The main objective of a pilot is to transport Pax [travel industry slang for passenger(s)] and cargo from point A to point B in safe and efficient manner. It is important that they are comfortable and skilled with airplane control necessary to ensure a safe completion of their mission.
Tropic Air has committed to this objective by investing in the future safety of their passengers; cargo and pilots and purchasing a state of the art, full motion “Redbird” Cessna Flight Simulator. The innovative Cessna Grand Caravan AATD (208B) Advanced Aircraft Training Device is the first of its kind in the area and will provide pilots with ongoing training beyond compare.
The AATD was a $500,000 investment with a high yield, not only will it be invaluable for training, it will be cost effective for Tropic Air. Using a flight simulator is also great for the environment – keeping it green in Belize. The full motion flight simulator was a joint effort between Tropic air pilots, IT department and and Redbird Fight Simulations in Austin Texas. It has full realistic motion with a 220 degrees visual display and is approved by the FAA (Federal Aviation Administration) and Belize Department of Civil Aviation.
In addition to the obvious safety reasons, the benefits of flight simulator training at Tropic Air will be an unparalleled opportunity for pilots. Tropic recognizes the importance of moving to the next level in keeping their flight crews current and ready to work in all conditions. A pilot cannot safely and cost effectively practice an engine fire in a regular plane. With the simulator he or she can do it as many times as they want to enhance their action and reaction abilities should the situation ever arise. Hopefully it won’t but if it does they will be more prepared for it.
Tropic Air Pilots will get hands on experience year round in adverse weather conditions, system failures and emergency procedures. Specialized flight training on how to handle emergencies by doing the actual procedures, will provide them the necessary practice and knowledge of how to overcome hazardous situations should one arise.
Realistic flight simulation can put a pilot in the mindset and of feeling of actually being in an aircraft. The simulator’s temperature and humidity are controlled, making a more comfortable and focused learning environment. There is also a deeper training component to flight simulation sessions. Pilots will feel the move while gaining a better understanding of the mechanics of the motion at the same time – very Luke Skywalker.
New and already licensed pilots that are receiving consistent training will become more familiar on how and why the controls work and be infinitely more in control of an airplane in any given situation. Instructors can pause the simulator at any time to clarify something, or hold an entry to provide a more detailed explanation relating the situation at hand. It allows them to better evaluate and be able to pinpoint what areas the pilot needs to apply additional focus.
Using flight a simulator also gives pilots better airport and country familiarization, they will get to know the names of rivers, lakes and towns that may not be published on sectional charts. Practicing cross country flights provides Tropic pilots with a superior knowledge of terrain features of Belize, Mexico, Guatemala and Honduras, all places that Tropic Air flies.
Tropic Air is commended for its leadership innovation and commitment to aircraft safety.
Tropic Air is dedicated to the highest quality of customer service, delivered with a sense of warmth, friendliness, individual pride, and company spirit. Safety, security and consistent delivery of the basics are the foundation of everything they do.
Tropic Air operates a fleet of 11 aircraft (including the latest generation, G1000 “glass cockpit”, air conditioned Cessna Caravans) to 15 destinations in Belize, Guatemala, Honduras & Mexico and employs over 250.
In a personal note, when John Grief President of Tropic Air encouraged me to take a test drive of the new machine under the guidance of safety manager Raul Alamilla, I did not hesitate on the opportunity. After all my research, I was ready to get my dyslexic self into the seat and give it my best shot. The experience of flying over Dangriga surpassed all my expectations and is one I will not forget. Having flown in a Tropic Cessna copilot seat before, I can honestly say, the simulator experience was very realistic. I see first hand how the simulator will advance Tropic Air in pilot training, improve procedures and flight safety methods.
The smiles and sounds in the following video will give you a good idea of just how realistic the Redbird Simulator is.
Fun flight fact: The world’s very first flight simulator was built in 1929 built by a man named Edwin Link.
Edwin Albert Link was born in 1904 in Huntington, Indiana. From an early age he developed a love for flight and aircraft, yet his parents – his father built player pianos and organs – could not afford to have him trained as a pilot. So Link improvised, and built himself an airplane. On the ground.
Using scavenged organ and piano parts from his father’s small factory, in 1929 Link had completed the “Link Trainer”, a small, chubby aircraft attached to a base with an engine inside. It was the world’s first true flight simulator, a contraption that presented the pilot with realistic-looking instrumentation that, when activated, would be recreated by the small plane. Pull up and, using cannibalized organ bellows, the plane would pull up, bank, etc. Excerpt from kotaku.com
Excerpt above is from Meet the worlds first flight simulator on kokatu.com.
In addition to the obvious safety reasons, the benefits of flight simulator training at Tropic Air will be an unparalleled opportunity for pilots.