CAE Tackling the Pilot Shortage through Technology

A suite of tools called CAE Rise is speeding pilot training by providing standardized real-time feedback.

CAE Rise
CAE's Rise analytics tools are helping airlines better standardize pilot training.Courtesy CAE

In an effort aimed at turning out better pilots more quickly, Canadian flight training provider CAE has rolled out a data-driven training system called Rise that seeks to objectively assess airline pilot performance using real-time feedback during training sessions.

The Rise acronym stands for "real-time insights and standardized evaluations." The system, explains CAE, leverages big data analytics to reduce subjectivity in pilot assessment, allowing instructors to focus more closely on teaching rather than evaluating performance during initial and recurrent training.

"It can be difficult for instructors to provide real-time feedback during a training session in the simulator," explained Terry Constantakis, CAE's director of civil aviation training systems. "With Rise, the analytics tools can tell a pilot, for example, that his landing was good but he didn't apply the brakes quickly enough. That's something an instructor in the sim might not even notice during training."

Rise monitors everything the flight crew is doing throughout a given training session to objectively assess performance in real time. Rise's Electronic Training Suite includes lesson plans, instructor grading and records that can be reviewed on an iPad. Lesson plans, says CAE, are created in conjunction with airlines and consist of a series of training tasks to be performed in each training session. "Grading capabilities allow instructors to assess task performance as well as pilot competencies," CAE says. At the end of each session, instructors and pilots must sign off electronically. Results are securely stored as electronic records.

So far, CAE Rise has been adopted by airlines in Asia, with AirAsia signing a five-year training agreement for its long-haul pilots flying for affiliate airline AirAsia X on the Airbus A330. CAE is providing initial training for the airline’s pilots and will begin recurrent training at its training center in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, starting in July.

The simulator maker is pitching the Rise concept to U.S. airlines and the military as a way to ensure standard operating procedures are always being followed. An SOP Management Tool built into Rise can be configured in collaboration with customers, enabling instructors to more easily identify deviations and reinforce operator SOP specifics.

Utilizing dashboards built into the Rise iPad app, data analytics can be used to summarize performance trends for comparison within an operator’s pilot/instructor pool and across the industry. The dashboards, CAE says, allow potential proficiency gaps to be identified and addressed more rapidly, leading to better training that can progress more quickly.