Photo courtesy of Frasca
Central Oregon Community College (COCC) in Bend, Oregon, bought a Frasca International Level 5 Robinson R44 flight training device (FTD) last year. After being certified by the FAA in the spring, it made its way to the school. Local news reports said that COCC's FTD is officially in use, marking the college's first full quarter with the simulator.
Costing a reported $400,000, the college charges students $125 per hour to use the simulator, while nonstudents are charged $20 more. However, it functions as a less-expensive alternative to flying in real aircraft. Should a student want to get more flight hours than the program provides, he or she can use the FTD.
The FTD features a three-channel cylindrical 220-degree visual display system and includes a helicopter missions database for the state of Oregon, Frasca said in 2015 when the purchase was made. The simulator is a replica of the Robinson R44, with panels, controls and instrumentation. Users can practice hovering and landing on offshore oil rigs or helipads in densely populated areas, among other maneuvers.
In order to receive a degree, students enrolled in COCC's aviation program must receive a private pilot, commercial pilot and certified flight instructor certificates, as well as instrument and multi-engine ratings. The program includes fixed-wing training — that simulator could be next to see an upgrade.