A flight simulator in high school for careers in aviation is now a popular option for students.
At Irving High School in Texas, the $37,794 RedBird LD flight simulator was installed at the school in January with funds designated as “special project.” It has become a popular learning tool with students in the two-year-old aviation program.
“It’s a huge boost,” sophomore Adam Easom said.
Easom hopes to become an unmanned aerial vehicle pilot in the U.S. Army one day and says the simulator is preparing him for what military pilots encounter every day. It’s also helping him learn how to fly without having to rent an actual plane.
One of Easom’s teachers, Michael Johnson, agrees.
“I could do a 100 practice takeoffs and landings here for about 30 cents,” he said. “I do a 100 in an airplane, at $125 an hour, it’s more expensive.”
The simulator allows students to practice flying in all weather conditions. It also mimics how the plane would react in different situations. And Johnson says he can use the simulator to help students learn how to correct things like a bad landing.
“I have the ability to put him right back at the point in the flight and he can practice over and over,” Johnson said.
Teaching trade skills
The aviation program began at Irving High School about two years ago as one of the school district’s signature programs. Each of the three district high schools includes signature programs with a specialized focus: Irving has aviation and biomedical sciences; MacArthur’s ACE program features architecture, construction and engineering; and Nimitz offers programs in energy and environmental entrepreneurship.
Al Brooks is one of three aviation teachers at Irving High School. He says the program is about teaching aviation basics, understanding that not every student will go on to college.
“They’re just not going to go,” he said. “So if we can give them a good education to understand simple aviation fundamentals, well then perhaps they can actually get a good job with small training at a two-year college or come out of high school with some skills to get an entry-level position.”
Students in the aviation program take classes to understand ideas such as how planes work, how airports operate and how to fly planes. Students also spend time building AM radios, rockets and remote-control airplanes.
Continue reading Flight Simulator in High School for Careers in Aviation
Read more about aviation program