While stepping in the cockpit of a plane and flying it may be thrilling, most pilots need extensive training before they ever get to fly solo. In early aviation, flight training was a lot more dangerous, as mistakes and errors while in the skies often led to catastrophic results. But it all changed in 1927, when the first practical flight simulator, the Link Trainer was invented by pilot and flight instructor Ed Link.
This simulator emulated the inside of a cockpit complete with controls and allowed those pilots who used it to train a number of things without risking injury or death. Since then flight simulation technologies have evolved enormously, allowing incredibly realistic training environments for pretty much every aircraft and flying situation imaginable. Most flight training schools in Australia, including Learn to Fly, use flight simulation tools, and for good reason!
Safest Way to Learn
While you may be pretty safe when flying with one of our certified flight instructors, it always helps to get some no-risk training before you fly to the skies. Flight simulators allow you to master controls, experiment with flight methods, practice emergency measures and learn by making mistakes. Learning how to navigate situations before they actually happen when you’re in the air can help make you better prepared to handle them.
Improve Navigation Skills
Simulators allow you to use real-life locations and journeys to prepare ahead of time. If you have your first solo cross-country flight coming up, a flight simulator may allow you to recreate the route and practice flying it. The simulator will include real-life scenarios such as weather, rivers and lakes, accurate roads, airports and runways to give you real-life experience before your actual flight. Student pilots can enhance both their VFR and IFR navigation skills.
Master Flying in All Kinds of Weather
The more experience you have flying in different kinds of weather conditions, the better a pilot you will be. Australia’s weather can be very volatile, with clear blue skies one second and stormy, rainy weather the next. A simulator may not only be able to replicate the exact weather conditions for you to train in but may also offer you an alternative to continue training when weather conditions do not allow you to take to the real skies.
Maintain Proficiency and Save Money
Fuel costs, safety risks and maintenance requirements often prevent people from practising in their planes as much as they should. The more flying practice you get, the faster you will get your licence and the more skilled a pilot you can become. Regular training in both routine and rarely-used skills gives you more confidence over your aircraft and allows you to make better decisions in the air. Flight simulators allow you to train in every aspect of flying to learn and practice skills and maintain proficiency in skills, at a fraction of the cost of flying a real aircraft.
Practice Radio Communication
A major part of learning how to fly involves learning how to speak radio talk or ATC (Air Traffic Control) communication. ATC communication allows you to interact with both your co-pilot and ground control. Simulators allow you to safely practice your radio talk and master it to help you communicate better when you’re actually in the air.
At Learn to Fly, all of our flight training courses involve simulation training, allowing students to become familiar with the controls and aircraft behaviour patterns, procedures and systems of the aircraft they choose whilst still on the ground. We have a range of simulators including full cockpit synthetic trainers like the Alsim AL42, replicating the cockpit of our Diamond DA42 twin-engine aircraft. Get a fully immersive experience and get the chance to hone your skills in highly realistic environments, with state-of-the-art simulation training at Learn To Fly.