Thrush Aircraft debuts advanced ag aviation training device

At Thrush Aircraft Company, they believe a well-trained pilot is a better, safer pilot – and have invested heavily in bringing a higher level of training to pilots who fly agricultural aircraft.

There’s simply no better environment to practice in-flight emergencies than in a flight training device – not to mention being able to brush up on normal procedures and optimal techniques, as well.

The new Thrush 510AS, developed in cooperation with Redbird Flight Simulations of Austin, Texas, is the most advanced agricultural aviation flight training device in the world.

Redbird Flight Simulations, Inc. of Austin, Texas was founded in 2006 and has delivered over 1,800 aviation training devices into more than 30 countries. They are the recognized leader in the development of advanced aviation training devices for general aviation aircraft.

With the tutelage and recommendations of Redbird, Thrush Aircraft selected the MX2 model single seat training device as the platform for the 510AS. The MX2 delivers a realistic, high quality display. Thanks to its expansive visual monitors and 3-axis, full motion platform, it provides accurate sensations of flight.

The 510AS has fully functional flight controls and spray application controls. The plug and play throttle quadrants and start panels for both the S2R-T34 Thrush and S2R-H80 Thrush and corresponding display and software adjustments will allow simulations of flight based upon the performance of each aircraft.

The 510AS features a fully functional MVP 50T engine monitor integrated into the instrumentation screen and a fully functional SATLOC G4 GPS display screen with light bar and flow controls attached to the panel. Spray handle and dump lever controls are integrated into the SATLOC operation for simulation of spraying and emergency dumping procedures.

The device flight time and curriculum will be used for both initial aircraft transition training and for pilot recurrency training. The following can be trained in this device:

All normal procedures as outlined in the Aircraft Flight Manual.
All emergency procedures as outlined in the Aircraft Flight Manual.
Emergency dumping procedures with corresponding simulation of changes in aircraft flight characteristics.
All spraying operations procedures with corresponding simulation of changes in aircraft flight characteristics as the hopper load is reduced.
Operation of the SATLOC swath guidance and flow control systems including preflight and inflight programing of the system.

Thrush Aircraft demonstrated the 510AS at the NAAA 2016 convention in Long Beach, California. Attendees experienced firsthand the performance levels and capabilities of the 510AS. Thrush Aircraft and Redbird created a spray mission that consisted of taking off and spraying 300 gallons on an alfalfa field, along with a few emergencies, such as engine failures, thrown in for the full experience.

It is not practical to believe that the type simulators available to general aviation, especially ag-aviation, would reach the realism of a military or airline simulator built without a budget (tongue in cheek). But, for our purposes the 510AS simulator (flight training device) does a really good job. There should be no issues with managing the engine after training in the 510AS. There should be a very real expectation of what can be accomplished with the aircraft after the completion of the curriculum’s training sessions.

There is a lot going on in the cockpit of an ag-plane. For those with thousands of hours of experience, it is all in a day’s work. For the low time pilot, especially one coming from a piston powered aircraft, all the duties needed to be performed can be overwhelming. If a pilot can manage the power, GPS, flow control, navigation and other duties in a second nature manner, then the safety of the flight is greatly enhanced. The 510AS is very capable of instilling this confidence and skill level.

Training programs will soon be available at Thrush Aircraft’s factory training center in Albany, Georgia. Course curriculums will include both classroom and simulator time. Courses will be taught by Thrush on-site staff and overseen by Thrush Aircraft’s chief pilot. In addition to emergency procedures, normal operations such as navigation programming, spray patterns and overall flight management will be taught, as well.

Two training courses will initially be available:

510P & 510G initial transition & currency
A seat in this course will be offered at no cost to customers who purchase a new Thrush Aircraft. For a very limited time, the course will be available, at no cost, to customers who purchased a new Thrush between 2003 and 2016.

510P & 510G orientation and familiarization
This course will be designed for pilots who presently fly aircraft other than the Thrush. It will provide a solid orientation of the Thrush aircraft and associated procedures, as well as familiarization with flight characteristics experienced under daily working conditions. Seats in this course will be available for purchase.

Forthcoming will be recurrency training classes to complement initial course offerings. Thrush Aircraft is proud to participate in training the next generation of ag pilots and help bring them home safely every night. For more information on the training programs please contact Terry Humphrey at 229-789-0442 or thumphrey@thrushaircraft.com

 

 

 

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