The Defence Aeroskills Training Academy (DATA) at RAAF Base Wagga moved a step closer to achieving its vision of becoming Australia’s premier aviation technical training facility this week. The project took delivery of two synthetic training devices—the first of their type in Australia—which rank with the most up-to-date and innovative courseware in the world. DATA provides initial and postgraduate training for ADF aircraft-related and other technical trades in a military-focused environment.
The training devices are an Integrated Avionics Maintenance Trainer (IAMT) and a Generic Flying Controls Trainer (GenFly). The IAMT is a high-fidelity simulated cockpit set in a generic modern military airframe structure with access panels to avionics bays that house typical line replaceable units. GenFly includes a realistic cockpit with controls and indicators that’s based on a generic modern fast jet aircraft. It provides hands-on maintenance training in flying controls, undercarriage and hydraulics, and allows the instructor to inject simulated faults from a workstation to train students in failure diagnosis and rectification.
Synthetic aids offer operation and maintenance savings, because using aircraft from the start to the end of training is expensive, and allow trainees to practise their skills in a safe but realistic environment. Instructors are able to standardise training by giving each student the same experience, set up realistic faults that may be difficult to replicate in an aircraft, quickly reconfigure the simulation, and more easily monitor a full class.
The devices were designed and manufactured in the United Kingdom by Pennant Training Systems. The aids are also used for training members of the Royal Air Force at the Defence College of Aeronautical Engineering in the UK, which performs a similar role to DATA.
DATA Project Manager Rob McNeil said the arrival of the training aids ‘means the DATA team is delivering on our promises to the customer to bring state-of-the-art training aids into the country to make sure our future aircraft maintenance technicians are as competent and technically sound as possible’.
During the next two to three weeks, the devices will be installed and commissioned before the integrated project team starts operator and instructor training, and integration of the devices into training.