IntroductionThe Aeromedical Institute (AMI) conducts physiological training to aircrew and professional training to medical assistants. This institute was established on 27 June 1973 and had started its activities combined as AMI and Combined Medical Board (CMB) BAF. Bangladesh Air Force duly felt the need of effective and realistic training to aircrew and medical assistants right from the beginning. Due to that, it was essential to develop and elevate this unit to the appropriate level by provisioning the required aero-medical training equipment.
LocationAMI, BAF is located at Kurmitola area as a lodger unit of BAF Base Bashar. The administrative block of the unit is accommodated in a two storied building. The training equipment have been installed in 04 (four) different buildings which are connected to the administrative building through corridors.
MissionThe mission of AMI is to conduct training for aircrew to help them understand the high altitude physiology and related physiological stresses of flight and the preventive measures to minimize the effects. To conduct professional training to BAF medical assistants at different levels, familiarization course for the medical officers seconded to BAF and to provide psychiatric coverage to BAF personnel. It also conducts training on aviation physiology for medical officers who undergo grading course in aerospace medicine at Armed Forces Medical Institute (AFMI).
The FacultiesAMI is composed of the following training sections or department:
The FacultyThe training activities are divided into the three Squadrons:
Physiological Indoctrination CoursesAll aircrew officers on commissioning from BAF Academy and all airmen on remustering to aircrew trade undergo the initial physiological indoctrination course. Then, at least every after 03 years, a refresher course is conducted for each aircrew.
Practical Training on Altitude ChamberAll aircrew undergo the practical exposure during physiological Indoctrination Courses after every 04 years.
Practical Trg on Gyro LabAll pilots attend the training while detailed for Physiological Indoctrination Courses and there after every 02 years.
Practical Trg on Gyro LabAll pilots are exposed on the equipment during initial Physiological Indoctrination Course. Then only those fly aircraft fitted with ejection seat will attend the training after every 04 months.
Practical Trg on Gyro LabAll aircrew undergo this training along with Physiological Indoctrination Courses. Besides, before night flying aircrew may have the practical exposure.
Medical AssistantPractical Trg on ESTRecruits with science background are selected for Medical Assistant trade by the concerned Directorate. They first attend the medical assistant’s 36 weeks basic course. There after Advance and Senior Trade courses are attended as per existing service policy.
Barany’s ChairThe Barany’s Chair is a time-honored classroom tool for demonstrating vestibular orientation illusions. It can also be used for management of recurrent air sickness. Barany’s Chairs are a simple and cost effective way to teach aircrew how easily their sense of motion can be mistaken.
Spatial Orientation Trainer (Gyro Lab)Spatial Disorientation and loss of situational awareness are the leading causes of aviation mishaps. Some estimates suggest that over 80% of fatal mishaps involving human error are due to at least in part to this phenomenon. The Gyrolab is used to train aircrew in techniques which can help them recognize, avoid or overcome problems of spatial disorientation and loss of situational awareness. In a simulated aircraft environment, trainees learn to rely on their flight instruments and maintain control. Close loop feed-back allows the trainee to practice control actions and demonstrate improved performance.
The Altitude Physiology Training ChamberThe Altitude Physiology Training Chamber has been designed to provide practical instruction in the physiology of flight under well controlled, safe, high altitude condition by exposing personnel to low barometric pressure. The system is capable of being used for the following purpose:
Ejection Seat Trainer (EST)The Ejection Seat Trainer simulates cockpit escape conditions. The trainer is equipped with an actual ejection seat and fire controls. Each student practices the proper ejection procedures in dry runs. Once the student is proficient with ejection procedures, he can experience a simulated ejection using a pneumatic catapult system. With practice on EST, students learn to eject more quickly.The trainees also build confidence in their ability to eject safely which may help them in the decision to abandon a failing aircraft.
Night Vision Trainer (NVT)The Night Vision Training (NVT) system provides instruction which can reduce night operation mishaps. It accomplishes these goals by teaching dark adaptation and scanning techniques which help personnel use their vision more effectively. Rather than providing a mechanical aid for night vision, the NVT program increases the trainee’s ability to operate at night with unaided eyes.
ConclusionTraining is relatively inexpensive force multiplier. It increases mission effectiveness and most importantly saves lives. The cost of an entire training programme can be more than recovered if it prevents just one aircraft mishap. Like any other BAF training institute, AMI is also fully committed to this aim and support the aircrew training programme effectively to help them fly safe and achieve mission successfully. Except for high G-training, AMI is also capable of conducting physiological training to aircrew of Army Aviation, Biman Bangladesh Airlines and aircrew of friendly countries who do not have these facilities.