FlightSafety International sends Alcon Flying High in Farnborough

It was a beautiful day at Farnborough Airport, but whilst the views of the private jets across the taxiway from the FlightSafety International Centre were impressive on arrival, the more amazing sights lay inside.

FlightSafety International has been a long-term supporter of Orbis, ever since their Founder, Mr Albert L. Ueltschi, became closely involved with the charity in the early 1980s. Mr Ueltschi advised and contributed to the Orbis cause, both in the early stages from its transition from a brilliant idea to the creation of the Flying Eye Hospital, and then with many years of service as Chairman of Orbis International.

The partnership between the organisations lives on, and most recently this was demonstrated by the donation of an incredible flight simulator experience as a raffle prize at the Orbis Aviators’ Club dinner.

FlightSafety International Learning Centre at Farnborough Airport.

Pierre Bourdage, General Manager UK & Ireland at Alcon, was attending in recognition of contributions from the Alcon Foundation, a global partner who has supported Orbis over the last three decades.

Pierre Bourdage and Ivor Lipscomb from Alcon UK, the lucky winners of an incredible flight simulator experience at FlightSafety International! 

Pierre and Ivor, along with Kathryn Sweet from Orbis, were given the warmest welcome by the team at FlightSafety International, who spent half a day hosting their experience.  Nigel Warren, Regional Sales Manager, Northern Europe, led the visit, and Richard Hallows, Program Manager G650 provided an in-depth insight into the advanced training facilities that FlightSafety International offer.

The company has a staggering 13 simulators and training devices at the Learning Centre in Farnborough.

The organisation provides an industry-leading training academy for pilots, providing excellent facilities, trainers and materials for a wide range of aircraft.  A number of their simulators are “Level D” meaning that they are so advanced that following full simulator training, no training is required in the real aircraft before the pilot can fly a passenger flight!

After the welcome and introduction to the company, they visited one of the cutting-edge classrooms and talked through the components of the Gulfstream G650 training course as an example.  The group had many questions, and clearly showed their interest and excitement for having such a rare opportunity!

Taking the hot seat!

Following the classroom the group enjoyed a lovely lunch together, before being taken to one of the two simulators halls, and into the Sikorsky S-92 simulator, where they each had a chance to fly the helicopter. Flying in Manhattan and Aberdeen their instructors Rick Dooley and Roberto Fernandez-Obeso carefully guided them to fly the aircraft whilst demonstrating the full extent of the simulator’s capabilities by throwing several hazards and scenarios their way!

Sincere Thanks to the Team at Flightsafety International!

The day was rounded off with a taste of a post-simulator debrief, showing how the experience is fully utilised as a learning opportunity. This was followed by the presentation of a special selection of FlightSafety International gifts, and a sign to Pierre who felt its messages on decision making were equally relevant to the Alcon business!

Just before they said their goodbyes, the group had the chance to personally thank Centre Manager Paul Hewett,  who had made the donation of the experience to Orbis, as well as the full team who gave so much of their time to share their expertise and make it such an insightful and inspiring experience!

If you'd like to learn more about how your company can support Orbis please contact

Matt Coleman, Corporate Partnerships Manager.

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