NAMPA, Idaho – Mission Aviation Fellowship (MAF) has acquired a new RedBird SD flight simulator, to aid its pilots for the challenging conditions they face when flying in remote parts of the world. The $60,000 RedBird was purchased from funds raised by MAF Ministry Advocates supplemented by a matching grant.
The simulator is a fully-enclosed Advanced Aviation Training Device certified by the FAA.
“This new RedBird enables us to do a lot of training that we couldn’t do before,” said Paul Bergen, MAF’s aviation training manager. “We can experience the overseas environment—we can see the exact terrain. We can fly in the mountains and over rivers and give pilots an experience similar to what they’re going to see when they arrive on the field.”
By training at Idaho’s backcountry airstrips, MAF is able to duplicate the mountainous terrain of various countries in Africa, Asia, and Latin America. Matching the atmospheric conditions of those places isn’t so easy. Bergen says it will be especially useful for training pilots to fly in instrument-only situations, where visibility is limited.
“It gives us a much more realistic experience than we had before,” Bergen said.