LOGAN – Utah State University flight students will explore the friendly skies in a new simulator starting spring semester. This week instructors finished installing a state of the art setup, designed to give students experience flying commercial jets.
“It simulates the Canadair Regional Jet, 700 series,” says chief flight instructor Sean Heiner.
USU has trained pilots since the 80s. Heiner says their previous flight simulator died, which was the perfect reason to seek out a top-notch replacement.
““It’s about a 70-seat passenger jet that it simulates,” says Heiner. “The students then are given the opportunity before completing the aviation program here of experiencing what they may be doing as a first airline career job.”
“This really does look intimidating, it’s intimidating to me,” says senior flight student Matt Jensen. “This is one of my first times in the cockpit.”
Students in the flight program spend the majority of their time in the classroom, learning the theory behind the buttons and switches. For many, the simulation is their first time seeing it all come together.
“Because the airlines train to such a high level of safety and performance, we are now able to introduce that at the collegiate levels,” says flight instructor Parry Winder. “So it wouldn't be such a huge surprise to them.”
The simulator has over 24,000 different airport scenarios from all over the world. It Operators can also change weather conditions to add to the experience. The view is an 180 degree screen, giving the driver the sights and sounds of being in an actual cockpit.
The new simulator is currently being housed at the Applied Science and Technology Education building, but will be moved to the Industrial Sciences building in May.