Flying Magazine: Just how far can the state-of-the-art in flight simulation advance? And how much farther does it need to? Here are the surprising answers.
From Flying Magazine. Original article b
The voice behind me was a familiar one: “You pilots love your toys, don’t you?” I turned around in the coffee shop to see my neighbor’s smiling face staring at the flight-simulation app I was playing on my iPhone. I smiled and nodded as the wave of his hand said, “Go back to your game.” Last time I checked, the App Store offered 20 different flight-simulator games, some free, the rest for less than 10 bucks apiece. Of course, those simulators are toys, distractions when someone’s waiting for a train, a plane or an Uber. Once you move past games, higher-fidelity machines used for flight training and currency share a common purpose: to effectively, efficiently and safely train pilots for the real world before they take command of airplanes.
The FAA spurred the growth in simulators at flight schools when it updated advisory circular AC 61-136 allowing certified pilots a relatively inexpensive method of maintaining flight currency without the need for CFIs to monitor their progress. Josh Harnagel, Redbird’s VP of Marketing says, “We probably wouldn’t be in business without the FAA’s foresight on 61.136.”