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The Case for Simulators

Here are some excellent reasons for using a simulator with your flight training program.

Cost: When used correctly in training programs, simulators can reduce total training time – one hour of simulator time can yield the same results as two or more hours of training in the actual airplane.
The FAA allows considerable amounts of simulator time towards certificates. Students can be given first-hand experience with navigation facilities that might not be available locally.

Safety: Simulator training is safer than aircraft training. Abnormal and emergency procedures can be learned and practiced without risk to students, staff or aircraft. Simulator Training eliminates actual conflicting traffic and possible midairs. Severe weather, terrain or obstruction conflicts can be demonstrated in the simulator without the risk of exposure to the actual condition.

In-Flight Failures: In-flight failures of systems and instruments can be created as the failure would actually occur in the airplane. Instruments do not fail instantly as is the case when the instructor covers an instrument. You can see what really happens - and be ready for it. If you want to fail a glide slope just after course interception, or have a loss of a vacuum pump it’s easy to do. You can create pitot ice, carburetor ice, and electrical failures.

In-Flight Weather: If you feel the need to create a 20 knot crosswind on a VOR or ILS approach – it’s no problem. Create turbulence and see how your flying environment changes.

Training Value: A flight simulator makes a more suitable learning environment than the cockpit of an airplane. It enables the student and the instructor to concentrate on the learning task. There is less noise in the simulator, allowing more effective communications between the student and the instructor, up to a 96% retention factor over the actual aircraft.Temperature and humidity are controlled, making a more comfortable environment.

Save Time: There is no need to start the aircraft, warm it up or fly to the training area – there are no delays caused by actual clouds or bad weather conditions or ATC delays. Any topic or maneuver can be dealt with by freezing the simulator for discussion or evaluation purposes, and specific lessons can be practiced many times in short period of time. How about up to 8 ILS approaches in 1 hour!

Judgment: You can help stimulate critical thinking and situational awareness so important in flight operations.