Let's Go for a Sim Ride!
Ask any airline pilot what his typical day at the office is like, and most likely they’ll tell you long, boring and uneventful—just the way we like it.
In fact, aviation is so safe, that the average pilot will never experience a real engine failure, let alone an inflight fire.
|Hard at work!|
So, how does a pilot keep sharp on procedures he never uses?
|Next-Gen, full-motion Airbus A320 Simulator.|
Enter the flight simulator. To practice normal and emergency procedures in a new airplane, pilots fly ground-based, full motion flight simulators.
|A320 Simulator. Note Sim Instructor seat, Left.|
A mock up of the real cockpit, all systems and controls in the sim are designed to operate exactly like the real thing.
CRT screens fill every window to present a realistic, real-time display of the airport, passing terrain, even simulated storms.
|First-Gen A320 Simulator|
With full motion on, even the sensations of flying are there, all the way down to turbulence and bumpy runways.
Believe me, if you were blindfolded and set in the seat of a sim, you’d swear you were flying the real McCoy.
|Foggy day in the sim!|
These machines are so sophisticated, in fact, that a pilot can be completely checked out and FAA certified without ever setting foot in the real airplane.
|Hydraulics give the pilots an amazingly realistic sensation of flying.|
While a typical simulator costs several hundred dollars an hour to run, it’s still far cheaper than flying a jet. This saves the airline oodles of money in training costs.
|Lear 35 Simulator|
|Lear 35 simulator interior|
|Simulator Bay, with multiple types.|
This bay can house up to ten.
A typical sim session lasts four hours, two for the Captain to fly, and two for the First Officer.
|Airbus/Boeing Combined Cabin Simulator|
There are even cabin simulators, where the pilots and flight attendants can practice simulated evacuations.
|Canadair CAE CRJ (Regional Jet) Simulator|
Recently I went through Recurrent to fly the A320-class Airbus.
While I passed the ride with, well, nearly flying colors, some of those landings were a bit sketchy. But hey, we always get to blame the sim!
|Yay! We scraped by--er, PASSED! Qualified to fly the friendly skies for one more year!|
Direct Video Link: http://youtu.be/eYXLyGfg59o
STOP THE PRESSES!!
|I just found out:"The Last Bush Pilots" MADE IT TO THE QUARTERFINALS of Amazon's Worldwide Breakthrough Novel Contest—|
This has been a lifelong dream!
Thank you, Mom & Dad and novelists Tawni Waters & CloudDancer for believing in me. And for those of you who took a chance and read my book, your enthusiasm has inspired me even more!
|Avid blog reader & certified AvGeek Dave W. curls up with a good book & a beer in the Maldives—Now that's Paradise!|
Long link, if short not working:
MY HEARTFELT THANKS TO ALL!
Posting March 27 @ 11:00 PHX:
Cap'n Aux answers readers' technical Q's!