BASIC TRAINING IN SIMULATORS
Simulation has got to be the way forward. Fixed wing were there years ago. However it depends on the quality of the simulator.
OK, the military are not bound by JAR rules, but must be looking at the equivalent of at least FS Level C.
Depending upon the type of sim, 70% may well be right. However helicopter simulation will never achieve Zero hour status unless money is thrown at the visual system to produce not only instant visual reaction but a 6 to 10 feet focal length. (F/W set at infinity)
There are many helicopter exercises that can only be taught in an aircraft in flight. The role of the simulator is unbeatable for teaching systems operation, normal abnormal and emergency procedures, crew cooperation, etc. etc. etc.
The potential for cost savings is immense. All you need is an instructor and student, a Sim and the power to run it - 24 / 7. No a/c serviceability, ATC or Met worries. And the trainee can kill him/herself when getting it wrong. The instructor just presses "reset" and says, "Shall we try that again?"
Of course, there are excellent helicopter simulators working in the civil sector where the same principles apply. The problem is that the best ones cover larger types (AS332 / S61 and, if you don't mind going to Florida, S76).
What we need to do is press the Aviation Authorities to recognise the value of generic training, certainly for issue of the initial Instrument Rating, where experience gained on one specific type will be carried across to others.
Now, maybe, that will start another thread.