program director, 308.865.8309
The Aviation Systems Management Program at the University of Nebraska at Kearney will dedicate a new flight simulator at 5:30 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 29, at Air Midway, which is located at the Kearney Municipal Airport.
At that time, there will be a public presentation, with UNK Chancellor Doug Kristensen scheduled to attend, according to Aviation Program Director Terry Gibbs.
The Aviation Program has purchased the new flight simulator using funding from a priority program grant. However, once the simulator was purchased, the program then needed a place to house the new equipment. The Kearney airport manager and members of the Kearney community donated materials to build the appropriate housing facility. Gibbs said that he and a few others then did most of the manual labor to make the project a reality.
He added that the program used an old model flight simulator until about five years ago. At that time, they determined that the simulator was out of date and too expensive to maintain, so it was discarded.
“The new simulator will be much better for the program’s training purposes,” Gibbs said. “We will be able to train for emergency procedures that are just too dangerous to train for in real life. With the new equipment, conditions such as cloud flying and flying at night can be reproduced.
“Training with the new simulator will just be much more realistic training, which will really help out our students,” he said. “This new simulator will be of tremendous value to the students. We can learn how they’ll react in real-life situations that we just couldn’t test them on before.”
Gibbs also noted that the simulator will be open to members of the general public with proper instruction and that it might also be a useful tool for psychological studies in the future. Researchers would be able to study the manner in which people react to various situations such as a plane stalling or having to fly using only the instrument panels.