to train Air Attack Officers who strategize the aerial response and coordinate tactics over the fire. The ability to train and practice before a fire season starts offers incredible benefits. Ground school is put into practice before the first challenging wildfire of the season emerges. Such highly realistic training helps ensure aerial firefighters are current and ready to respond effectively the moment there is a need.”

First envisioned in 2017, the MTS is the only one in the world of its kind and made possible using Conair’s experience in aerial firefighting. In 2021 Conair completed the MTS as proof of concept,

linking three FTDs locally. Conair leveraged lessons learned from the platform and launched an expanded MTS program in 2022, incorporating two large airtankers (Dash 8-400AT and RJ85) with a TC690 bird dog. Building off that success, the final three FTDs were installed in 2023.

The platform offers extremely high-resolution graphics with a 200 degree by 45 degree field of view. Pilots are able to see and hear each other during the simulation, with fire behavior reacting to drops, taking into account humidity, weather, fuel type, and terrain, producing visually accurate representations, including smoke.

The MTS within Conair’s Training + Tactic Centre is currently available for pilots at Conair and Aero- Flite, in addition to partner government wildfire management staff. There are plans to expand the program globally in the future.

About Conair Group Inc.

Headquartered in Canada, Conair is the world leader in specialty aircraft operations, delivering a comprehensive range of purpose-engineered, aerial firefighting and multi-role aircraft and services globally. With over 70 aircraft, Conair operates the largest, privately owned, dedicated fleet of fixed wing firefighting aircraft in the world. Founded in Canada over 50 years ago, Conair’s operations are global, supporting missions in North America, Europe, Australia and beyond. Conair has modified more than 175 individual aircraft across 15 aircraft types for conversion to aerial firefighting. Conair’s engineering team has developed a number of proprietary aerial firefighting products and the company holds hundreds of Supplemental Type Certificates. Conair’s capacity and expertise in aerial firefighting, combined with ongoing Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) support, ensures supply and continuous operational service life of Conair’s aerial firefighting aircraft for many years to come. Conair can provide aircraft for purchase, lease or under contract and offers specialized services including aeronautical engineering design, flight operations and aircraft maintenance related to aerial firefighting missions. Learn out more at

AerialFire Staff
AerialFire Staff
AerialFire Magazine strives to provide you with breaking aerial firefighting industry news and information.

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