Tubreaux Aviation: Flight simulators may help save lives - KSLA News 12 Shreveport, Louisiana News Weather & Sports

Tubreaux Aviation: Flight simulators may help save lives

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Shreveport's only flight simulator at Tubreaux Aviation at Shreveport Downtown Airport. Shreveport's only flight simulator at Tubreaux Aviation at Shreveport Downtown Airport.
SHREVEPORT, LA (KSLA) -

Shreveport's only flight simulator, located at Tubreaux Aviation at the Shreveport Downtown Airport, teaches flight skills, and can simulate emergency situations that pilots have to solve and land safely.

We've heard a lot about flight simulators lately because of the missing Malaysia flight, and its pilot that had a flight simulator on his computer. What is a flight simulator, and what does it do?

Just inside of the Downtown Shreveport Airport is Tubreaux Aviation. They are home to Shreveport's only flight simulator. A flight simulator does just what it sounds like. It simulates actual flights and flight conditions while anyone can fly at the controls."We teach people how to fly, as well as flight trips for our management customers," said James MacVarish, a flight instructor at Tubreaux.

We asked MacVarish what he thought about the missing airliner, and he said he doesn't have a clear theory, but he says the westward turn from the plane may be an indication that the pilot was trying to follow emergency procedures, "The turn that they made could indicate that they possibly were working on a problem. His first thoughts were I need to get back over land and away from the ocean because the best chances of survival are over land."

With that, KSLA News 12's Clay Ostarly took control of the simulator, and practiced for about an hour with everything working properly. However, we wanted to understand what the pilots on the missing airliner may have experienced if all of their instruments and communications were cut off. "Pilots rely a lot on their instrument panels. What we're going to do is simulate the conditions of the missing airlines conditions. We're in the dark, over water, in the clouds, and our instrument panel is going to fail. Let's see how it goes," said Ostarly.

"now that my system has failed, the only thing I can use is a compass, my speed indicator, and my altitude indicator. I can't see anything, and I find myself lost 5,000 feet in the air," said Ostarly. It's at this point that McVarish gives some good advice. "It's always good to have situational awareness of where you are, and where the closest airport is," said MacVarish.

"So I use my compass to turn west, drop my altitude to get out of the clouds, and safely land at the closest airport," said Ostarly.

MacVarish says that all pilots are trained to make smart decisions, and it's the training on flight simulators and flight experience that saves people in times of emergencies.

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