Journal of Aviation/Aerospace Education & Research


Wendy S. Beckman






Since the time instrument flight became common, ground training devices have been used to teach students basic instrument flight skills. The skills which students learn in these ground trainers are then transferred to an aircraft during later stages of training. There are three types of ground training devices that are recognized by the Federal Aviation Administration for flight training purposes. The first type of device is called a "simulator," which is a device “that exactly duplicates the performance and physical aspects of a specific airplane" (Butcher, 1996). Simulators are multi-million dollar machines, which are mounted on hydraulic legs and have full visual displays. These machines are so realistic that it is possible for a pilot to be trained to certificate completion in such a device, with no time in an actual aircraft. The use of these devices is typically limited to airline use, due to both their initial and operating costs.



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