|Charles Robertson receives FAA grant|
Charles Robertson, associate professor of aviation and aerospace researcher at the John D. Odegard School of Aerospace Sciences, recently received a $253,095 Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) grant for a project titled "Joint Training Standards Development for New Technology General Aviation Aircraft."
It's the latest installment in an ongoing joint FAA-UND-Embry Riddle project that was launched in 2002 to develop improved pilot training that accounts for high-tech airplanes such as the Cirrus SR-22 (which recently joined the UND training fleet) which have so-called glass, or all digital, cockpit instrumentation.
"We've been training pilots pretty much the same way since 1935," says Robertson, who's in charge of the UND portion of this project. "This is part of an FAA initiative to improve general aviation. We're developing real improvements in the way we train pilots -- we're changing from maneuver-based to scenario-based training."
Robertson says the scenario-based approach helps pilots to consider their overall flying environment, not just how to handle the plane. "We really need to train pilots for aeronautical decision making, and we need to assess pilot performance better," says Robertson.
Additionally, this modernized training system implements learner-centered grading, which takes its roots from adult learning methods, Robertson explains. When you're talking about pilot training, you're talking about adult learning, even though that's not the way that pilot training has been done historically, he says.