Immersive technology combined with reality replication allows for the most accurate aviation training. Through the use of advanced technology simulators and highly-trained instructors FlightSafety International prepares pilots for anything, making certain they know exactly what to do when it’s real.
Now, that training experience is going to be augmented with something even more real – actual flight data.
Through a partnership agreement with GE Digital FlightSafetyIncorporating actual flight data from corporate aviation quality assurance (CFOQA), programs into training modules. The C-FOQA data aggregated gives pilots the opportunity to learn from actual situations using targeted airports. This creates a reality-based instruction program that increases safety for pilots and empowers them with confidence.
“Actual flight data will allow us to tailor training to address safety threats before crews even experience them,” said Brad Thress, President and CEO of FlightSafety.
Preparing a Pilot
GE Digital, unlike any other partner in the business aviation industry will provide FlightSafety data-driven CFOQA insight. These insights will be used by FlightSafety to enhance training and ensure pilots can handle any potential risks before they meet them in the air. It follows with FlightSafety’s philosophy that proficiency alone isn’t the goal of training.
“We aim to train the most prepared pilots in the industry – proficient simply isn’t enough,” FlightSafety’s Executive Vice President of Safety & Regulatory Compliance Richard Meikle said. “Our partnership with GE Digital will provide evidence of threats to flight operations through the GE Digital, Aviation Software data to construct precisely targeted scenarios to enhance safety. That’s much more than just checking boxes to complete requirements. This is a huge differentiator.”
FlightSafety’s individualized instruction and comprehensive curriculum are well-known in the industry. It delivers insight-fueled direction from expert instructors that is tailored to the clients’ needs. This impressive library of data is enhanced by the C-FOQA data, which allows for unmatched training environments.
The Data Pool Is Vast
C-FOQA data are gathered from more that 300 operators who fly more than 1,200 aircraft. C-FOQA automatically processes flight data from more than 200 events and 2,000 measurements. This allows for monitoring everything, from simple aircraft limitations exceedances to advanced risk-based modeling.
After the aircraft-specific identification has been removed, the information is aggregated by GE Digital to analyze it for threat identifications and identifying precursors to incidents and accidents. FlightSafety then uses the data to focus training on real-world threats.
C-FOQA data can help to pinpoint runway excursion, loss control in flight (LOC–I), controlled flight into territory (CFIT), touchdown control, and wingtip protection. The program will focus heavily on unstable approaches, runway excursions, and LOC-I. As more pilots are exposed to the program’s benefits of the program, more will be encouraged to add their aircraft to C-FOQA, which further enhances the strength of the data.
“The data will come off the airplanes and process through GE Digital’s system, just the way it does today. But instead of the benefits being limited to participants in the program, we’ll be able to expand that and show the value of this partnership and the program,” Meikle said. “And encourage more people to get into the C-FOQA program so that we get a holistic view of how airplanes are operated. We can manage that training, and then we’ll see the results of that through performance improvements and the improving safety performance indicators.”
All of this information can be used to create scenarios-based training, which shifts the experience away from the theoretical towards the real. For example, the data may show that when a common wind condition experienced at a particular airport, most pilots come in faster than what is expected in “perfect” conditions, FlightSafety can train for the practical case. They can then create realistic scenarios that simulate how pilots fly the plane and train for real-world deviations.
Building out the Program
As the program expands, GE Digital plans to design and get approval for Area Navigation Visual Flight Procedures. Construction and approval of RFVPs have already begun. They are focusing on airports that pilots will encounter.
These procedures will address threats to the national airspace network. FlightSafety is focused upon airports where there is a need for a structured lateral or vertical path to the runway. This will mitigate risk. In one instance, at a major airport, the goal was to eliminate the need to fly an approach from the runway from the instrument landing systems (ILS). The other is to manage an unstable approach from high terrain and close-in areas. These approaches will be available to FlightSafety customers once they have been approved.
FlightSafety plans to develop at least two runway flight procedures per annum. The program will initially be focused on fixed-wing operations, but it is expected to expand to rotary wing.
This partnership allows crews to have real-world insight through FlightSafety’s training environment – further tailored for aircraft type, airport location and operation nature. This incorporation of data-driven, risk-based training raises the bar – and the resulting confidence and preparation mitigates risk and saves lives.