New Flight Simulator Arrives!

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Wednesday, November 7, 2018

Celeste M. Brooks P'12, '21, Director of Communications

The Redbird TD is installed in the Hadeed Innovation Wing upon its arrival on October 31st. To the right of it is the Redbird Jay flight simulator, which is still in use at the Academy.

Randolph-Macon Academy brought in the final piece of the Hadeed Innovation Lab on October 31, 2018, when the Redbird TD flight simulator arrived. The Redbird TD is a Basic Aviation Training Device that allows private pilot students to log up to 2.5 hour towards aeronautical experience requirements and instrument students to log up to 10 hours toward an instrument rating. The R-MA Flight Department is now home to two flight simulators, as the Academy will continue to use the smaller Redbird Jay flight simulator for the variety of aircraft it includes. 

Director of Flight Training and Operations Ryan Koch was excited for the arrival of the new simulator. “The real benefit comes from being able to utilize time when the weather is not conducive to training in one of our Cessna 172s or the time block is too short to drive to the airport,” he commented. 

The new simulator offers the advantage that all of the controls are where they would be in an actual airplane, as opposed to the lower-end models that use keyboards to control certain functions. In addition, The Redbird TD allows flight instructors to remotely control conditions; they can change the weather on the student pilot or simulate a malfunction the student has to correct. They can also decide at which airport the flight will begin. 

Drew Schwentker ‘22 of Middletown, VA, has already managed to “fly” the new simulator and said the biggest difference he has noticed is the feel of the airplane. “It’s very realistic,” he said. “It’s good to get practice in. Overall it’s a great simulator.” 

R-MA thanks Mr. Harry Austin III '75 for his generous gift that provided the flight simulator.