Shortly after accepting the keys to a new Piper Seminole, Jerry Gregoire of Redbird Flight Simulations told AVweb that its initial results in training students with an intensively simulator-based program have proven positive. Redbird has been operating the program for a little over two months and graduated about 20 students. Gregoire says Redbird offers the program for a flat feet of $9,500 to the private pilot certificate, which he says is far less than the national average, according to Redbird's analysis of AOPA flight training cost averages. The Redbird program is not hours-based but involves training to proficiency in specific skill areas. It can also involve the student flying the simulator solo to practice maneuvers that he or she may be having trouble with. The student can also self-evaluate before moving on to the next task.
Redbird says it's collecting biometric data from its simulators to understand how people learn flying skills in order to improve the simulator-based program. The new Seminole, Gregoire said, will be used as a flying laboratory to collect more data to refine the program. To hear the full podcast with Gregoire, click here.
Last year's fire season in the West was among the worst on record and was a tragedy on many levels but it painted the sky in spectacular shades. It was a poignant background for a beautiful aircraft at Redmond Airport in Oregon.