Scenario planning through the use of flight simulators

When pilots fly, they could be exposed to environment and situations beyond their control that could test their knowledge and skills to the limit. This is where their experience could play a part in dealing with adverse situations. Whilst experience is necessary what is more important is the type of training that a pilot goes through, throught his career.

In the old days all training were conducted in the actual aircraft. As such the type of training that pilots went through was limited due to safety concern and aircraft limitations. With technological advancement pilots training could now be conducted in flight “simulators.” A simulator is a training device, a replica of the airplane cockpit that simulates the experience of flying an aircraft. It has a realistic motion, sound as well as visual to display the outside world to pilots. It is so realistic, that once inside the simulator pilots will easily be immersed in the realm of a flight.

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Outside view of a flight simulator

In the simulator, the flight instructor will be able to simulate all types of malfunctions that one could possibly think of. A typical pilot’s training is a flight from point A to point B, subjecting him to various malfunctions and adverse environmental conditions enroute. In a way, the training is similar to training in scenario planning in the corporate world where executives generate strategic plans to cope with future changes in the business world.

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Flight Instructor’s Station

What the simulator training does is to create an experience data base for the various scenarios that pilots could use when faced with actual conditions. That is why the more experienced he is, the more data and scenarios he will have in his “experience file.”

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A typical training session – approach and landing

Lessons learned from the strict pilots discipline is the type of training that they have to go through before they could take charge of the multi million dollar airplane. A pilot is considered as the CEO and he should be able to lead and react to the changes to the environment and to make decisions affecting the flight. Perhaps we should do this too in the corporate world where executives are subject to similar simulated training before they could be at the helm of the corporation.

Written by Azharuddin Osman

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