Bertil Aagesen: Review of our Redbird FMX full motion simulator

First impressions: The simulator sits in a room by itself, the room has a door that can be closed so that no outside sounds could be a distraction. The training flights in the simulator can be fully recorded so that they can be analyzed by the instructor and student after each period. Though the simulator has no door itself, I found this to be a non-issue flying the RedBird.

Flight deck impressions: The Redbird is configured as a Cessna 172 (fuel Injected), one of the more common training aircraft. It is equipped with a full set of G1000 avionics! All instrumentation and flight controls, engine controls and gear and flaps handles are where you’d expect them in the actual airplane. The exception are the back-up instruments, placed in such a way that the simulator can be reconfigured to another airplane rather simply and quickly. The landing gear handle is present for the same reason.

Flying impressions: The visuals are far better than I have experienced in my professional pilot career, flying simulators for the B727, B777, B757 and B767. The focus and contrast of the outside are far better! The RedBird simulator has almost a 180° picture, where the Cessna strut can be seen and utilized for bank attitude; likewise the engine cowling can be seen in all maneuvers, just like in the airplane, important for Visual Flight practice.

How does it fly? I found that the controls are very much like the controls on the airplane, not more nor less sensitive. Exception are the rudder pedals/brakes on the ground, but on the ground only. In flight they correspond to power application just as in the airplane; right rudder is definitely needed for power on, left for reduction in power. The electric trim is a bit sensitive, but rarely found on Cessna 172s, so who could say?

It is very impressive that turbulence, rain, snow, IMC, traffic and such can be introduced just like in the simulators the airline companies employ in their training. The motion in your RedBird simulator is no less capable than simulators costing millions and millions of dollars. This simulator lends itself to Private Pilot training due to the visuals presented. It is also an incredible tool for teaching the Garmin G1000 avionics suite, now almost the industry standard.

For the Instrument Rating training, I can think of no better tool for basic attitude instrument flight, basic navigation, holding patterns and approaches. Couple that with the higher learning periods where IMC, turbulence, wind, crosswind, rain and snow are introduced just as in the real world and you in fact have the perfect training tool in your office.

If I were an instructor with either Private Pilot or Instrument Rating students, not only would I recommend your facility, I would run them down there as fast as I could!


Bertil Aagesen

CFII ASEL, AMEL, Instrument Airplane, Rotorcraft-Helicopter, Glider
ATP ASMEL, CE-500, B757, B767 and B777

How to get a Drone License if you’re a current pilot

The FAA has made it easy to add a Drone License (officially a “Small Un-manned Aerial System“, or sUAS, Certificate) if you hold a sport, recreational, private, commercial pilot, or ATP certificate.

You must be current, meaning that you must have had a flight review less than 24 months ago.

Lots of people have asked about this process and, although I really tried to provide good information and guidance, I knew I was not completely accurate because I hadn’t gone through the “ropes”.

Because of this, I decided to complete the process in order to be able to explain it more accurately.

And now I have an sUAS Pilot Certificate!

If you don’t have an FAA account on you’ll need to create one.

Then, you’ll need to complete the course (Click on the blue box labeled “Hot Topics” Part 107…), and take the exam at the end.

Then, after you’ve saved a PDF of your completion certificate, you’ll need to go to IACRA and create an account there.

After you’ve completed the IACRA process, it will give you an application ID number and an FTN number.

With those numbers you can then get a CFI who has been registered on IACRA as such, to verify all your documents and sign you off on the IACRA system, and in a couple of hours your temporary certificate will be available on the IACRA website for downloading and printing.

Our chief instructor, Bob Meder, got it done for me this evening.

And I now have an sUAS Pilot Certificate!

And the story of the Nebraska Flight Center continues…

In 1999 I found myself finally in a position where I could fulfill my life dream. Enrolled in the aviation program of Cochise Community College, started flight training concurrently with ground school, as is customary in a part 141 school. Just days before the end of the year, I got my private pilot certificate.

A few days after, came back to the College with the intention to go fly and was told “no, you can’t fly, because you’re no longer a student here and our insurance only allows us to let our registered students use our airplanes. Since you got your pilot’s certificate, you graduated from our program and we can’t let you use our airplanes.”

Although the southeastern corner of the state of Arizona has a venerable aviation tradition (Douglas Municipal was the first international airport in the USA), and despite the fact there are several airports in the area, there were no aircraft for rent anywhere within 2 hours driving.

Drove two hours to Tucson, only to find very limited options. During my time as a Cochise College student I got spoiled. Their maintenance department was then headed by a good friend of mine and he was a stickler for maintaining those airplanes in tip-top condition. What I found out there available for rent was not up to those standards. They may have been airworthy, but I was not convinced. If I was driving two or three hours each way to go fly for an hour, I was going to be very picky.

Then, someone told me about a very nice FBO in Las Cruces, New Mexico, where they had a variety of aircraft, including two brand new Diamond DA-20-C1s (Katanas). Three days after the new year 2000, I was being checked out in one of their Katanas, and I loved it.

to be continued…


The Start of the Nebraska Flight Center

Hello! My name is David Silchman, I am a pilot, and I fly a Falco F.8L, a Piper Cherokee and a Cessna 172.

The summer of 2013, Bob Meder and I, decided that the main airport in the region should have a flight school and rental of aircraft, so we decided to re-start the Nebraska Flight Center, a flight training operation, at Eppley Airfield in Omaha, Nebraska… But let’s start from the beginning.

Years ago, after doing a thorough review of my life, I decided that what I really wanted more than anything else was to fly.

My story is typical of many middle aged individuals who had always had the urge of flight in them, but the responsibilities of “real life” always took precedence.

When I was a small kid I took my first airplane ride in a DC-3 from Tucson, Arizona, to Washington DC, and I was hooked. Afterwards, I have spent a lot of time looking up, admiring and envying the birds. When I was growing up in the southwestern desert I remember sitting by the window in school and watching the turkey vultures spend hours up there, effortlessly and elegantly flying in circles.

In kindergarten our teacher asked the class: If we were an animal, what animal would we be? All my classmates chose fierce, cool animals, like lions, tigers, wolves or pumas. When it was my turn, I said I wanted to be a turkey vulture. Needless to say, it didn’t go well, and I never got the chance to explain.

When I was in college, I was at a club with some friends and somehow I ended up talking to an older gentleman (older back then meant probably late thirties), who happened to be a professional pilot, flying small propeller planes at the time.

When I told him that I was a university student, he said that he had already gone to school and under pressure from his parents graduated with a medical degree. Immediately afterwards he gave his diploma to his father and went to flight school to follow his true vocation. He never practiced medicine. He was now flying people around in small planes in an air taxi operation.

I didn’t say anything to him, but for years I thought that he had wasted a good education in a “real” profession. How can someone turn his back to being a “Doctor” to go and become a glorified taxi driver? I would never do that, I thought to myself.

So I graduated from school and became a pediatrician, got married and raised a family and did the responsible thing and worked hard to fulfill my obligations as a responsible adult. All those years, I kept looking up and dreamed of flying.

to be continued…