Helping the media get it right

When aviation-related events and issues arise, Boston’s WBZ-TV 4, owned and operated by CBS, often turns to Nashua Flight Simulator in Nashua, N.H., for expert advice and commentary. So far this year company officials have commented on everything from the “Miracle on the Hudson” to the emergency landing of a Piper Warrior on a major highway.

Recently, Nashua Flight Simulator was asked to demonstrate the events in Minneapolis, when an airliner over-flew the airport and was out of radio contact with controllers. For WBZ’s telecast, Nashua Flight Simulator instructor Eric Schoneberger demonstrated the flight management, the autopilot, the communications and navigation systems, and how they all work and how pilots respond to air traffic control vectors and calls.

“Four times this year WBZ-TV4 has contacted Nashua Flight Simulator to provide our aviation experience, knowledge and expertise in helping them and their viewers understand the aviation events of national and regional importance,” said Stephen Cunningham, managing partner.

In January, Nashua Flight Simulator demonstrated the events surrounding the spectacular landing in what has become known as the “Miracle of the Hudson.” Instructor Forrest Nelson, a retired Boeing 777 captain, demonstrated the event’s successful ditching by using the company’s Elite iGate Flight Simulator in the King Air aircraft model mode. This is the same training platform that is utilized for insurance-approved recurrent training programs, according to company officials. Nelson provided the reporter with a captain’s insight into the thinking and quick action that was executed by the flight crew on that now historic day.

Two weeks later WBZ called again for Nashua Flight Simulator to help them understand the tragic events in Buffalo. Schoneberger, also a retired airline captain and former US Navy pilot, illustrated several of the factors that likely led to this mishap.

“When a small Piper Warrior made an emergency landing on Route 495 near Mansfield, Mass., we were called for a live, on-air commentary as those events were unfolding,” said Cunningham. “We helped the reporter, news anchors and the viewers understand how pilots are trained to land in an emergency or engine-out situation.”

“We’re pleased that we can contribute to accurate reporting of aviation events with knowledge, experience and factual information,” he added.

Nashua Flight Simulator is an aviation training center approved by major aviation insurance underwriters for pilots needing recurrent training for turbo-prop, single and twin-engine piston aircraft, including most high performance technically advanced aircraft.

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