The aviation industry always seeks to make airline travel as safe as possible and as a way to mitigate risks, there are different safety standards and systems put in place to ensure safety in all flight operations. One way of reducing risks and improving safety is through the introduction of flight simulators and flight simulator training.
A flight simulator is a device that uses the equations and scientific principles that guide an aircraft’s flight to simulate different types of flight-related environments, including different types of weather and emergency conditions and procedures, as well as the interactions between the related systems.
Flight simulators have been designed to be highly accurate and very realistic, and this has helped improve the standards involved in flight safety, and it has become mandatory that pilots undergo flight simulator training periodically.
Although a flight simulator looks like an expensive and fancy computer game, it is really an integral part of pilot training. Most of the larger airlines have their own flight simulation system and these flight simulators are usually being used around the clock to provide training for their pilots or for smaller airlines that send their pilots for flight simulator training.
Pilots will engage in flight simulator training for a number of reasons including:
If there is a change in the assigned aircraft for the pilot, they can learn the technical system of the new aircraft through flight simulator training. The training continues until the pilot learns the new setup of the aircraft.
During this training, pilots and copilots can train on their own responsibilities in the simulation program. The trainer can simulate difficult situations, such as bad weather or an engine failure scenario, through the control panel for the pilots to react to and handle. The main objective of this training is to ensure that pilots are capable of handling all kinds of emergency situations.
The duration of a general training session is around 4 hours and pilots get only 10 minutes break during the session. There is usually a 1 hour briefing before the flight simulator training but, sometimes, it can last up to 2 to 3 hours, depending on the type of session and the experience of the pilots.
The equipment and programs for flight simulators are expensive and airlines invest a lot of money in them. However, the advantages of flight simulator training far outweigh the cost, especially when hundreds of passengers per flight are counting on the reliability of the airline and the experience of the pilots to get them to their destination. Some of those advantages are:
Flight simulator training elevates the process of pilot training to a new level where all-round training can be provided to the pilots. Flight simulators come with a large amount of customization and therefore, the trainer can set the unit to simulate many different aircraft so that pilots can train on any of the aircraft within the industry.
Proficiency in flight is closely related to the repetition of pilot training. It reduces risks, enhances the skills of the pilots and ultimately, makes them a better pilot. With the help of a flight simulator, pilots get a chance to face difficult situations virtually which gives them a chance to brush up on their skills.
Navigation skills play a vital role for the pilots, especially when they are on a cross-country trip. With the help of a flight simulator, pilots can execute their plans on how they will land on the runways of unfamiliar airports. They can also effectively learn the methods of using various navigational equipment and devices.
Practicing with a flight simulator can help the pilot improve on their communication skills. It is very important for pilots to communicate, especially with ATC, and mastering the communication skills needed to interact effectively and efficiently with ATC is an important part of flight safety.
Flight simulator training helps pilots, old and new, to practice the skills of flying so that they are able to handle any problem they could face in a real flight scenario. Flight simulator training is a very essential part of a pilot’s training program and it has proven to be an indispensable tool to improve aviation safety.
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