In what CAE says is the first approval of its kind, the company has received US Federal Aviation Administration approval for an on-line, virtual ground school for the Gulfstream G550 as an alternative to instructor-led ground school.
"It's going to be more efficient for some candidates and more efficient from a cost standpoint for operators," says Glenn Frederick, CAE's executive vice president, Americas region, for civil simulation products, training and services, says of the "Simfinity" virtual ground school. "It can take 50% off the current [training] footprint from a time standpoint."
Frederick says recurrency training typically takes four to five days, with the first two days dedicated to ground school. "If a customer would typically come [to recurrency training] on Sunday night for a Monday morning start, they could delay two days and continue flying the line, arriving on Tuesday night instead," he adds.
With the remote training, which CAE says is the same cost to operators as instructor-led, pilots enrol in the program as many as 60 days in advance of their simulator training and take the 16-hour course online. The company monitors the progress of the online training, and once the pilot arrives for simulator training, he or she takes part in a one-hour briefing and must pass a ground school validation test to proceed to simulator training. The training materials will be available online to the pilots throughout the year.
The online ground school for the G550 is the first in what will likely be a long string of similar applications. "We're working with all other major manufactures," says Frederick. "The G550 is the launch program, but in terms of interest, it's very widespread."