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+--Forum: General Discussion
+---Topic: Professional flight simulator pilots started by Shawn

Posted by: Shawn on Mar. 16 2017,23:32

I will try and keep this as short as I can. My real world job is as an Air Attack officer with the British Columbia Wildfire Service. As part of that job I have developed a simulation training program for training new Air Attack Officers. Just recently, I finished building a similar setup to train Helicopter Coordinators. Neither of these jobs require the candidate to be a pilot, their primary role is to coordinate and control a safe and effective aerial attack on a wildfire. The trainees are required to have a good deal of forest firefighting experience but we need to teach them how to effectively communicate and direct aircraft traffic to ensure that we are both safe and effective.

The current simulators we have allow us to fly a highly realistic mission profile and the multiplayer capabilities of P3D allows us to introduce fixed wing tankers or helicopters into the scenario for the trainee to manage. The one issue we have is that we don't have enough flight sim stations or the staff who could fly them in a realistic fashion. It's not uncommon over the course of a few hours to have 3-4 fixed wing aircraft dropping retardant and water on a fire along with 2-3 medium helicopters bucketing and moving equipment and crews.

This is where the idea of "Professional Flight Simulator Pilots" comes into play. I am planning to put together a group of sim pilots who are willing to learn some basic SOP's and are available to fly online during real world training. The majority of the training, certification and virtual firefighting will be no different than what you might normally see in an virtual airline. The one difference will be when we are doing "real world training", the pilots we have online with us will get paid for those hours. It will never amount to much money but I think the idea of getting a real paycheck for flying your flight simulator will appeal to a few.

If this initial trial works out then we will continue training individuals and make the list of certified pilots available to the other organizations who are using flight simulators as part of their training curriculum. There are a few more government groups and two private companies that I know of right now who would be interested in hiring some additional pilots to supplement their real world sim training.

For those of you who may be interested in joining this trial please take a look at this website and forum page. Its still quite basic and unrefined but I we are working under a tight timeline to try and trial this idea before fire season starts.  

< Wildfire Pilot >

If you have any questions please join the forum and I would be happy to try and answer them there.


Posted by: RCFlyer on Mar. 17 2017,00:36

I am interested in knowing more details.  I have registered at the Wildefire Pilot forum and once my account is activated I'll check there for more information.



Posted by: Shawn on Mar. 17 2017,01:40

There are some issues with account activation that im trying to sort out, in the mean time i will be activating the accounts manually. Sorry if there is a delay.


Posted by: wurger on Mar. 17 2017,20:09

I signed up on the forum, sounds like an interesting project/concept!
Posted by: Shawn on Mar. 21 2017,05:07

Thanks for signing up guys, i will hopefully be ready to start some online training in the next couple of days. Here is a short video showing the helisim i have been working on.

< >


Posted by: RCFlyer on Mar. 21 2017,16:36

Nice looking sim.  Are you using projectors or multiple monitors?  I have been using Firefighter X for the last couple days.  Interesting software.  I have not had much success putting out fires.  Guess I am not hitting the right places with my drops.  I am certain it takes some practice to get the correct visual from the cockpit for placement of the drop.

Looking forward to learning from you how it works.



Posted by: Shawn on Mar. 21 2017,20:15

I am not in front of the sim at the moment but in the configuration settings there is a percentage of hit? probability, by default it is quite low and makes you hit the target almost directly. I have it up around 400 I believe and it's much more realistic. You can also set the number of drops required to put out each size of fire effect. I have the smallest fire set to two drop and go up from their to a max of 5-8.


The outside visuals are three 50" Televisions and the chin bubble is a 21" wide screen monitor. : )


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