CitationJet training company ProFlight added a tool to its online distance learning system, an annunciator trainer that will help new pilots breeze through the cockpit preflight and save hours of simulator time.
For pilots new to flying jets without the latest avionics, the annunciator tests are a learning challenge, something that must be practiced and preferably memorized to minimize the amount of time spent preparing the cockpit for the upcoming lesson or flight. Sure you can put your imagination to work with cockpit photos and some creative mental gymnastics, but the knowledge doesn’t sink in until you get to twist the rotary knob in the simulator, see the flashing lights and hear the warnings.
The new annunciator trainer is included in ProFlight’s distance learning system, which is the Citation CJ3 ground school delivered in an interactive format that customers can study from any web-connected computer. The ground school is FAA-approved for currency training; new type-rating clients will have to attend the regular instructor-led ground school at ProFlight’s Carlsbad, Calif., training facility. But even so, any student will be far better prepared by studying the distance-learning modules ahead of time, whether or not credit is granted, and now especially so using the annunciator trainer.
What makes ProFlight’s distance learning system unique is that it doesn’t just replicate a textbook; rather, it gives students access to the interactive, animated systems schematics available to instructors. The schematics work just like the airplane and can help students play with and understand the system far better than any textbook, especially in failure modes. Even more realistic is that–as in the simulator or real airplane–the student can’t start the annunciator test until the battery and avionics switches are switched on. And any switches required during the test, such as windshield heat high and low, must also be activated.
The annunciator trainer is simple and builds on ProFlight’s learning management system portal, which makes all of these tools available online. In addition to practicing and reviewing the rotary test, students can use the annunciator trainer to practice the emergency or abnormal procedure that the annunciator system is flagging. ProFlight also included flash cards so students can memorize limitations and rote memory items and practice general systems review. The study material concludes with a 10-question quiz. Online help is available and is context-sensitive, applying to the particular area that the student is learning.