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Full Flight Simulator Motion Is Useless


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On 2/15/2021 at 11:58 AM, Don Hudson said:

I agree - it's all illusory, until it can topple one's gyros, (re "sick- bag" remark!) like real-life.

;) (but in fairness, 'twas the "discernable transfer benefit" of sim motion during training, not the real physiological effects that is called into question).

I'd think any pilot who's trained in a sim marvels at the apparent fidelity. Care has to be taken not to lull into blind trust that aircraft behavior will always be reflected. e.g. I remember a paper discussing upset training after AF447 which cautioned that the aerodynamics around the stall are too chaotic to substantively code and simulate - I recall it said that more than 1-2 degrees of sideslip was pretty much guesswork from a simulation programming POV (wish I could find a link). I've had to pursue a couple of fidelity issues myself, that could compromise pilot training, tho' not primarily motion-related.

This opens up a real vulnerability when instructors get creative (yeah, guilty :018:), as the simulation has only been verified for the specific maneuvers and procedures in the FOM. It's quite surprising how inaccurate sims can be even a little outside that envelope.

Re: "Most significantly, despite the fact that instructors have an important role to play in teaching skills such as Crew Resource Management, studies of simulator fidelity have ignored the role of the instructor." - Amen!

Most instructors try to be conscientious, with a professional attitude, but careering through a few airlines, the reality is that qualification and aptitude don't always govern who gets the job. But maybe that's another thread :whistling:

Cheers, IFG :b: 

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IFG, thanks for your response - my comment was a moderate-"t.i.c." - I don't disagree with your views, and based upon experience over the 35 years of sim rides, it was an impressive feat to train entirely in a Level D simulator and then go directly to line-indoc operations, (for others, flying the line under supervision of a Line Indoctrination Training Captain, eliminating the requirement for circuits & bumps in the actual aircraft). The difference between the real aircraft & the sim was still apparent but the transfer of learning for experienced pilots was sufficient to be comfortable.

The role of a good instructor cannot be over-emphasized. Like most here I have experienced both, and it is the instructor that makes or breaks the entire transition to a new aircraft, not the technology. So, re your observation, "This opens up a real vulnerability when instructors get creative (yeah, guilty :018:), as the simulation has only been verified for the specific maneuvers and procedures in the FOM. It's quite surprising how inaccurate sims can be even a little outside that envelope.",  yes, precisely! In fact there still isn't any "stall data" and the replication of AF447, (did a few in the sim shortly after the accident), was just that - an educated guess.

In recurrent training, I think the motion system is at it's best during engine-failures on takeoff. The motion's lateral 'g' acceleration is far better training in recognizing the failure and getting the trim in after lift-off than fixed-base "interpreting" the compass-swing toward the dead engine! ?

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Hi, Don - Never had the chance to train all-in-the-sim. I still remember my first sim session, though: my first landing, I thought "I'm in a sim!", and pulled full reverse, max brakes etc. just for the fun of it. We had a hell of a time getting my partners reading glasses from under his rudder pedals. He shoulda had one of those dorky cords like I did :P

Re: AF447 - My recollection is they established that the recovery procedure that worked for stall recovery in the airplane also did so in the sim and left it at that. Pretty much like landing the sim. What gets you on the ground in one piece in the sim will be OK in the airplane, but 'working' the sim for a smooth one is usually a recipe for trouble :whistling:.

Quick rabbit-hole. When I was sim-instructing, it seemed to me that airline pilots never did do stall recovery, just slow-flight to shaker and speed up again. Years ago I'd seen reproduction's of FDR tracings from the AA4184 ATR icing crash. All the way down, elevator control never went much further than neutral. I thought we might be rustier than we like to think.

Here is an instance where the perfect fidelity could be enemy of the good-enough-to-do-the-job if pilots are not fully trained for stalls. Seems to me that the above standard ought to be sufficient to inculcate correct responses and procedures.

Of course it's been a few years now. Post-AF447, maybe that's already included in conversion/recurrent training?

Cheers, IFG :b:


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