There is a wide spectrum involved when you talk about pilots. And, as every doctor is not the same, neither is every pilot the same. Taking the comparison a step further, different doctors need different training, and different pilots need different training!
“There is one thing,” Dale Wolcott, President of TURBINE TRAINING in Manhattan, Kansas, pointed out, “that has become pretty standard where all pilots are concerned - virtually all of them are doing at least some of their training with the aid of a simulator.”
Flight Simulators are, it seems, both a thing of the future and of the present! And, where Flight Simulators are concerned it is obvious that, contrary to the old adage, you can teach an old dog new tricks! Sen. John McCain recently tweeted, “Tested out flight simulators that 500 pilots use to train each year at CAE Aviation Academy Phoenix in Mesa, Arizona.” At this point in time, Sen. McCain is about as “old school” as you can get!
On the other hand, one of the more famous “new school” pilots is singer Josh Groban! Meeting some pilots at one of his concerts, Groban said that they approached him and asked if he would like to go over to the airport where they trained and try out there Flight Simulators. He accepted the offer and, before long, he was attending his own Flight Training classes!
“One would think,” Jason Wolcott, TURBINE TRAINING’S Vice-President, offered, “that NASA would be looking for the same type of steely nerved test pilots that ushered the Space Program into existence. But,” he continued with a smile in his voice, “apparently that is no longer the case!”
What Jason was alluding to is the fact that during the World Science Festival recently held in New York City, it was discussed that the “astronaut culture” has changed over the years, and more than just nerves of steel are necessary in today’s flights. In fact, one of the major criteria for NASA’s pilots of the future is to be able to thrive in the extended flight scenarios that are becoming more and more necessary.