Redbird Plans Simulator-Based Flight School
Redbird Flight Simulations makes tabletop and full-motion flight simulators for flight schools all over the world and this November will open a simulator-centric flight school. The company is opening what it's calling an aviation laboratory in San Marcos, Texas to study the effectiveness of simulation in flight training. Jerry Gergoire, president of Redbird, says that creating "a lab environment with a high volume of students coming through will allow us to objectively measure the impact of these tools and correct and refine as we go." At the core of the lab is a Part 141 flight school promising a $9500 private pilot license using new Cessna 172s and the Redbird simulators.
King Schools is developing the curriculum specifically around the simulators. The student will see the maneuver or item demonstrated by the Kings played on the simulator's visual screen and then the simulator will place the students in the exact location and configuration they just saw to practice. They get an immediate critique at the end. The hope is that practicing on the sim will make the overall training more effective, satisfying and cheaper. The larger hope is that programs like this will decrease the student pilot dropout rate and convince the FAA to allow simulation to play a greater role in flight training.