New Simulators Give Air Force Training Near Ft. Rucker A Boost

By: Ryan Rodig Email
By: Ryan Rodig Email

The ribbon was cut Friday and two new TH-1H Weapon System Trainers were introduced at Warrior Hall in Daleville.

The new equipment features modern avionics, a glass cockpit, and provides visuals that weren't available on the previously used training simulators.

"These are full motion, full visual, it is unlike anything out there right now," says LT Joe Davis, Instructor Pilot of the 23d FTS. "Probably one the best simulators in the world."

LT Davis says he flew the actual helicopter earlier in the day Friday and the simulator is at least 95% similar in control. And with training dollars being squeezed throughout the U.S. Army, teaching new pilots in updated equipment is essential.

"It is so much more cost effective and it allows us to expand upon the training that we have had in the past," says Instructor Pilot MAJ. Rob Zalanka. "Rather than having kids in the air making mistakes we can put them in the simulator where it is a lot safer."

And new pilots are anxious to see the simulator, full visuals included, as a way to train for anything from routine missions to emergencies.

"We had no visuals(in past simulators)," said 2LT Wyeth Lindeke. We just had to guess; here comes the altitude, and what not. Now we can see the ground and know how to react, and set the aircraft down nice and smoothly."

When trainees are done in the cockpit, they can be debriefed with all the information collected during the action.

"You can spend time in this and learn to make mistakes and fix mistakes do something over and over again." said LT Davis. "It will really hone your skills to be very accurate and very refined aviators."

Something instructors say is needed for students who may be headed to a war zone overseas where mistakes could mean loss of lives.

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