Flight Sim Training Needs a Sequel: Sim Learning

Capitol_marqueeSim Training is a pivotal piece of the certification and skill training process for pilots. Yet like a good movie, some people are longing for a sequel; same theme but with a different twist. We propose Sim Learning.

Here is our vision for the use of simulators and the difference between what is and what is to come.

Sim Training is an event mandated and structured by the regulatory agencies. Sim Learning is an experience structured by pilots and the flight department in which they work.

Sim Training is based on minimum standards that must be demonstrated. Sim Learning meets minimum standards but is based on the needs of the pilots and the environment in which they typically fly.

Sim Training is based on drill and technical skill. Sim Learning is based on scenarios and threats which are probable and pertinent to everyday experiences. It not only encourages technical skill, but also strengthens decision making  and analytical skills.

download (2)Sim Training is repetitive and predictable. Sim Learning is flexible, fresh, and tailored to the people who are seeking to learn from it. It is also enjoyable and challenging.

Sim Training does not encourage error. Sim Learning allows for errors. It recognizes that one of the inherent benefits of a simulator is the ability to practice through trial and error without injury. It encourages looking at issues from different angles and with different solutions in order to evaluate which one is the best option.

Sim Training is what is offered when pilots walk in the doors of a provider. Sim Learning is what flight departments supply as they structure scenarios based on the threats and needs of their operations and build them into their sim training time.

Sim Training is a product you pay for. Sim Learning is a collaborative experience pilots create. Learning is achieved not only during the simulator time but also in the time of preparation.

Sim Training is used primarily as a means for passing a check ride and certification. Sim Learning allows for certification but also incorporates professional growth and practice of the issues pilots face while doing their job.

Sim Training is for the masses. Sim Learning is for those who want to be challenged, to be the best they can be, to be prepared, and to empower themselves and others in the profession they so dearly love.

If you want further thought on the difference between training and learning, check out our preceding article.

What’s your take on Sim Training vs. Sim Learning? Have you been successful in adding some learning components to your training? If so, you might consider sharing what you have done here so others can benefit.

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2 Responses to Flight Sim Training Needs a Sequel: Sim Learning

  1. Sorceress says:

    The sim learning concept mentioned above is precisely what the AQP LOFT scenarios emulate. The issue as I see it with AQP presently is that it is a system that is lengthy and complex to establish and get FAA approval on. The other factor with AQP is that because it can be custom tailored to meet the needs of a specific flight department it can be abused.

    When AQP is working the way it was meant to its a fantastic program that takes the sting out of a recurrent checkride, though I feel the pink slip for recurrent still needs to go altogether. In my humble opinion AQP, that is industry standardized by aircraft type should be implemented industry wide. Removing the customization aspect to it and holding AQP teaching staff strictly to national standards would revolutionize training throughout the US Air carrier industry.

  2. Kyle and Linda Reynolds says:

    Thanks for the comment Sorceress.

    In visiting with a retired major airline captain, these were his thoughts: “the majors training department and simulator training are automation dependent. I have heard from a reliable source that some crews could not get a non-precision approach on the ground safely without the autopilot. The use of the autopilot and autothrottles are encouraged because it makes the check ride run smoother. With regards to ground school, none of the class wants to ask questions because they’re either bored or confused, or acting that way because they want to avoid exposure. Questions always delay completion of the class. Ground schools often include review of the same material that was never fully understood before and seemingly trite.”

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