For more than seven years, Nashua Flight Simulator has been bringing real learning through the use of flight simulation to pilots from all over the Northern Hemisphere. Operations began June of 2006 in the former Keyson building located on Boire Field (ASH) in Nashua NH with the acquisition of an Elite 501 Series AATD.
This fledgling simulator training operation has blossomed into a premier Recurrent Training Center, now located in the Ammon Center on Grenier Field (MHT), Manchester – Boston Regional airport. “This new facility”, said Stephen Cunningham, founder and owner, “doubles our capacity, doubles our floor space and allows for four Elite AATD flight simulators. The two additions to the fleet are Elite 601 series iGate’s which provide dual flying positions, wrap-around screens and up to 180 degrees of visuals.”
“The warm reception” Cunningham said, “ and unparallel support and cooperation we have received from the Manchester-Boston Regional Airport management team, CARGEX, the managers of the Ammon Center and from Wiggins Airways is nothing short of fantastic. I am delighted to be a part of this great community.”
The Nashua Flight Simulator Open House Ceremony will be emceed by New England Cable News (NECN) anchor Michael Nit Joining the Nashua Flight Simulator staff and clients for the official ribbon cutting ceremony is Manchester Mayor Ted Gatsas, a representatives from Senator Ayotte’s office and Governor Hassan’s office. Nashua Flight Simulator recognized and honored Robert Fortnam, a WWII veteran and frequent client. Mr Fortnam served in the US Army Air Corps during WWII as a pilot aboard the famed Flying Fortress, the Boeing B 17. On his second mission his craft was shot down and Mr Fortnam and his crew mates spent the remainder of the war as a POW of the Third Reich.
Cunningham continued, “Our focus since the fall of 2008 has been on the insurance mandated, annual recurrent training for the business related owner-operators of business-class piston twins, turboprop-singles and twins and high performance singles” Insurance companies want the owners of turbocharged, pressurized and/or turboprop aircraft to participate in an annual training program in order to continue providing coverage.
Simulator-based training allows the pilots to experience abnormal and emergency malfunctions of systems in real time without endangering themselves, others or overstressing the aircraft. An engine failure in a piston twin at 200 feet after take-off into IMC can really test a pilot’s knowledge, skill and flow procedures as the pilot identifies, verifies and fixes or feathers. It is not a procedure one would want to try in the aircraft under those conditions; the aircraft cockpit is not a classroom.
“In the flight simulator” Cunningham added, “we can stop the procedure by simply hitting the ‘pause’ button, discuss the scenario, help the pilot client sort out what are the best actions to take, then continue the scenario”. Real training in flight simulators allows for procedures like these to be practiced over and over until they become second nature. Likewise, flying a twin engine aircraft on a single engine to an approach, to minimums, in nasty weather, all the while dealing with a malfunction, can become a taxing and an exhilarating experience. “Having the opportunity to experience that rush, the workload and anxiety in a safe environment” Cunningham continued, “prepares the pilot and enables him or her to be ready, if and when the real thing happens.”
The new location for Nashua Flight Simulator allows for much improved “creature comforts” and easy access on a commercial carrier or for those that fly or drive on their own. Also situated in the Nashua Flight Simulator Training Center will be a PSI LaserGrade Testing site that should be online very soon.