Imagine a school with a classroom, tables, chairs and... giant simulators? Well, this is the school of pilots. As in many careers, flight commanders also need to be constantly studying, returning to the students' chair from time to time.
The difference is which chair, since what they practice over there is tests in ultra advanced simulators, which perfectly mimic the world's most modern cockpits.
Vamos/LATAM went to Santiago, Chile, to check these equipments, where LATAM pilots keep regular training, to list five things you didn't know about this incredible experience.
1. It's an actual pilot cabin
The simulator is an identical replica of an airplane cockpit. The A320 model has almost 300 buttons, three advanced screens, plus pilot and co-pilot's seats. The machine is placed inside Santiago's International Airport, in an aviation training center called CAE. Most part of LATAM's pilots complete their studies over there.
2. The screens can simulate several landscapes
There are three screens in front of the commanders' seats , which display images of many airports and its surroundings around the world. All images are exact copies of the landscapes in real life. In few minutes, pilots can perform a takeoff or a landing in cities such as Quito, Buenos Aires, Bogotá, Cusco or La Paz – under any weather conditions. Can you imagine a departure in a snowy Rio de Janeiro? In the simulator, that's possible!
3. The simulator moves
The flight experience is exactly the same as the real one. That said, if the pilot is pretending to take off, the machine turns up. If it's landing, it turns down. It can also move sideways or even shake, as if undergoing a turbulence. 4. Training lasts up to 7 hours Becoming a LATAM pilot requires lots of dedication. Simulator training might take about 7 hours at a time. First at the classroom, then practicing down in the simulator. In the end, students get back to the classroom, where their flight instructor sums up the day.
5. Simulators are GIGANTIC!
Cockpit simulators are really expensive, large and articulated – they look like a real life Transformer! With four steams that support them, they reach the height of a three-storey building, making us feel really small beside it. But to get that close, you'll need a special permission. After all, safety always come first!