Simulation and Training Strategies for Tomorrow
“Simulation and Training Strategies for Tomorrow: The Cost-Effective Application of Flight Training Devices in Non-Airline Pilot Training,” Royal Aeronautical Society, London, September 2009.
Background: When civilian pilot training is mentioned today, most people immediately think of airline training programs and forget about business and personal flying. However, the introduction of the very light jet (VLJ) is forcing us to consider the future direction of pilot training in general. Although the training issues of airline/non-airline pilot training may seem to be quite similar, the level of trainee experience/motivation, the operational environments and, therefore, the training approaches can actually be dramatically different.
While airlines around the world have made effective use of sophisticated flight training devices for many years, that can not be said for non-airline training programs. One reason has been the lack of cost-effective solutions and the fact that actual flight experience is essential to building the basic skills a new pilot needs. The key to effectively using simulation in such programs is to ensure that the level of flight training device matches the training objective. If that’s done and the device has the correct fidelity, then less expensive fixed-base devices can certainly be an effective complement to the use of aircraft in a training curriculum.
This paper discusses the development of such a curriculum, the selection of appropriate flight training devices, and the importance of adequate feedback in validating training program effectiveness.