The RAAF’s No. 1 Flying Training School has revealed how it continued to teach students during COVID by switching to virtual online programs.
The development meant instructors could continue to teach aerodynamics, meteorology, Morse code, and aircrew strength and conditioning.
The team also began the development of a training aid application for the PC-21 heads-up display.
As a result, almost 60 student pilots completed a two-week extension course on aerodynamics theory, with up to two hours of videoconferencing followed by Q&A sessions with the instructor via a secure group messaging app.
“The instructors demonstrated real initiative – they designed and delivered a package which provided the students with the breadth and depth of knowledge (in aerodynamics) required of a badged pilot,” Commanding Officer 1FTS Wing Commander Chris Pouncey said.
“The students responded very well, achieving excellent results in their summative assessments.”
Despite the absence of face-to-face training, 1FTS maintained access to experts to develop online programs to keep student pilots in training.
This involved a one-week course in meteorology from the Bureau of Meteorology.
1FTS also generated a digital short course in Morse code with support from the Director Aircrew Training Transition Office.
A mandatory self-paced program that could be conducted in compliance with state restrictions was also developed by a 30 Squadron physical training instructor, with the four-day program distributed online and completed each week by 1FTS students.
Trainee pilots also developed new ideas, with one 1FTS student with a background in software development working with a staff member to produce a heads-up display training aid, which was recently released for trial within 1FTS.
“Students and instructors have demonstrated remarkable patience and resilience,” WGCDR Pouncey said.
“I’m extraordinarily grateful to the 1FTS staff for the way they have responded to the challenges of COVID-19.
“Despite necessary control measures, 1FTS staff have genuinely achieved a maximum sustainable effort in the pursuit of the unit’s directed training requirement.”