A look at an HAI member up close and personal.
Campbell, Texas–based Volo Mission is a helicopter external-load training company focused on optimizing mission safety and performance standards. Recognizing that vertical reference and longline operations are among the most difficult and hazardous in the industry, Volo Mission developed a series of courses designed to properly train pilots, ground crew, and aircraft crew in all aspects of safe operations.
Longline and Vertical Reference Specialists
Volo Mission distinguishes itself from other flight training schools by exclusively providing training in vertical reference and longline operations. Owners Kim and Andre Hutchings developed the company to specifically address shortcomings they noticed in traditional longline training, including a lack of focus on building strong foundational skills and a failure to address the human factors that play a critical role in this high-risk industry.
Volo Mission courses emphasize practice and repetition to solidify trainees’ abilities and decrease the chance of skill decay while incorporating interpersonal and human-factors instruction. Volo Mission’s staff of certified instructors each bring years of longline experience to their teaching. Pilots and ground crews come from around the world to attend the courses.
The company is expanding in 2022, adding two new precision exercises to its courses. The first is constructing a satellite phone tower that was custom made specifically for the school’s training program. The tower includes three separate sections that must be constructed. The second new exercise is short-haul training, designed with the assistance of a US Forest Service inspector pilot to meet all the specifications of the agency’s short-haul course.
Designed with Full-Time Work in Mind
Volo has restructured its program for the new year, shortening the length of time needed to complete training. Starting in March 2022, most courses will run 6 to 8 days, down from 12 to 14 days. The change was adopted to better accommodate trainee work schedules while maintaining the integrity of the training experience.
Additionally, Volo will begin providing on-site housing in 2022. The company’s training grounds are more than 20 minutes from local hotels; by offering on-site housing, Volo students will be able to focus their time on training.