FAIRCHILD AIR FORCE BASE, Wash. --
The 92nd Maintenance Group Maintenance Qualification Training Program, used virtual reality and implemented a new aircraft pushback simulator to enhance training for new maintenance Airmen.
The simulator uses virtual reality technology, creating a low-risk, hands-on environment for Airmen to familiarize themselves with the equipment and process of moving aircraft throughout the flight line.
Learning how to complete a task in a virtual space aid in eliminating the fear of failure. Airmen can gain confidence in their abilities by repeating the same job multiple times in VR before applying what they’ve learned to the flight line, said Tech Sgt. Christian Klimek, 92nd MXG MTQP instructor.
Consistent training is another added benefit of the virtual training. In some cases, Airmen are forced to prolong their completion of training due to the lack of aircraft availability and mission requirements. With this new technology, Airmen no longer need to wait for an aircraft to be available to hone their skills.
“More airmen can be trained, certified, and become mission ready with this technology,” said Staff Sgt. Brent Noah, 92nd MXG MTQP instructor. “By the time the Airmen are on the flight line, they can complete everything with little to no additional help from their supervisors.”
Additional benefits of the new training technology include reducing the amount of time it would take to train an Airman on pushing an aircraft back, instructors now being able to provide more specific feedback within the virtual space, and projected savings up to $172 million in fuel, manning and equipment per year.
“Utilizing the virtual space for training is beneficial because is cost efficient, timely, and allows Airmen to take their training into their own hands,” Klimek said. “Now that we have this technology, there no reason we can’t get these Airmen trained and executing the mission.”
Through these innovations in maintenance training and technology, Team Fairchild’s maintenance Airmen can continue their success in ensuring the operability of the KC-135 Stratotanker and its role in sustaining rapid global mobility.