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Helicopter Institute Takes the Lead on Developing STCs for 5G-Tolerant Radar Altimeters


FreeFlight Systems TSO’d TERRAIN Series RADALTs to be implemented on Helicopter Institute’s diverse training fleet

DALLAS, TX, OCTOBER 3, 2022FreeFlight Systems, a NextGen aviation leader specializing in avionics design, development, and manufacturing, today announced that Helicopter Institute, an industry leading OEM-alternative pilot training provider, has selected FreeFlight Systems’ TERRAIN Series radar altimeters for their fleet of Bell 206, Bell 407, Bell 505, Airbus AS350, MD500, MD600, and Robinson R44 aircraft.

Committed to providing the most comprehensive and up-to-date aviation training and safety, Helicopter Institute is implementing FreeFlight Systems’ RA-5500 and RA-4500 MK II devices as an Alternative Method of Compliance (AMOC) to mitigate interference from the recent rollout of C-Band 5G telecommunications networks.

“Helicopter Institute’s mission is to improve helicopter safety, one pilot at a time,” mentions Randy Rowles, President at Helicopter Institute. “Recognizing the risk to flight safety in the face of potential radar altimeter C-band spectrum interference, it was clear that we needed to equip our aircraft with the TERRAIN Series product line to ensure continued safe operations while also educating prospective pilots on the need to be proactive amidst changing environments.”

With the first major upgrade to RF circuitry design in decades, Digital Signal Processing (DSP) technology, and exceptional test performance mitigating C-Band 5G interference, the TERRAIN Series radar altimeters are powerful and high-reliability devices that will equip the Helicopter Institute with a 5G-tolerant solution that ensure situational awareness and safety.

“In helicopters, radar altimeters feed critical altitude data to Terrain Avoidance and Warning Systems (TAWS), which are integral to the safety of pilots flying both VFR and IFR. It is gratifying to see our 5G-tolerant radar altimetry solution adopted by helicopter operators to ensure this data is not compromised,” says Anthony Rios, President at FreeFlight Systems. “We commend Helicopter Institute on their emphasis on flight safety and look forward to developing our partnership with them.”

Designed for all segments of aviation including rotorcraft, uncrewed aviation, military and defense, business and general aviation, the TERRAIN Series radar altimeters are the lightest, most advanced in their class. The TERRAIN Series’ Design Assurance Level (DAL) B criticality, altitude measurement range of up to 2,500 feet, and 55,000 feet service ceiling comes in a small footprint design that can easily be installed in place of legacy altimeters from various manufacturers.

The TERRAIN Series incorporates the latest ethernet connectivity standards for new platforms while retaining an analog ARINC 552 interface for integration with legacy indicators and components. For additional display options, FreeFlight Systems offers the RAD45 standalone indicator which meets EASA AMC1 SPA.NVIS.110(b) guidelines.
To learn more about Helicopter Institute, please visit To learn more about the TERRAIN Series radar altimeters, please contact FreeFlight Systems’ technical experts at, or visit


About FreeFlight Systems

As a leader in NextGen avionics, FreeFlight Systems designs and manufactures high-performance solutions for flight safety. These solutions deliver unmatched reliability that is critical for modern flight operations. Founded in 2001 and based in Texas, the company pioneered the first certified aviation WAAS/GPS receiver and the first rule-compliant UAT ADS-B system. FreeFlight Systems is now a global aerospace leader specializing in SBAS/GNSS receivers, radar altimeters, ADS-B systems, and other NextGen aerospace applications. For more information, visit


About Helicopter Institute

The Helicopter Institute was established in 2009 to provide helicopter operators and pilots an alternative to OEM/Factory aircraft transition courses. Maintaining the highest level of professionalism and standards, Helicopter Institute offers budget-sensitive training solutions in a wide variety of industry aircraft. Helicopter Institute is the premier helicopter training provider in North Texas. Helicopter Institute’s instructional expertise has been recognized by the Helicopter Association International (HAI) as two of Helicopter Institute’s instructors have received the W.A “Dub” Blessing Flight Instructor of the Year Award. Their aircraft fleet supporting OEM-alternative transition courses includes Bell 407, Bell 206B/L, Airbus AS350B2, and MD500E. In addition to an in-house fleet of training aircraft, the Helicopter Institute also offers off-site training for the Bell 205, 212, 412, 230, 427, 430, AS350 (all series), MD539, and many others.

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