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Afghans Get Advanced Helicopter Simulator: Afghan Mi-17 helicopter pilots in Kabul now have a state-of-the-art simulator to hone their aviation skills in a safe, low-risk environment, announced their US air advisors. "In 21 years, I don't think I have flown in a better simulator," said Lt. Col. Chas Tacheny, deputy commander of the 438th Air Expeditionary Advisory Group, in an April 20 release. That's important since Afghanistan's mountainous terrain makes it "an extremely challenging environment for helicopters," he added. The Mi-17V5 no-motion level 5 simulator can replicate challenging weather conditions, night operations, formation flying, and brownouts during landings, said Tacheny. "We can put before the Afghans those challenging scenarios and not have to worry about hurting personnel and damaging aircraft," he said. The simulator's flight deck contains equipment used in the actual helicopter for added realism, he noted. (Kabul report by TSgt. Jeremy Larlee)