World's First Full-Motion Seaplane Simulator at Victoria Flying Club

May 28, 2015

World’s First Full-Motion Seaplane Flight Simulator:

Victoria Flying Club Still Leading The Way in Local Flight Training After 70 Years

Victoria, BC – May 28, 2015 –  An ambitious technical upgrade to current equipment has lead the Victoria Flying Club to unveil the world’s first Full-Motion Seaplane Training Device, and the aviation industry is taking note. 

VFC Chief Flight Instructor Graham Palmer is pleased with the new developments.  “With the technical savvy and expertise of VFC member Peter Lagergren blazing the way, we have made several advances within the flight training world.  Through accurate aerodynamic software calibration improvements, Peter has enhanced the fidelity and performance capabilities of all aircraft configurations we offer.  With the augmented visual graphic software created by Don Grovestine, VFC’s FMX provides the most advanced and realistic experience possible.  Additionally, through several software and hardware reconfigurations, VFC’s FMX has become the world’s first ‘Full Motion Seaplane Flight Training Device’.”

The Redbird FMX  has delivered unmatched training value for Victoria Flying Club members and a one-of-a kind experience to the general public for the past five years.  It is currently the only Transport Canada Certified Simulator of its kind on Vancouver Island, providing synthetic training realism for Private, Night, Commercial, and Instrument Pilots.  While not a replacement for training in an actual aircraft, pilots of all levels can hone their primary or advanced flight skills in a device which provides accurate motion feedback.  With the FMX’s electro-hydraulic motion platform and wrap-around visuals, it offers million dollar realism at a fraction of the cost of all other commercially available simulators.  And now, for the first time ever, the Victoria Flying Club’s Redbird FMX offers a Seaplane training option, currently unavailable anywhere else in the world.

This cutting edge development will expand the Victoria Flying Club’s already successful Seaplane training program offered at the Victoria Airport’s Seaplane Base at nearby Patricia Bay. With the addition of a Seaplane-capable simulator, pilots training towards a Seaplane Rating can benefit from several simulated water handling scenarios including all forms of water taxiing and docking under a multitude of conditions, in addition to gaining practice with take-offs and landings.  Full-motion Seaplane simulation has never been done before, and the advances made by VFC have caught the attention of the developers at Redbird; In turn, VFC has agreed to assist in beta testing Redbird’s development of a “Wide Area Augmentation Service” (WASS), a technology found within modern aircraft GPS systems.

The man behind this incredible local development is Peter Lagergren, pilot, physicist, and proud VFC member.  A transplanted American with a 40 year research and development career in satellite data communication, Lagergren’s accomplishments also include a Commercial Pilot Licence and  4000+  flight hours, including 275 Cobra combat missions in Vietnam, and 500 hours as an advanced phase military IP. He also flew as the solo man in a three ship T-28 aerobatic airshow team.

As a member of the Victoria Flying Club, Lagergren noticed some quirks in the programming of the Redbird Simulator.  “I started working on the sim,” says Lagergren, “because I couldn't hand fly it in IMC (Instrument Meteorological Conditions) and that just didn't seem right. I was immediately elected ‘the sim guy’ by acclamation.”  Lagergren has since spent countless hours working with VFC staff, and the experts at Redbird, to enhance the performance of the Redbird FMX, and to add the additional Seaplane capabilities currently available only at VFC.  Lagergren is pleased with the final result, and says the Seaplane simulation is “a great way for experienced float plane pilots to renew their skills before going out on the water and a great way for float plane beginners to experience it all before doing it for real.”  Additionally, this highly skilled pilot and scientist is fully enjoying his experience at the Victoria Flying Club.  “I think VFC is the coolest organization that I have been involved with.  Super professional and really nice people.  A safe place to fly.”

VFC President and pilot Ramona Reynolds echoes Lagergren’s sentiments.  “The Victoria Flying Club is in its seventieth year of training commercial and private pilots, and the people here are what really make this such an amazing organization.  As a not-for-profit, our members own the Club, and we love it when members get involved like Peter has.  We are very grateful for his time and expertise, and excited by his contribution to our training facility.  Having a Full- Motion Seaplane simulator on-site is an incredible accomplishment and a great asset for our members.  We feel confident that this latest technological advancement will help us continue in our role as a local, national, and international leader in flight training for another seventy years and beyond.”