Pilots have been accustomed for years to doing the bulk of their flight training on simulators. Now they can also get tuition in another key area of their skills - the pre-flight walkround - without leaving the comfort of the ground training school.

Aircraft Visit is an interactive multimedia system developed by Toulouse-based i3M (Hall 5A, F8) to coach flightcrew in walkround disciplines and to help maintenance staff familiarise themselves with their areas of responsibility around the aircraft.


Typically supplied on CD-ROM and capable of running on standard PCs and laptops, Aircraft Visit allows flightcrew trainees to virtually move around a digital image of the parked aircraft, rehearsing the pre-flight check as they go. At each station the pilot is prompted to work through a checklist and is told what to look out for in the way of possible defects.

Aircraft Visit for maintenance staff divides the aircraft under study into about a dozen "worlds" - landing gear, cargo hold, avionics bay, for example - and allows the trainee to locate particular subsystems and major components and familiarise himself with their appearance and position on the airframe.

Each world typically contains several tens of subsystems/components, with a current total of more than 1,000 per aircraft.


Instructors using Aircraft Visit can select particular subsystems and add prompts of their own to supplement the standard offering. They can also insert links to deeper information such as engineering drawings and specifications.

The system has been selected by Airbus as part of its training systems package and has so far been fully developed for the A340-500 and -600 and A320. A version for the A380 is under study, and stereoscopic imagery is in development and can be viewed here on the i3M stand.

Further ahead lies a version capable of interacting with simulators. "We see this supporting just-in-time training and planning in the event of an aircraft deficiency being reported back to base ahead of landing," says i3M's Jean-Marc Lecoq.

Source: Flight Daily News