Information Technology

June 8, 1999

Maintenance training goes virtual

By Monica L. Rausch Associate Editor

June 1999

Monica L. Rausch Associate Editor

PHOENIX, AZ — Maintenance managers can put away the postcards and stamps they send to employees in far off training sites. For those bemoaning the time their technicians spend in training off-site, FlightSafety International has a solution. At the AS3 - Aviation Services and Suppliers SuperShow here FlightSafety unveiled its new virtual learning center.

The virtual learning center will hold maintenance courses over the Internet through FlightSafety's website and is designed to imitate as closely as possible a real live class room — with a real live teacher and classmates. Here's how it works:

Students sign up for classes held at a certain time of day. At that time, all the students in the class log on to the Internet and punch in a password to get to class. When the class begins, the instructor's audio is transmitted over the Internet while students view course material. Using a text chat window, students can electronically "raise a hand" to ask questions or even submit a question privately to the teacher during the class. Teachers can also give out exercises for the student to do.

Class sizes will be limited to six to eight members, and courseware is identical to that used in FlightSafety classrooms. All students need is a standard off-the-shelf multi-media computer with a modem and access to the Internet.

According to FlightSafety, the first course, Principles of Troubleshooting, is slated to begin this summer. Other courses will follow as final system tests are completed.

Of course, the virtual learning center won't replace hands-on training completely. But for many recurrency training courses, it can save travel expenses and employees' time. For maintenance managers currently experiencing a shortage of technicians, this appears to be a welcome relief. For more information on the virtual learning center, contact FlightSafety at (800) 462-2032 or see the website at

Got an ops question? here's the resource...
The National Business Aviation Association's (NBAA) Operations Service Group is looking for operational questions from its members. The association is now storing questions, along with answers from its staff, on a database known as the Operations Knowledgebase (OK). Once a substantial amount of questions fill the database, NBAA will give members access via its website. Members will be able to search the database by key words for a question they might have. Members can submit questions via a form on the OK site at

Breaking Space Constraints
Wondering how to squeeze one more aircraft onto the ramp or in the hangar? Check out the A/C Hangar Planner software from One Mile Up. It allows users to map out hangar and ramp space and choose from some 1,000 scaled aircraft images to fill it and optimize space usage. For maintenance managers, the company also offers instrument panel and aircraft interior designing software.

If you have topics on information technology that you think should be addressed in this column, contact Monica Rausch at (920) 563-1648 or e-mail to [email protected]