Flight instruction advances at ECSU

Dr. Kuldeep Rawat
January 28, 2015

flight-instruction-advanc ECSU's Aviation Science program is advancing its flight training capability. Recently, faculty selected an advanced training device-- the Redbird MCX. It has a dual set of pilot controls, which allows the flight instructor and a student to control the unit at the same time. Dr. Kuldeep Rawat, Technology Department chairperson and director of the Aviation Program, said this dual control unit is significant because it allows flight instructors to demonstrate various flight maneuvers while students can easily observe from a nearby seat. Previous full-motion flight training device only allowed one person seated in the unit at a time. "We had a strategic need for a sophisticated trainer, offering an exceptional level of realism to the pilot training environment." The flight simulator was ordered as a special configuration to match the university's two Cessna planes, Air Viking I and Air Viking II. The advanced features of the Redbird MCX include fully dual-control simulator, wrap-around visuals, a fully enclosed cockpit, quick-change configurations, scenario-based training compatibility and an electric full-motion platform. The addition of this flight simulator is significant to our restructured flight education curriculum. Students can now earn sufficient training hours on the training device that can be counted towards their overall flight training hours. Maximizing training on flight simulator reduces both pilot training times and costs. "Our focus is safe, high-quality training, at an affordable cost to our students," said Rawat. The experience of flight is enhanced by the wrap-around visual references, stunning instrument displays and the full-motion performance of the Redbird MCX. Updated worldwide software database for airports and weather conditions allows student to fly into any airport in the world under any weather condition. Practicing in a state-of-art simulator helps student pilots develop a sense of confidence based on training received under realistic conditions in the Redbird MCX. It provides real-world situation experiences as students learn to operate in the pilot/copilot environment most common in the airline industry. Chief Flight Instructor, Paul Davis, and ECSU student pilot, Aaron Beecham, conducted simulated flight tests on the MCX. Beecham, who has logged training flights in the ECSU's Air Viking aircraft and now in the Redbird MCX, was impressed with the experience and the value of learning more complex maneuvers in the simulator before the actual training flight. "Dual control capabilities as well as optional features of the simulator can be tailored to specific training objectives.Flight students can be presented with a variety of scenarios, including emergency situations, as represented by an aircraft," said Davis. The full-motion advanced aviation training device simulates the movement of an airplane. As with modern aircraft, the instrumentation panel is enclosed by a glass canopy. This design simplifies operation and navigation and helps students to focus on the most pertinent information. The flight instructor or co-pilot seat is equipped with enhanced computer capabilities to offer a wide range of flight scenarios. Rawat added that two Aviation Science students worked along with a Redbird engineer to assemble and install the flight training device so the students could gain additional skills. "We continue looking for ways to best prepare students majoring in aviation science for rewarding careers. Whether it is additional equipment or curriculum improvements, we are working to make sure our bachelor of science degree program well prepares students for the challenges ahead," Rawat said.