How Flight Simulator is Changing Pilot Training

Flight Training, Student Tips

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The Benefits of the new Wayman Aviation Redbird Program

At Wayman Aviation we have 2 Redbird simulators and a Frasca G1000 Mentor which are constantly on with students in training. It is used to go through maneuvers for their private pilot certificate, learning procedures for instrument training, getting familiar with the G1000 or multi-engine flows. Our Redbirds do it all. When we heard that Redbird was going to be making a big announcement at their annual Redbird Migration conference we knew we had to go to see how we could implement the new software and training methods for our current and future students. Because that’s what we are all about; changing lives through aviation. And getting you to your aviation goals fast, efficiently and effectively. Our chief Instructor Frank went to the conference, this is what he has to say about it;


Adrian, who is our IT specialist, with one of our Redbirds

Redbird has a few things that are different now compared to the old software. “There are several things that we can utilize. One of them is GIFT (Guided Independent Flight Training). The idea is that a student can sit in a simulator and can be taught through their maneuvers before they get to fly. This way they’ll use less flight hours and are more likely to do it correctly the first time.”

“This way students should be able to finish with fewer flight hours”

-Frank says enthusiastically. And that is going to change the way our program is built from the ground up. But how? “We’ll incorporate more simulator time in the flight training which will reduce the total amount of flight time for the students.” So, this way students should be able to finish with fewer repititions “Which will definitely benefit the students”. “We are going to integrate more simulator time with our groundschool too, which we are already doing actually. After certain lessons in the ground school they do a simulator session with an instructor to help them reinforce what they learned during their ground.”.

Another great thing about our Redbirds is that one of our staff, Adrian, who does everything that has to do with IT at our school, built in some great scenery to make the simulator sessions even more realistic. And if there’s something wrong with our sim, he can fix it immediately with Redbirds tech support. Now it’s not just a generic simulator session but it really is a ‘simulation’.


Inside of our redbird with our very own hanger designed by Adrian

There are major changes coming with the introduction of GIFT. We will be sure to implement it as soon as we can. According to Frank this is the future of flight training “the more effectively we can use the simulators, the better it’ll be for everybody. The students will get to do their training for less money and we can develop scenarios that we’ll never do in real life to push the boundaries of the students. Such as complete engine failures in bad weather conditions, even over mountainous terrain which is hard to find in Florida. We’ll also have an even more structured approach.

So, this is the future of flight training?

“Yes, there is going to be more simulation involved in all levels from initial training all the way to type-ratings. Everything can be done in the simulator. We are moving towards that way, I don’t think we’ll ever get there with our initial training but we’ll incorporate it more in our initial training. Reinforcing what they learn in the ground school.”

Be sure to check out this video about our simulators!

The flight simulators have a few other distinct advantages. They don’t need fuel which is very “Green” and environmentally friendly. When the weather and winds are too strong outside students can go into the flight simulator and have a great productive session with their instructor that might have been canceled otherwise. Combine that with air conditioning on a hot day and you might look forward to the simulator sessions.

The ability to hit the “freeze” button and talk to your instructor about what is happening in the current situation is invaluable. Especially if you have to slip out to the restroom. That is very hard to do at 3,000 feet during training flight. The amount of procedures and approaches you can do in the flight simulator is twice what you can fit into a typical hour in the air since ATC does not have to vector you around and back into the approach. It is very productive and well spent time.