Why can’t all the flight training be done in a simulator?
The amount of real and simulated training to be received by a pilot each year is specified in the local regulations and is partly determined by the total number of years of flying experience. The flight simulator provides realistic conditions, but it is unable to fully replicate all flight manoeuvres. In particular, air refuelling is a typically military skill not practised at all in civil aviation, and a flight simulator is of only limited usefulness for such training. Our flight simulator is used to the maximum extent, both for new pilots’ conversion training and for training qualified pilots. Geilenkirchen Air Base has two flight simulators; one of these has been certified by an independent authority as usable, in some cases, to replace real flight manoeuvres. The transfer of real flight manoeuvres to the simulator has now started and the noisiest movements have been reduced by 75 %. Further transfer of real flight manoeuvres to the simulator will take place step by step, in order to ensure flight safety. The next step will occur after the second flight simulator is taken into service in the middle of this year.