Just before the fall semester began, Fox Valley Technical College completed the 8,000-square-foot addition to its SJ Spanbauer Center on the east side of Wittman Regional Airport. Two of its rooms were designed specifically for the full-motion Redbird Flight Simulation FMX FAA-approved Advanced Aviation Training Devices.
To students and instructors alike they are the “Redbirds” or just the “sims.” Regardless, said Jared Huss, lead flight instructor, they are taking FVTC’s pilot training programs to the next level. The sims duplicate the Cessna 172 and twin-engine Beech Duchess training aircraft cockpits and the wrap around visual system and three-axis motion work through the pilots’ eyes and middle ears to accurately and economically recreate flight.
Ultimately, the simulators will serve every pilot training course, Huss said, starting with instrument flight training. They will service the others, like the private pilot course, in semester steps. The Redbirds can provide up to 50 hours of training in the 250-program, and their educational benefits far out number their substantial economic efficiency.