Imagine a flight simulator so realistic that it feels like you’re up in the clouds without having actually left the ground. Mount Royal University aviation students don’t have to imagine it — they get to experience it as part of their top-notch aviation training.
The ALSIM ALX flight simulator, the latest addition to Canada’s most up-to-date training fleet at Mount Royal, was unveiled Dec. 5, 2012 in the Bissett School of Business.
Mark Benson, assistant professor in Mount Royal’s Aviation program, was on hand when seven state-of-the-art planes were unveiled at the Springbank campus in April 2012. Benson, who is also a graduate of Mount Royal’s Aviation program, gave some insight into the innovative technology that is being described as “one of the very best tools the aviation industry has to offer.”
“Mount Royal is evolving with industry once again as we unveil the most technologically advanced flight-training simulator in Canada — the ALSIM ALX,” said Benson in front of a large audience of aviation industry partners, students, instructors and alumni from Mount Royal’s Aviation Diploma program.
“The avionics and technology available in our new fleet, and in our new flight simulator, don’t just exceed that of our old fleet and flight simulators — they surpass many of the norms in the aviation industry today.”
Soaring to new heights in aviation training
Using a 10 foot-high, 208-degree panoramic screen, the ALSIM ALX allows instructors to create a range of flying environments from around the country and across the globe, using photo realistic imagery.
Everything from snow, rain and hail, to wind and turbulence conditions will allow students to safely train for the split-second analysis and decision-making needed in potentially dangerous situations.
Another feature that differentiates the ALSIM ALX from other flight simulators is its versatility.
At the touch of a button, the ALSIM ALX allows students to change the cockpit displays — opening up the possibilities to fly a number of different aircraft, and even get exposure to different flight displays that they will encounter in industry.
Duncan Lewis, a fourth-year Mount Royal aviation student and president of the Aviation Student Executive, spoke about how this cutting-edge technology is giving Mount Royal students a competitive advantage.
“I have spent a considerable amount of time in the new ALSIM, and what struck me most was the fact that we spend a considerable amount of time concerning ourselves with the same procedures that are expected from industry counterparts,” says Lewis.
“Mount Royal University Aviation is placing the same emphasis on strong crew management and safety that is expected from professional pilots.”
In addition to helping Mount Royal aviation students reach new heights in their educational and career pursuits, the ALSIM ALX flight simulator will also be used to continue to strengthen the University’s ties.
“Just to give you an idea of the caliber of our new flight simulator, Transport Canada has approved the use of the ALSIM ALX to complete some aspects of flight testing typically performed in an aircraft. Now that’s huge,” Benson says.
“That means pilots can use our new ALSIM ALX flight simulator to renew their instrument ratings as a viable alternative to doing it in an aircraft.”
The Bissett legacy
The new flight simulator, which is an investment of $500,000, was largely funded by esteemed philanthropists and friends of Mount Royal, David and Leslie Bissett.
The Bissetts were given a pair of aviator glasses in recognition of their generous investment in the new flight simulator, and to commemorate their many years of supporting the business program at Mount Royal.
The contributions of the Calgary Foundation and many other donors who helped support this investment in Mount Royal student learning were also acknowledged.
As is the custom with aircraft, Mount Royal President David Docherty drew the audience’s attention to the call letters on the side of the new flight simulator.
“Delta Alpha Bravo — or DAB — represents the initials of one of our greatest benefactors, David A. Bissett, and will serve as ongoing recognition of the Bissetts’ dedicated support of the Aviation program at Mount Royal,” said Docherty.
New partnership with Massey University announced
Docherty spoke about the importance of providing our students with the tools to excel in the classroom, in industry and in the community.
Thanks to a new agreement that was recently signed with Massey University in New Zealand, Mount Royal aviation students will have even more opportunities to excel.
The agreement allows Mount Royal Aviation Diploma graduates to receive two years of credit towards a Bachelor of Aviation Management at Massey University to be taken via distance education, or at the Massey University campus, or a combination of both.
“At Mount Royal, we’re not only supplying business leaders of the future, we’re filling the needs of industry today by supplying high caliber, academically trained pilots — pilots you’ll find flying with every airline in Canada and with major airlines around the world,” says Docherty.
“The ALSIM ALX is an investment that embodies Mount Royal’s commitment to the value of hands-on, experiential learning, and it reflects our focus on ensuring the success and satisfaction of our students.”
The Mount Royal advantage
Until the recent arrival of the ALSIM ALX, Mount Royal aviation students’ training included hands-on learning on three other flight simulators — two Frasca simulators located at the Lincoln Park campus, and a cross-wind simulator at the Springbank campus — which allow students to become more comfortable with specific flight maneuvers and emergency procedures before taking to the aircraft.
Mount Royal’s unique Aviation Diploma program combines flight training with university-level courses in geography, business management, meteorology, GPS and crew management, and supply chain management, just to name a few.
“With that kind of cutting-edge education, the next generation of pilots from Mount Royal will be ahead of the curve in their experience and understanding of the newest trends in aviation,” says Benson.
— Jondrea De Ruyter, Dec. 6, 2012