You already know this—when a person learns to fly, it changes who they are and how they feel about themselves forever.
That’s why we were so pleased recently to stop by the Redbird Skyport in San Marcos, TX to congratulate the students from Vaughn College of Aeronautics and Technology in Flushing, NY on passing their ground school and starting their flight training.
These students are engaged in an accelerated training program for their Private Pilot certificates at the Skyport flight training laboratory. Vaughn College and the Redbird Skyport are working together to determine the most effective way to use simulators in Private Pilot certification. The goal is to turn out a pilot who is not only physically proficient, but is a good risk manager and truly ready to be pilot in command.
The accelerated program at the Skyport flight training laboratory uses the latest computer-based software from , developed by King Schools. Instructors will introduce flight maneuvers in a full-motion simulator, and then have the students practice what they have learned in the actual airplane. The folks at Skyport aren’t worried about how much or little credit the FAA will give for the simulator time – they’re just interested in whatever provides the most thorough, cost-effective training. (Very few pilots finish their Private Pilot training in the FAA minimum time, anyway. The average flight time is about 73 hours.)
Skyport will also be testing the Redbird Parrot program (interactive ATC) on the Vaughn students, as well as their GIFT program (Guided Independent Flight Instruction, which provides video instruction from us in the simulator before and after they practice maneuvers), to see what changes should be made to these programs in order to provide the maximum help to a student.
And they’ll also be testing the results from a fun, competitive cross-wind simulator
Experimentation over a period of time, with these Vaughn students and others who will follow in their footsteps, will establish the best ratio and sequence of simulator time to airplane flight time. That’s why Redbird calls the Skyport a flight training laboratory. And the good news is that Skyport will publish its results and conclusions, so every flight school in the country can benefit from what they learn.
You might be asking, are these Vaughn College students hand-picked and special? They’re special only in the sense that everyone in love with aviation is special – they are excited, enthusiastic, and motivated.
So congratulations to these ground-breaking, soon-to-be-pilot, students from Vaughn!