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  • Chidozie Uzoezie

KLM Introduces Virtual Reality Training For Pilots

Starting 5 November, KLM Cityhopper will be introducing Virtual Reality (VR) training for pilots flying Embraer 175 and 190 aircraft.

Developed in-house, the VR training courses will allow pilots to make more effective use of their training time and will also yield cost savings. KLM Cityhopper is the first airline to integrate VR into its pilot training for Embraer aircraft.

KLM subsidiary KLM Cityhopper has a fleet of Embraers serving European destinations. It decided to investigate the capabilities of VR in an effort to respond more flexibly to pilots’ differing training needs.

The new training approach will also generate cost savings, among other things because it cuts down on the number of external suppliers and makes pilot scheduling more flexible.

Three applications

The VR training courses for the Embraer 175 and 190 were developed by KLM’s own VR experts in cooperation with KLM Cityhopper. Training consists of three applications, all part of the Type Rating Course in which pilots learn the specific characteristics of the aircraft type they are going to fly.

  1. Virtual cockpit – the pilot is inside the cockpit, i.e. an interactive, computer-generated image of the control panels.

  2. Instruction video – the pilot watches a 360-degree POV video of a flight from the cockpit jump seat.

  3. Virtual walk around – the pilot walks through and around the aircraft, composed of 360-degree static photographs.

EASA certification

KLM has been long been interested in using VR in staff training. For example, it already has VR training courses for maintenance engineers and KLM Cityhopper cabin crew. Now the Embraer 175 and 190 pilots are joining this select company.

KLM Cityhopper is exploring whether it can obtain EASA certification for these courses, which would then eventually replace some of the standard training components.

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