'So Much Better': New Simulator Expands New Mexico Pilots' Options
Pilot training has reached new heights for the New Mexico Wing’s Albuquerque Senior Squadron II, thanks to an upgraded flight simulator that offers familiarization with the G1000 glass cockpit avionics suite.
That means members can be introduced to and trained on the system without the need for an actual aircraft nearby.
Wing-level and squadron members dismantled the old, outdated simulator July 5 and replace it with the updated version.
As a result, “pilots who haven’t yet flown with the G-1000 can familiarize themselves with this new avionics package,” said senior member Thomas Godman, the squadron's assistant maintenance officer. “It is a great place to start training.”
In addition, "it can also be used for pilots working on their instrument rating. The pilot can log instrument approaches for currency,” said Capt. Brian Morrison, the squadron's officer for safety and for finance.
“This was a significant purchase,” said Lt. Col. Lawrence Lakeotes, New Mexico Wing finance officer, who helped squadron members assemble the new simulator. “To continue using the simulator, all members will need an initial checkout from a CAP instructor pilot.”
“It should be treated with the value it represents,” Lakeotes said while setting up the device’s two large side displays.
Excitement filled the room as the group anticipated using the new simulator.
“Teaching the G1000 system used to involve connecting chargers to the aircraft battery and sitting inside the aircraft for training,” said Maj. Terry Bass, squadron standardization/evaluation officer.
“Now we no longer have to do that. It’s so much better," Bass continued.
“Not only does it significantly save on aircraft battery usage, but it also provides a more comfortable learning environment.”
Added Lakeotes, “We can use it to become mission-qualified, and better yet, we can train regardless of the weather."
In addition, instrument-rated pilots who are IFR- proficient cam maintain their IFR currency using the simulator.
Pilots cannot fly G1000-equipped aircraft without previous training and qualification, and now the squadron's flyers can log training time, ensuring the wing is better prepared for missions.
Maj. Mary Fox
Albuquerque Heights Composite Squadron
New Mexico Wing