Arizona State University’s Polytechnic School has integrated PilotEdge communications into its simulator training for two advanced flight courses, the university announced April 13.
PilotEdge provides controller staffing for compatible Internet-connected simulators so that pilots can practice real-world communications and operating within the National Airspace System. Students at Arizona State will communicate with PilotEdge controllers while flying scenarios in the Elite Simulation Solutions King Air simulator.
The courses use the Elite simulator for airline crew training. PilotEdge adds a dimension to the training, according to PilotEdge CEO Keith Smith. While training to work as a crew, students also have to work with ATC in the background.
“Traditionally when you do CRM [crew resource management] training, it’s done in a vacuum,” he explained: Pilots have time to run through checklists and flows without the real-world interruptions of controllers. Using PilotEdge, they must learn to deal with the added pressure of communicating with ATC.
The company worked with Arizona State to develop training scenarios within its coverage area on the West Coast, which includes 40 towered airports and IFR coverage for another 150 nontowered airports, Smith said. The scenarios focus on interesting departure procedures and arrivals with short en route segments to give pilots experience with the higher-workload periods of flight, he added.
ASU said PilotEdge allows its students to practice skills including picking up IFR clearances, taxiing at complex airports, flying instrument approaches, coordinating multiple practice approaches, and flying point-to-point. Students communicate with PilotEdge controllers, who are a mix of ATC students, current and retired controllers, and trained enthusiasts, according to Smith.