Redbird Flight Simulations is offering student pilots a GIFT: Guided Independent Flight Training is the company’s latest advancement in simulator-centric training.
Coming up with creative and productive ways to use a simulator has always been a challenge for pilots and flight instructors. Instrument training is fairly straightforward, but beginning students often are at a loss with how to use the devices.
Redbird’s Josh Harnagel said the system isn't meant to replace traditional training. “The goal is not to replace instructors, it's to supplement instruction.”
AOPA had a chance to preview the software in Aviation Adventures’ Manassas, Virginia-based FMX and found it to be engaging and instructive.
Redbird engineers have cleverly designed the lesson feedback to promote more seat time. Each lesson is scored in the program and instantly uploaded to the student's profile in the cloud. Assuming they don’t crash, students generally get a passing score. But it’s very difficult to get a perfect score, and that keeps students coming back for more.
GIFT covers virtually all the private pilot maneuvers, and Harnagel said future courses are planned for instrument training as well. Customers will be able to purchase the course online, or through their flight school. Included in the kit is a USB flash drive that will enable the user to gain access to any FMX with proper installed equipment, which Harnagel says is the vast majority of the fleet. Students will need only an Internet-connected device to drive the simulator.