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Introduction to Helicopter Ship Interface Testing (HSIT)

This two-week course provides test pilots and flight test engineers with the knowledge to carry out demanding helicopter/ship interface trials – including how to plan, conduct and report on Ship Helicopter Operating Limits (SHOL) trials.


Students gain a solid understanding of the theory and practice of HSIT, including the planning and pre-ship trials testing that is required, in particular:

  • Ship operations
  • The production of weight correction diagrams
  • How to plan and conduct ship/helicopter interface trials
  • How to introduce other supporting testing, such as EMC and deck handling.

The course also provides ‘non-qualified’ pilots and flight test engineers with the understanding they need to organise trials, or liaise with contractors carrying out trials on their behalf.

Course Overview

The course begins with a series of ground-based lectures that link the theory of helicopter/ship interface testing to the practical conduct. You’ll complete a number of assignments, including ground exercises – for example, the production of weight correction diagrams and ship helicopter operating limits (SHOLs) using existing flight test data, test planning and analysis, and reporting of simulator exercises.

You’ll then move on to practical demonstrations and exercises, with the opportunity to practice SHOL trial techniques and the application of flight test and analysis techniques in a simulator.

Where possible all exercises are carried out in mixed syndicates including both test pilots and flight test engineers.

Entry Standards

Our courses are open to rotary wing pilots, test pilots, flight test engineers and aerospace engineers from the UK and overseas who are sponsored by their service or employer to undertake the training. ETPS may seek evidence of your experience and qualifications to ensure suitability and, where necessary, make specific recommendations for pre-course preparation.

To be accepted for the HSIT course you’ll need:

  • Previous experience of military/civil maritime helicopter operations, or a flight test background
  • Medical fitness for full motion simulator ‘flying’
  • A strong command of aviation and technical English – both written and spoken.

Find out how to apply

Introduction to Helicopter Ship Interface Testing (HSIT)