Before aspiring pilots can step foot into an aircraft cockpit and become a full time pilot, they must first undergo hours in a flight simulator. An aircraft flight simulator is a simulation of the real life experience that a pilot will have when operating a plane. Containing every situation possible, from hitting birds to bad weather, the flight simulator is designed to train and prepare fledgling pilots for any type of scenario, both mild and consequential. Read on below for information of the different types of flight simulators there are available for pilots.
Aviation Training Device
The aviation training device is the common route that people take to obtain their Private Pilot Certificate. With a platform to train aspiring pilots on basic skills, the aviation training device includes a replica of aircraft equipment, aircraft control panels, and other instruments in a cockpit. Many flight schools will have the aviation training device incorporated into the coursework
Flight Training Device
A more advanced simulator, the flight training device contains four different levels. Each level has different requirements needed for the student pilot to pass the level and can test students in systems integration, situational awareness, workload management and all other normal, abnormal and emergency situations.
Full Flight Simulators
The most advanced type of simulator, the full flight simulator contains four different levels, starting from Level A to Level D. Level C through D contain the highest level of realism with an outside world field of view, cockpit sounds and other effects. The full flight simulator will also have complete malfunction sets and full electrical motion systems. Pilots training or preparing to fly commercial airlines will often take this simulation.
Flight simulators are a must when training to become a pilot, but new and seasoned pilots will often retake simulations from time to time or look to other resources like YouTube to refresh on flight material. Microsoft Flight Simulator has recently gained in popularity after being referenced in Netflix’s documentary of the 2017 Fyre Festival (the Head of Logistics for the festival discussed how he obtained his license by using lessons from Microsoft Flight Simulator).
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