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The Aero Experience is a celebration of Midwest aviation and aerospace achievement. We invite you to join us as we explore the treasures of Midwest aviation through first-hand experiences. Our contributors take turns flying lead, and we are always looking for new destinations. Check in with The Aero Experience frequently to see where we will land today, and then go out and have your own aero experiences!

Blue skies,

Carmelo Turdo, Mark Nankivil and Fred Harl - The Aero Experience Team

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Redbird MCX Flight Simulator Lands at Air Associates of Missouri

By Carmelo Turdo
The Aero Experience Exclusive!

Pilot training in the St. Louis area will soon take a giant step forward with the addition of an advanced Redbird MCX flight simulator at Air Associates of Missouri, a Cessna Pilot Center located at Spirit of St. Louis Airport in Chesterfield, MO.  The Redbird MCX is a full-motion, fully dual-control simulator offering an exceptional level of realism to the pilot training environment.  One of only thirteen in operation, the Redbird MCX at Air Associates of Missouri retains dual crew training capabilities as well as optional features that can be tailored to specific training objectives.  The Redbird MCX will be employed as part of the comprehensive training program, and it will be available for inspection at the Redbird Seminar and Discover Flying Challenge on June 22.  

The Aero Experience was privileged to receive a preview of the Redbird MCX in action during several recent training sessions conducted at Air Associates of Missouri.  A simulated flight around the St. Louis area in a twin-engine Baron with Office Manager and rated pilot Michael Matthews made a great impression.  The experience of flight was enhanced by the wrap-around visual references, stunning instrument displays and the full-motion performance of the Redbird MCX.   The feeling of being pushed back in the seat during turns and climbing maneuvers lent a layer of realism that is usually reserved for actual flight.  Another demonstration of the capabilities of the Redbird MCX was conducted by Assistant Chief Pilot Scott Thompson and Student Pilot Joel Weiss:

Student Pilot Joel Weiss, who has logged training flights in the Air Associates aircraft and now in the Redbird MCX, was impressed with the realism of the experience and the value of learning more complex skills in the simulator before the next training flight.  The flight lesson in the above videos focused on stall recovery and touch-and-go landing practice.  "There is really no difference between being up in the air or in the simulator - you feel the same way...It's realistic because you're moving," Weiss told The Aero Experience.  Even with this level of realism, there is a way for the instructor to take advantage of those teachable moments - the Pause Button.  When a student is having difficulty in a training scenario, the instructor can stop the event at any time to discuss the proper pilot response before continuing the lesson.  After further practice in the simulator, the student pilot develops a sense of confidence based on training received under realistic conditions in the Redbird MCX.  

You can learn more about the Redbird MCX at the Air Associates Redbird Seminar and Discover Flying Challenge on June 22.  Space is limited, so please register by calling Air Associates of Missouri at (636) 536-1341. 

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