Journal of Aviation/Aerospace Education & Research


Jon McDermott






The need to develop collegiate aviation simulation activities that mirror corporate and commercial operating practices, particularly those regulated by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) under Part 135 of Title 14 of the Code of Federal Regulations is critical for graduates to succeed in professional pilot careers in the future. New simulation technology, in particular the Personal Computer-Based Aircraft Training Devices (PCATDs) and it's extensive database of diverse aircraft and geographic features, is becoming an economical substitute to traditional simulation in many collegiate aviation education programs. In fact, research by the University of Illinois (Taylor, et al., 2003) substantiated the value of utilizing a PCATD in preparing pilots for an instrument proficiency check. With the distribution of AC 61 -126 (U. S. Department of Transportation, 1997), the FAA recognized the value of PCATD simulations for instrument flight training, but this new technology is more then a simple duplication of flight training device-based aviation simulation efforts. It offers collegiate aviation educators opportunities to realistically duplicate Part 135 operating practices that students need to learn before pursuing employment within this industry. As director of a cost conscious aviation education program at Bowling Green State University, I conducted an examination of the effectiveness of utilizing a PCATD for teaching high performance, instrument flight skills to senior students pursuing Part 135 employment. As this project progressed, I noted the enthusiasm students had for this PCATD simulation activity. The intent of this paper is to advocate the inclusion of Part 135 simulation activities in collegiate aviation education processes.



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