Aviation has been undergoing some rough years... and the future is, as yet, quite uncertain.
There are few facets of the aviation world more uncertain, though, than that of the flight training industry and community. Years of "...that's the way we've always done it," have created a serious culture clash among those who feel the old ways are the good ways, and those who feel that its time for something "completely different."
Redbird Flight Simulation's Skyport experiment was specifically designed to look at the future of flight training... to retain the best of what works and to overhaul what doesn't. At its Migration Flight Training Conference last October, Redbird announced the school has graduated 20 Private Pilots, as well as completed 18 instrument ratings, one multi-engine rating and one instrument instructor certificate. It took an average of 38 flight hours to complete the private pilot rating, which is less than two-thirds the national average.
Roger Sharp, Director of Flight Operations for the Skyport, offered up an extensive report on what they have learned... from Skyport as well as the 46 products that have come out of this process thus far -- with more on the way. "We found that we needed to completely rethink the learner, the materials and delivery methods... We identify better methods every week."
Some of these products are high-tech, such as a Guided Independent Flight Training or GIFT, which demonstrates maneuvers in the simulator and scores student performance on that maneuver automatically. Sharp points out that most instructors don't enjoy teaching the basics in a simulator, so GIFT and the communications-training software Parrot automate the process until the student is ready to practice with live person watching. The instructor can be more a coach and mentor that a primary teacher, which suits most instructors better.
ANN is pleased to present an excerpted hour of one of the most intriguing presentations we witnessed in 2012... and look forward to far more in 2013.
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