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Modular Flight Deck will better prepare aviation students for training environments.

The College of Technology acquired a new aviation simulator, which Dean Nesli Alp says is more up to date with current flight technology that will better prepare students for modern flight careers. This simulator will be used by more than 300 students. “This means a lot to our aviation students,” said Dean Alp. “…they are learning new technologies and they will be much more prepared for the real world.” 

The simulator, called a MFD – Modular Flight Deck – is built by Precision Flight Controls in California. The MFD is FAA certified AATD, which means that a portion of the training completed in the simulator can be applied towards students’ flight ratings. The MFD can be physically reconfigured to replicate a number of different aircraft, based on what best suits the students’ needs. The MFD is currently configured as a Beechcraft King-Air B-200, and at the end of the semester it will be reconfigured as a Cessna Citation light jet. 

Patrick Knight, instructor of aviation technology, says that the MFD will better prepare aviation students for training environments, as this new simulator model allows the practice of faster and more advanced aircraft than previous models. Knight also says that the simulator is more advanced, more reliable and more cost-efficient for the department should they be required to accommodate a larger number of students. 

The MFD will be used in some aviation classes after the students pay a fee. However, after students are taught how to use the simulators, they’ll be able to use them to practice what they have learned in class. Evelyn Reed, a junior and a professional aviation flight technology major as well as President of the ISU Flight Team, says that as of now, the simulator has been used for over 80 hours. “I think the new sim is a great improvement to what we previously had in the sim lab,” she said. “It’s exciting to use a sim that allows us diverse scenarios like birdstrikes, microbursts, simulated wildlife, multiple layers of clouds [and] different types of precipitation.” 

As for what the MFD means for the College of Technology’s public image, Stephanie Jeffers, Director of Outreach and Student Career Support for the College of Technology, says that “It allows the [college] to highlight the importance of maintaining and improving equipment for current and prospective students.” Ultimately, Jeffers believes that the Department of Aviation Technology’s success is only possible due to the support from faculty, alumni and the Terre Haute community. 

From an instructor’s point of view, the MFD is a phenomenal aid to classroom success. “The professional aviation flight technology major is constantly seeking to improve the quality of training and education our students receive. [Students] will eventually find themselves operating large cargo aircraft and airliners, so their proper preparation and success is our ultimate goal,” says aviation technology instructor Knight. “[Students] will one day be flying us and our families in these aircraft, so their success is of great importance.”