• RTA

Is Your Student Airplane Ready?



A Letter from Jeff Bolden, Co-Founder and Board Member


Right now, Red Tail Academy is focusing on just two of it programs. The purpose of these programs will be to make our students' Airplane Ready. By the time they finish our programs we want them to be able to get in the airplane and already be familiar with the flows, callouts, radio procedures, single-pilot resource management, threat and error management, and a host of other skills that they will master thru the use of a simulator. They will then transition to the airplane and repeat what was learned in the simulator to mastery in the airplane. One of the things I have learned from my close to 30 years of flying for airlines is the importance of good flight training programs and, more importantly, good equipment.


So what does this program look like? It starts with the tried and true King Private pilot ground school course. Along with that course beginning in March, the trainees will have access to an Immersive training device or ITD. True course simulations have developed a product currently in use at Universities such as Embry riddle that uses VR and other components to teach trainees the basics before getting to the aircraft. Embry Riddle claims it has cut the time for students to solo by over thirty percent. It's a complete 60 lesson program with pre-programmed lessons that track your progression throughout the course. Starting with straight flight in lesson one straight and level in lesson two, this self-paced course will take you through most of the flight maneuvers required in the ACS.




The final piece of equipment is, in my opinion, the one that will allow us to reshape the landscape and bring airline-quality flight training right here to the Kansas City Metro. We hope to acquire a Frasca Piper Archer Flight Training Device or FTD in the near future. This device will be the replica of a new piper archer coming off the assembly line and will be programmed to simulate the handling characteristics of that aircraft particular aircraft. In addition, it will have the actual Garmin avionics that will work the same as they do on the airplane. This type of realism will significantly reduce the time spent in the airplane and allow us to train exactly how we will fly. It will allow high-impact learning in a non-threatening environment at a significantly lower cost. A significant amount of time in this simulator goes toward the FAA time required to obtain many of the licenses our trainees will need in the future,


I believe the ability to train, teach, and experience the what-ifs and then teach to master the response to those scenarios is paramount in a training program and what this FTD will allow us to do. Through the use of an FTD along with a 141 program, the possibility of obtaining a private and instrument rating in 70 hours total isn't that far-fetched. Universities with this package of equipment do it all the time. We can too.


So where are we in all this? The king ground school courses are in place. In March the ITD from True course simulation will be made available through Aspire Aviation. In December, Aspire Aviation will also make a brand new loaded Piper Archer available to us and other educational and non-profits in the area at a significantly reduced cost.


So that just leaves one final piece of the puzzle, and that's the FTD from Frasca.

So, I'm hoping That we can make this happen through donations, fundraising activities, and sponsors.


Training students to fly,

Jeff Bolden


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