Air Transportation: All Together Now, Let's Pretend


February 27, 2010:  The U.S. Army has long had flight simulators for the pilots of CH-47 and UH-60 transport helicopters. But there were no simulators for the rest of the crew (manning machine-guns in the back, along with loadmasters handling cargo.) Now the army is building simulators for the guys in the back, so that the entire crew (usually three or four) can practice together.

There will be two simulators for the UH-60 (each side of the cargo/passenger compartment, each of which may be equipped with a machine-gun.) There will be three simulators for the CH-47, one on each side and one in the rear. While most of the training will involve using the machine-guns, cargo handling will also be covered. In addition, the new simulators will be linked, electronically, with the existing flight crew simulators.

Currently, the only way the gunners and loadmasters could train was in the air, which is not the safest way to practice emergency procedures (a most important part of any flight crew training.) The new crew simulators will take care of that, to the relief of the entire crew.





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