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High Fidelity Flight Training Devices for Training Ab Initio Pilots
Proceedings of the Interservice/Industry Training, Simulation, and Education Conference (2007)
  • Nickolas Macchiarella, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University
  • Shawn Doherty, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University - Daytona Beach
 An experimental flight training program at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University (ERAU) investigated the degree to which flight simulation could be used in a training curricula for ab initio pilots. The experimental group earned an FAA private pilot's certificate using a curriculum largely comprised of simulated flight in flight training devices (FTD); the control group trained exclusively in airplanes. What sets this research apart from prior transfer of training (ToT) work is the high level of simulator usage, (60% FTD-based flight) and the FAA's approval for certifying pilots with this methodology. Researchers hypothesized that optimizing the application of specifically designed FTDs will afford the simulation related training benefits typically associated with more costly "graduate level" flight training (e.g., the FAA's Advanced Qualification Program [AQP] and military advanced aircraft type ratings) to ab initio flight training for a relatively low cost. At the core of this research investigation was a classic transfer of training (ToT) study examining 34 flight tasks. Transfer can be measured using the transfer effectiveness ratio (TER) equation. The results from the amount of transfer from the FTD to actual aircraft flight suggested implications for both adjustments to the flight training curricula and for specific modifications to the FTD as applied in an ab-initio training program. More specifically, these results provided an indication that added visual fidelity, in terms of graphical 3D artwork, was necessary in the virtual environment for particular ground reference maneuver tasks. A low fidelity visual scene at low level flight altitudes provided poor cues for pilots training for ground reference maneuvers. Additionally, the level of traffic in the scenario and degree of complexity in simulated airspace affected transfer to the real world flights.--From publisher's website
  • Flight training devices,
  • ab initio pilots,
  • flight simulation
Publication Date
Citation Information
Nickolas Macchiarella and Shawn Doherty. "High Fidelity Flight Training Devices for Training Ab Initio Pilots" Proceedings of the Interservice/Industry Training, Simulation, and Education Conference (2007)
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