New Sim Scenarios Tackle GA Loss of Control

D.C. area instructors create realistic training courses.

Loss of control accounts for more than 40 percent of fixed-wing GA fatal accidents, a sobering statistic that has prompted the National Transportation Safety Board to put this danger on its “Most Wanted” list of safety improvements. Now, a group of flight instructors in the Washington, D.C. area is tackling the problem as well through a series of training scenarios and webinars.

Sponsored by the Society of Aviation and Flight Educators (SAFE) and the Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA), a new pilot proficiency demonstration series features online seminars, hands-on demonstrations in Redbird flight simulators and related scenario coursework, all designed with the goal of preventing loss of control accidents.

The simulator scenarios were created with input from software maker Mindstar Aviation at Leesburg Executive Airport in Virginia, which has helped create realistic flight scenarios in the Redbird sims titled “Shanandoah Sortie.”

Two topics are being presented live each week beginning March 25 and lasting for four weeks: “Loss of Control & Stall/Spin Awareness” by instructor Rich Stowell on Wednesdays, and “Preparing for the Unexpected” by former SAFE chairman Doug Stewart on Thursdays. The courses run through April 16.

The sim scenario incorporates many of the concepts, tips and techniques shared in the webinars, presenting the pilot with the challenge of avoiding loss-of-control in flight in the virtual airspace that can translate to flying the real thing.

The simulation portion of the demonstration is available at eight locations in the greater Washington, D.C. area. AirspaceVR software has been installed in 17 Redbird simulators at locations from Frederick, Maryland, to Fredericksburg, Virginia, to form what the organizers are calling the National Capital Area Flight Simulation Network.

Each of these devices is equipped so that pilots can see, hear and talk with each other, as well as communicate on area ATC frequencies.

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