Ballina to become an ‘aviation hub’
FUTURE pilots are set to benefit from some exciting innovations taking place in pilot training as one of Ballina's businesses sets its sights on becoming an aviation hub.
White Star Aviation is a boutique flight training school with the latest technology aircraft and synthetic training devices providing not only recreational training, but private, commercial, instrument ratings and instructor ratings to pilot students from Sydney to Brisbane.
"What we have done is plonked in between Sydney and Brisbane a complete aviation hub and we are not aware of anywhere else where you are going to have a full sim centre, a full flight school, air craft maintenance, and sales dealerships under one roof," head of operations Nathan James said.
With the arrival of a $150,000 CKAS Mechatronics 6 DOF series one flight simulator the training facility is one step closer to that dream.
The simulator allows six degrees of freedom in motion allowing pilots to roll, pitch, yaw all at the same time through the use of mechanised engines.
Future plans for the school include creating a simulator base with a number of devices for commonly used turbo prop aircraft worth up to $2 million each, which would be a first for Australia as pilots currently have to travel overseas to access these simulators.
Mr James said the benefit of simulators is they allowed all weather training as well as rapid repetition of certain training events that a student might be having difficulty with.
"In an aircraft, obviously it takes time and therefore it takes money to reset a particular flight scenario whereas now we can simply immediately reset with a push of a button in the flight simulator," he said.
He said simulators help people become accustomed to flying a plane from the safety of the ground.
"It is a fully immersive device and it can give those people with a fear of flying an opportunity to actually experience flight with the knowledge that they are safely on the ground, which in a number of cases has actually been all it has taken to actually overcome that initial fear and it has enabled us to get them from a synthetic training device into a real aircraft," he said.
The flight school also offers the Diamond 62 aircraft which is the most advanced multi-engine training platform on the market with full glass cockpit, oxygen, anti-icing, traffic, weather radar and full authority engine control.
They also have the P2002 Sierra mk2 light sport aircraft sporting technology, like glass touch screen instrument panels, that you get with far larger, far more expensive training aircraft.
The flight simulator and P2002 are also open to the public for gift vouchers and the simulator will be operational from today.