UAF Bristol Bay Offers Flight Simulation Classes

Oct 2, 2014

The University of Alaska Fairbanks Bristol Bay Campus is offering flight simulation classes October through November. 

Credit University of Alaska Fairbanks

Norm Van Vactor is the CEO of the Bristol Bay Economic Development Corporation.  However, he’s also an avid pilot and licensed flight and ground instructor.  This fall Van Vactor is teaching classes that apply the basic knowledge of flight to a virtual flight simulation.  He says this is the first time he’s taught flight simulation in a classroom setting.

“It’s going to be designed, initially this class is designed for the whole gambit of individuals-- anybody who might just be interested in learning about flight training, to using flight simulation software at home, to quite frankly advance pilots who want to stay current on their instrument training and flying and using a simulator and also learning how to use a EFB, electronic flight bags.  Increasingly pilots from private pilots to commercial pilots to airline pilots are using iPads and smart phones in the cockpit for navigation and getting weather.”

The simulation will provide scenario-based experiences through all phases of flight.  The class uses EFBs like ForeFlight and WingX to learn their way around the world of flight simulation. 

Van Vactor says although it’s relatively easy to buy flight simulators, the ones UAF Bristol Bay has purchased are particularly well designed.

“The campus recently purchased, it’s called a J Simulator, which is kind of an introductory basic flight simulator that’s a couple steps above the home simulator that you and I might just buy for $100-150, and this particular unit is a couple thousand dollars.  And the campus actually has in their process going to be purchasing one more simulator and the simulator they’re going to buy is actually FAA approved.”

The class starts on October 7th and runs through November 4th on Tuesdays and Thursdays.  Those interested or with questions can call the Bristol Bay campus at 842-5109.