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Aviation instruction through flight simulation and related learning

, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, United States

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign . Awarded


The use of simulation in General Aviation flight training is an emergent practice and promises to increase substantially. Training through simulation is not addressed in the primary publication used to train flight instructors, however. In effect, training devices have been added into the curriculum by those using the technology as a cross between flight and ground instruction. The significance of how one learns in a training device is the potential effect on both in-flight learning and normal practices.

A review of the literature, document review, interviews with flight instructors and students, and observations of instructional sessions in training devices, provided data to answer the prime research question: (a) What type(s) of learning best explain how learners are socialized to aviation through the use of simulation technology?

One segment of the general aviation population, college and university flight programs, was sampled. Four types of learning provided a conceptual framework: reception; autonomous; guided inquiry; and social cognitive operationalized as cognitive apprenticeship.

A central dilemma was identified from the data collected. This dilemma is the extent to which aviation and aviation instruction in training devices is perceived by instructors as being either safe or risky. Two sub-dilemmas of the central dilemma are also identified: (1) whether the perception of aviation on the part of instructors is one of control or autonomy and (2) whether aviators use and should be taught routines or innovation;.

Three ways of viewing the aviation environment were identified from the combination of these sub-dilemmas by instructors: (1) aviation as safe; (2) aviation as somewhat safe; and (3) aviation as risky.

Resolution of the fundamental dilemma results in an emergent view of aviation as risky and the implications of this view are discussed. Social cognitive learning operationalized as cognitive apprenticeship as an appropriate type of learning for high-risk fields is examined.

A second dilemma was also identified from the data. This is a socio-technical dilemma addressing the influence of training device design on the type of learning employed by instructors.

Implications of the findings are discussed in terms of task analyses, curriculum development, equipment, and instructional resources and training.


Green, M.F. Aviation instruction through flight simulation and related learning. Ph.D. thesis, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Retrieved July 23, 2021 from .

This record was imported from ProQuest on October 23, 2013. [Original Record]

Citation reproduced with permission of ProQuest LLC.

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