In parallel with global business jet sales, pilot training activity is, for the most part, stable and growing somewhat, particularly in new markets. At the same time, flight-training providers are reporting unprecedented growth in the civil helicopter sector, with much of this being driven by a surge in demand for rotorcraft support in the booming offshore oil and gas industries, plus the deployment of new-generation helicopter simulator technology.
Flight operations specialist Francois Lassale brings up a good point in a recent issue of AINSafety, that “the unit’s simplicity means training on the iPad and its use in the cockpit is seldom given much thought.” Lassale is absolutely right, and his views should extend to the use of any device or product that pilots bring into cockpits to help with their flying tasks.
With the number of business jets in China steadily increasing, the country is facing a shortage of qualified pilots, with virtually all of those attending its flight academies and training schools destined for the commercial aviation sector. Operators in China use a ratio of five pilots for every business jet in operation, according to Christopher Jackson, co-founder and executive director of China-based aviation consultancy Jackson Rosenberg, who sees a need for hundreds of additional business jet pilots in the short to medium term.
Tabletop flight training devices have come a long way in the last decade, and Redbird Flight Simulations, in partnership with AOPA, EAA, Flying Magazine, King Schools, The Pilot Workshops, Sennheiser and more has come onto the scene with a device that could be disruptive in the industry.
The hardware includes a 27-inch screen integrated into a dedicated PC computer; yoke, switches and power quadrant, which costs $2,490. Rudder pedals and a Cygnus connector (for using iPad flight mapping software during flights) are available as options.
Why all the growing interest in low-cost flight simulators?
Some announcements at this week’s Sun ‘n Fun show in Lakeland, Fla., for example, underscore wannabe and regular pilots’ fascination with these devices. Redbird Flight Simulations introduced its new low-cost Jay device, which, while it can’t be used to log time, promises to help pilots stay proficient. And Pilot Mall today unveiled the Advanced Panel, which is a modular instrument panel with flight and other controls that works with Microsoft Flight Simulator X (FSX) software.
Pilot Mall’s new user-configurable instrument panel for table-top basic flight training devices is making its public debut this week behind Hangar B at the Sun ’n Fun Fly-in in Lakeland, Fla. The Flight Training Cockpit–Advanced Panel, brainchild of Pilot Mall president Neil Glazer and Michael Moore of Coldwater, Ontario-based Redfab, is designed to work with Microsoft Flight Sim on a PC platform. It uses Saitek ProFlite instruments, avionics and flight controls in a 21- by 31-inch metal instrument panel with pop-out cutouts.
If you’re looking for an elegantly simple personal computer-based flight simulator and you just want to practice some fun flying, Ikarus USA’s aeroflyFS might fit the bill. Released last year, aeroflyFS draws from Ikarus USA’s background in developing flight sims for radio control modelers.
Learning to fly model airplanes often involves a lot of crashing and rebuilding, but by using a flight sim like aerofly5, newbie RC pilots can avoid all the distress and damage before launching a model into the sky.
A new Embraer Legacy 650 level-D flight simulator at FlightSafety International’s St. Louis learning center has received approval from the FAA, EASA and Brazil’s Agência Nacional de Aviação Civil. Legacy 650 training will start at this location in the second quarter. FlightSafety serves Embraer as its factory-authorized training provider for the E-Jets line of commercial jets, as well as the Lineage and Legacy executive jets.
Helicopter pilots unexpectedly straying into IFR conditions and losing control of their aircraft has been identified as the cause of the greatest number of rotorcraft fatalities, according to the International Helicopter Safety Team (IHST). The group, which is focused on greatly reducing helicopter accidents by 2016, has reported that NTSB figures from 2011 indicate that 45 of 52 such accidents proved fatal to occupants. “That means the chances of surviving an inadvertent encounter with IFR are just 14 percent,” according to IHST.
With delivery of the first A400M airlifters nearing, Airbus Military has concluded an initial support deal with the French air force and a long-term training contract with the UK Royal Air Force (RAF). Meanwhile, Airbus Military is equipping its international training center in Seville with A400M computer-based trainers and a full-motion simulator.