Knowledge by Training: Why Train in a Flight Simulator

Aviation is all about procedures. The first time that I became aware of this was early in my career as a flight instructor. I was working with a student doing climbs to altitude, level offs, power reductions, and then the same for descents. We were in a Cessna 150.   During one of level offs and power reductions the engine immediately quit.

Without missing a beat my training kicked in and I found a spot to land. I then went through my emergency preparedness for engine restart with a final decision to land as the engine would not start. I landed the 150 on a farm road without any damage to the aircraft. It was evident that our safe landing without any damage or injury was the result of repeated training, such that it became second nature.

When I began working on my Citation type rating I realized that there were certain items that you had to memorize. This was against my training as a flight engineer, as air carrier is all about written emergency procedures. Which was right? Both seem to be needed; knowledge instilled in your brain and knowledge taken from the checklist. This was evident in the failure of the center engine on a DC10 that totally wiped out all control. There was no checklist for complete flight control failure, but basic training saved a lot of people on that day in Sioux City, Iowa. (United Airlines Flight 232) Why? Because procedures and training had been drilled into the minds of the team in the cockpit.

This is what simulator training is all about. It is a way to put the most realistic approach to actually flying an aircraft with problems inserted into the training. These are problems that you may never experience in an aircraft and problems that cannot actually be created during training in the aircraft.

This is what we do best at AST. We put you in control of any problem that you may encounter so that recovery from that problem becomes second nature. We help you gain the ability to get you to either a safe landing or to keep you from getting into more trouble until you can review the emergency checklist.

Fear is overcome with knowledge. Knowledge is gained by training.

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