Flight simulator donation brings new opportunities to Ivy Tech Fort Wayne students

Back row from left: Clark Winans, Aaron Jamison, Paul Hopkins, Sophia Layos; Front row from left: Aviation Technology instructor Dan Leonard, Chancellor Dr. Kim Barnett-Johnson, Dean of the School of Manufacturing, Engineering, and Applied Sciences Deborah Pitzer

Ivy Tech Community College Fort Wayne is adding FAA-approved flight simulator training to its Aviation Technology curriculum after receiving a generous donation valued up to $200,000.

The Precision Flight Controls DCX MAX NG simulator allows students to earn some credit towards their licenses and can save them up to $200 an hour. It doesn’t take the place of actual aircraft training but serves as a safe way to gain needed experience.

“Someone who has never flown in their lifetime can safely learn the ropes while using this simulator,” says Dan Leonard, an Ivy Tech Aviation Technology instructor. “It’s a great tool for our students and community members to keep up on vital techniques and skills.”

This instrument allows users to experience a virtual reality that allows them to achieve, train, and maintain proficiency in the operation of an airplane without the risk to a person or property. Users have the ability to “fly” anywhere in the country and train through different types of weather.

“With the simulator, students can practice repeatedly to gain confidence before getting in the aircraft,” says the donor, who wishes to remain anonymous. “When you’re learning to fly, it takes you a couple months before you don’t make mistakes. This instrument allows you to learn how to not make mistakes without using natural resources. I feel students will get the maximum benefits of it with Ivy Tech.”

This simulator was donated in pieces so it could be transported to Ivy Tech. College faculty were able to put it back together and calibrate it to working condition during winter break. It’s now being used in class with students.

Dr. Kim Barnett-Johnson tests out simulator with student Sophia Layos

“Anytime we’re struggling in the air, it’s always great practice to come back down here and review what we’ve missed in the simulator,” says Paul Hopkins, student in the Aviation Technology program. “It’s the biggest help, and it saves us a lot of money.”

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