Use of the Simulator in Assessment
A Flight Simulation Training Device (FSTD) may at first sight appear to be the ideal selection tool for pilots as it is designed to mimic with a high degree of fidelity the aircraft and environment in which they operate. This chapter provides an overview of the current use of FSTDs before examining in detail their strengths, limitations and drawbacks in the selection process. The first aviation simulator was the famous Link Trainer, built in 1934, designed to help pilots practice their night and Instrument Meteorological Conditions flying. One airline which was recruiting for pilots already holding a type-rating specified that a “non-technical assessment” consisting of classroom-based team exercises and competencies would take place earlier in the selection process, and the FSTD exercise would be a “technical exercise” looking at “technical standard of flying”. The intent of FSTDs is to mimic the real-world aviation environment as closely as possible.