Aero-Sphere, Inc. Flight Lab at Vance Brand Airport in Longmont is now home to a brand new, full-motion Redbird Flight Simulator, of which there are 400 in use in 18 countries. The simulator at the Longmont Airport is available not only to certificated pilots, but it's also available to student pilots, their instructors, and non-pilots alike, including scout and community organizations. Spouses and children of pilots can also gain valuable flying skills in a safe environment by taking a "pinch hitter" course that can help them safely land an aircraft in the case of an emergency.
According to Aero-Sphere, Inc., which was incorporated in 2007, owner and commercial pilot Shane Warner wanted to bring a flight simulator to the airport that will be used to promote and educate in conjunction with the current airport fixed base operator, Fly Elite Aviation. The simulator minimizes risk while training and can be used for inclement weather, to demo a maneuver, prepare pilots for flying into unfamiliar airports, for test/exam preparation, to practice approaches, emergency preparedness, and for adventure flight. Hours can be applied towards certifications, are cost saving on fuel and emissions reductions, you train anytime and anywhere and can get current on IFR-IPC and practice mountain approaches.
The Redbird flight simulator is configured as both a Cessna 172 with a Garmin 430/530 GPS and a Cessna 182RG with a KLN 94 GPS. Both models are IFR equipped for GPS, VOR/ILS and NDB approaches. With its worldwide database you can fly anywhere with amazing graphics and detailed topographical and terrain visuals.
The Redbird flight simulator is approved and authorized by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) as an Advanced Aviation Training Device (AATD). This means that pilots can log aeronautical experience toward certificates, ratings and currency. Aero-sphere Inc. Flight Lab can provide all course instruction with the CFI on staff. However, if you are a Certified Flight Instructor (CFI) they offer authorized flight instructor check outs which will allow you to incorporate scenario based training into your flight training curriculum.
The Redbird brings affordable scenario-based flight training and allows you to safely fly any approach in any weather condition, or see how you react if something should fail, or even try recovery from unusual attitudes all without breaking an airplane or killing yourself. Pilots who are working on their instrument flight rating will appreciate the convenience of the Redbird flight simulator and not having to wait around for "safe" IFR days to log FAA approved flight log hours.
Mr. Warner invited interested members of the airport community out this week to watch installation of the simulator. Local resident and pilot Trevor Bair was quite impressed. According to Trevor, "It is really awesome. The full motion especially adds such a level of immersion. I was solid in IFR (when the attitude indicator failed thanks to Shane Warner at the instructor station) and I found myself totally disoriented for a minute or two. That was the first time I'd been in that situation in my IFR training and it's good to be there in a sim(ulator). I think what Redbird is doing by bringing scenario-based training to general aviation (GA) has the potential to be a safety game changer if pilots get on board with it."
For more information about Aero-Sphere, Inc. Flight Lab which is located in Hangar 46 at Vance Brand Airport in Longmont, CO and to schedule time in the Redbird Flight Simulator: