Pilot Career -
Saturday, 04 March 2006 02:22
Hi Capt Lim,
First of all, thanks for your awesome website.
I have a simple question: how well do the flight simulators that you train on imitate turbulence? I know most of the flight simulators you train on are full motion, pitching rolling and yawing machines. However, I am curious as to how well these machines can replicate the jarring turbulence of landing in a heavy storm?
I remember an approach into SFO a while back in a 777 where I heard the ATC controller saying crosswinds gusting to 40kts. Wow, the heavy rain and clouds outside, and the weather report that approach made me felt that I was in for quite a ride, and it was (I*m sure you have been through some exciting SFO landings like this, too!). I also remember getting caught up in some wake turbulence on a 747-400 one time coming into LHR. The right wing dropped quickly and we got tossed a little, the pilot really threw on some thrust and pulled up but it was a nice 10-second mini roller coaster.
I remember thinking both these times how the difficulty of flying must be compounded so much by all the G forces throwing the plane and passengers around. I was curious if this is something the simulator can train you for, or is it a pilot must "get used" to flying in turbulence as you rack up hours? Thanks for your help!
Portland, Oregon, USA.
Although simulators try to be as realistic as the real thing, it is not always possible for machines to reproduce the exact phenomena ? such as severe turbulence. But it comes quite close to it. Yes, some pilots can get airsick during prolonged turbulence in the simulator!
A simulator trains a pilot to handle most emergencies in all sort of environmental conditions ? ranging from a smooth to a very turbulent day with strong crosswinds. It is true that a pilot do get used to turbulence as he racks up hours and some of the worst ones are experienced in real life rather than in the simulators!