Jacksonville, Fla. – A new state-of-the-art simulator coming to Jacksonville University this summer will give students their first realistic, fully operational training in flying passenger jets, improving their career chances and helping them reach FAA compliance sooner.
The $500,000 Level-5 Bombardier CRJ-700 Flight Training Device is the first passenger jet simulator of its kind to be available at a higher education institution in Northeast Florida, said Dr. Juan Merkt, director of JU’s Davis Aviation Center.
The university has entered an agreement with Aerosim Technologies to build the device, which includes full hardware and replica of the cockpit. It will be housed in the Davis Aviation Center in the Davis College of Business.
Among other things, the simulator will also help students in the school’s Air Traffic Control program, and will be made available to the public for training -- even to help residents overcome fear of flying.
Features of the fixed-based device include an integrated flight and navigation management system with displays, aircraft systems and flight controls with full flight capabilities, a 220-degree wraparound visual providing realistic view of the environment and simulated malfunctions for emergency or non-normal procedure training.
“Getting the simulator is a huge coup for JU and Jacksonville,” Merkt said. “What makes it unique is how fully operational it is. For example, up until now, our students who need to apply their aviation knowledge in an advanced crew environment would have to wait until they are hired by an airline to get that training experience. But now, with the flick of a switch, they will be mimicking the experience of flying a CRJ-700 passenger jet, which is priceless in terms of the skills and shortened time they’ll need to be trained.”
The device is all the more critical because of new FAA regulations that take effect in August 2013 requiring new airline pilots to have 1,500 flight hours and an Airline Transport Certificate.
A provision in the regulation, however, may allow the FAA to grant credit toward an ATP if a pilot has attended Airline Jet Transition training at an accredited, four-year collegiate aviation program. The simulator makes it possible for JU to offer such a transition program.
“This will make us much more attractive to students and members of the flying public,” Merkt said.
Kristin Schmidt, commercial director of North America at Aerosim Technologies, said Aerosim is excited to build on its relationship with Jacksonville University.
“They recognize the need to implement airline quality training tools for their students to better prepare them for success at the airlines,” she said. “We take pride in the continued partnership and confidence they have in our device.”
The FTD’s state-of-the-art technology will give JU aviation students the advanced competencies and skill sets needed to get a head start as professional pilots. As such, the simulator will be integrated into existing Crew Resource Management (CRM) and Advanced Aircraft Systems courses. In addition, the Center will design an Airline Jet Transition course that will better prepare our graduates to operate a passenger jet in a realistic airline crew environment.
The simulator will also be used for scenario-based training of students enrolled in the Center's FAA-approved Air Traffic Control program.
"In addition to strengthening our curriculum, the new simulator will open the doors to many opportunities, from establishing direct hiring agreements with the regional airlines, and conducting human factors safety research, to offering a wide range of training options open to the public and the aviation industry,” said Merkt. “We have been delivering professional pilot training since 1983 and this is the next logical step in our continued effort to deliver the best training available."
Aerosim delivers leading edge training services and technologies that provide value through customized training solutions. The company is dedicated to innovation that is supported by a strong foundation of simulation-based training products in use with commercial air carriers and training organizations worldwide. Headquartered in Burnsville, Minn., Aerosim has three major focus areas that include: Primary Pilot Training through Certified Flight Instructor at Aerosim Flight Academy, type rating services for initial and recurrent training through Aerosim Training Solutions and simulation-based technologies provided by Aerosim Technologies, which supports pilot training curricula. For more information, please visit www.aerosim.com About Jacksonville University
JU’s Davis Aviation Center has prepared students for business careers in the aviation industry for more than 25 years. In 1996, JU established a one-of-a-kind training partnership with an airline’s training center, Aerosim Flight Academy, to educate and train future airline pilots. Jacksonville University is one of the first 30 universities in the world with bachelor degree programs accredited by the Aviation Accreditation Board International (AABI) and one of 36 universities in the U.S. selected by the Federal Aviation Administration to offer an Air Traffic Control Program under the FAA’s Collegiate Training Initiative (CTI). To follow aviation at JU, visit us at aviation.ju.edu or call 904-256-7895. More information: Dr. Juan Merkt, director of JU’s Davis Aviation Center, (904) 256-7894.