As you might imagine, becoming a professional pilot is one of the most challenging career paths to pursue. Many people dream of pursuing such a job, but not many people can make it come true. You will find that people in the aviation industry are almost always understaffed and there’s no shortage of opportunities for those who do qualify to pilot an airplane in the professional capacity.
Much of the difficulties revolving around pursuing a career as a professional pilot has to do with training. It goes without saying that learning to fly a plane isn’t like learning how to drive a car. Earning your wings is way tougher compared to securing a professional driver’s license.
Fortunately, there are flying schools that offer education and training for people who aspire to become professional pilots. Such schools can help you join the ranks of professionals engaged in an extremely challenging and demanding industry — aviation! While the cost of going to such a school is high (to say the least), they’ve managed to lower training expenses significantly through the innovative use of flight simulators.
Flight simulators — What’s that?
As the name implies, a flight simulator is a system designed to mimic the controls of an aircraft in flight through computer technology. This is done to train aspiring pilots without the cost and inherent risks of flying a real plane.
Flight simulators vary in size and complexity, but perhaps the most common are software applications that work much like video games and can be operated from an ordinary computer (desktop or laptop).
What to expect when training in a flight simulator?
Of course, to be effective, flight simulators must offer an experience that is as close to the real thing as possible. After all, the whole point of these simulators is to provide student pilots with the necessary knowledge and skills for flying an aircraft without the dangers.
Now flight simulators will never be an alternative to learning to fly a real airplane. At the very least, flight simulators can be a useful tool for familiarising students with the controls of an aircraft before they get to sit behind the controls of the real thing. This not only lowers training expenses but also helps to increase the margin for safety as students would already possess some knowledge and experience before training on a real aircraft.
It is no wonder then that reputable flying schools like the Australian Aerobatic Academy are making good use of flight simulators to train students. Most systems allow you to select different types of aircraft to train with (digitally) as well as set different weather conditions and destinations.
Considering its’ significance, developers of modern flight simulators go through great lengths to provide a training experience that is as realistic as possible. The graphics are produced from images taken from a real aircraft, and the effects of real-world physics are faithfully re-created. This includes different weather effects, lighting conditions, and realistic aircraft maneuvers.
Perhaps the best thing about flight simulators is that it gives people a good idea of what it’s like flying an aircraft even before stepping into a flying school. Commercially-available software like “Microsoft Flight Simulator” is almost comparable in quality to high-end flight simulators. If anything else, these simulators offer a much-needed perspective of what it takes to learn how to fly an aircraft and whether it’s genuinely the career path that you would like to pursue.