Finding training personnel is a serious challenge for civilian MROs. The problem is even worse in military organizations such as the CF. Since highly trained technicians are able to get better pay in the corporate world, military organizations constantly find themselves hunting for new talent to take their place. This leads to more trouble. “It can take up to two years to train a new technician before they are ready to go out on the flight line to do apprentice work,” says Henry.
This is why the Canadian Forces, led by Colonel Cooke, asked NGRAIN and StandardAero to develop the T56 A/IETM. The Canadian military’s goal is to speed up the training of new technicians without sacrificing quality on the flight line.
“The Canadian Forces performed a trial comparing how long it took novice technicians to learn via traditional manuals, versus 3-D models,” says Henry. “The group that was trained using the models learned to do the repair significantly faster than the manual-trained techs, and showed much higher knowledge.”
Typically, an A/IETM can help MRO trainees learn what they need to do up to 30 percent more quickly than book learning, Batstone notes. They can then take that training data with them when they go to do the work.
This is just the first stage of the Canadian Forces’ evaluation of the T56 A/IETM. At press time, it was rolling out a field comparison of the two methods at the CF air base in Trenton, Ontario.
NGRAIN has already developed other A/IETMs for the CF, such as a C130 propeller virtual trainer for the Canadian Forces School of Aerospace Technology and Engineering (CFSATE). The results are promising. Based on CFSATE’s own research, students using the A/IETM-based trainer qualified up to 60 percent faster than those using traditional book-based methods. Other CF-driven virtual task trainers include A/IETMs focused on 3-D landmine simulations, a Griffon helicopter virtual task trainer, and a MK-46 computer-based torpedo virtual task trainer.
NGRAIN has also developed a 3-D Stryker Battle Damage Assessment and Repair A/IETM for the U.S. Army, and a Weapons Virtual Task Trainer for the U.S. National Guard.
Clearly, an A/IETM virtual task trainer is an effective, efficient tool for bringing technicians up to speed fast. When will this technology be offered to the civilian MRO market?
“The technology to do this is readily available today,” says Henry. “Someone just has to do the programming.”