Cessna has joined with King Schools and Redbird Flight Simulations to develop a new pilot training program that couples guided video instruction and demonstrations with hands-on simulator work. Designed to give students a new way of practicing flight maneuvers, the program, called Guided Independent Flight Training (GIFT), kicks off in May and is exclusive to Cessna Pilot Centers using Redbird simulators. Students choose the topic in the sim, watch the Kings demonstrate the maneuver in flight on video, and then immediately practice the maneuver in the simulator. The student then receives feedback, and progress is recorded on a special USB-enabled storage card.
"This is another way we are working to lower the time and cost of flight training while exploiting technology to continue to improve the quality of training through our network," said Julie Filucci, Cessna Pilot Centers manager. Students choose from a list of maneuvers and are able to fly them as many times as they wish, allowing them to hone their aircraft handling skills at their own pace in the low-cost environment of a simulator, without an instructor present. All of the maneuvers required for private pilot training will be available to students, including steep turns, traffic pattern entry and soft-field takeoffs and landings, according to Cessna.