April 2, 2011
By Ian J. Twombly
Since the company’s inception, Redbird Flight Simulations has striven to provide innovative simulator solutions to the lower end of general aviation. Now the company is taking the technology to the next level by integrating full training scenarios in partnership with King Schools.
One of the biggest barriers to effective simulator usage is knowing how to use the simulator in the training environment. Simply turning it on and telling a student to go fly isn’t enough. Recognizing this, Redbird and King Schools announced Guided Independent Flight Training, or GIFT.
GIFT melds a King Schools training course with Redbird’s simulator to allow individuals to practice on their own or under the guidance of an instructor.
Each student receives a card with a personal chip in it that he or she then plugs into the simulator. He or she chooses a lesson to study, at which point the King Schools training module is shown on the screen. Then the student flies the practice in the same exact scenario that was presented on the video, at which point the software grades his or her performance.
The first GIFT programs are launching in May exclusively at Cessna Pilot Centers. A nationwide rollout is expected six months later.
AOPA Pilot and Flight Training Editor Ian J. Twombly joined AOPA in 2003 and is an instrument flight instructor.
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