Transfer of training from a Full-Flight Simulator vs. a high level flight training device with a dynamic seat
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Transfer of training from a Full-Flight Simulator vs. a high level flight training device with a dynamic seat

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  • English

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    • NTL Classification:
      NTL-AVIATION-AVIATION ; NTL-AVIATION-Aviation Human Factors ; NTL-AVIATION-Aviation Planning and Policy ; NTL-SAFETY AND SECURITY-Human Factors ;
    • Abstract:
      This paper summarizes the most recent study conducted by the Federal Administration Administration/Volpe Center Flight Simulator Fidelity Requirements Program. For many smaller airlines, access to qualified simulators is limited due to the availability of simulators for certain airplanes and the costs of equipment acquisition, leasing, personnel travel, operation, and maintenance. The FAA/Volpe Center Flight Simulator Fidelity Requirements Program has endeavored to address this situation for more than a decade, first examining the most costly aspects of flight simulation in subject-matter-expert workshops and then conducting a series of empirical investigations of the effect of simulator hexapod-platform motion on training effectiveness. This paper is the sequel to our 2007 AIAA Modeling-and-Simulation-Technologies Conference paper. In the earlier paper, we provided the scientific, technical, and operational background behind innovative solutions to provide motion cues in the simulator during airline-pilot training. We summarized three previous studies by the FAA/Volpe Center investigating the effect of hexapod-platform motion cues on training and evaluation of airline pilots in Full Flight Simulators (FFS). This research did not find operationally relevant differences in performance or behavior of pilots tested in the FFS with motion after having been trained in the same FFS with the motion system turned on or off – despite selection of maneuvers that require motion cues, at least theoretically. It made no difference whether the FFS represented a small turboprop “power house” or a sluggish four-engine jumbo jet, or whether the training in question was initial or recurrent training. Our 2007 paper also described a newly developed simulator, the Full-Flight Trainer FFT-XTM (FFT), able to simulate motion without a hexapod-motion platform. The paper concluded by reporting a proof-of-concept study culminating in the successful type rating of six pilots on a twin-engine turboprop after training in the FFT only. The present paper reports the results of our successor study, comparing the training effectiveness of the FFT, the “motion-cueing simulator without a motion base,” with its FFS equivalent. Not only does this study differ from the earlier studies by comparing FFS motion with an alternative method of motion cueing, but also by including pilots with minimal prior flight experience of fewer than 500 hours. Pilots were divided into two groups to be trained either in the FFS or the FFT on maneuvers determined, from the literature and our previous studies, to be most likely to require platform-motion cues, namely, engine-failures on takeoff and hand-flown engine-out landings with severe weather. Both groups were then tested in the same maneuvers in the FFS with the full-motion platform as a stand-in for the airplane. Results are presented on pilot control-input behavior and flight precision recorded from the simulator. Pilot and instructor opinions regarding the simulator and/or pilot behavior and performance, both after training and after testing, are also reported.
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