The Aspen Flight Academy in Colorado, a one-of-a-kind program that offers every Aspen High School student the chance to experience flight and learn about careers in aviation, will receive a new ALSIM AL40 simulator. An exact replica of Diamond’s DA40 NG aircraft, this will be the first AL40 in North America.
The high fidelity AL40 is a perfect match to Aspen’s fleet of new Diamond aircraft. Aspen received the first two DA40 NGs in August 2020 and plans on receiving two more a year for the next nine years. Like the aircraft itself, the AL40 boasts an impressive list of features including a Garmin G1000 NXi and GFC 700 autopilot/flight director with electric pitch trim. The AL40 includes ALSIM’s own advanced in-house VFR image generator and visual system with a 210-degree screen.
Dr Scott Firsing of ALSIM’s North America office explains the multiple benefits of utilizing the AL40: “The new flight training device will allow students to learn the Aspen/Pitkin County airport and surrounding terrain. They will become more familiar with the basics of flight training, while at the same time learn the avionics and get a better feel for the power and speed of the aircraft. As the student’s skills increase, they can practice how to handle numerous failures that they might encounter in the real world. And they can do all of this in a safe and comfortable, yet realistic learning environment.”
Captain Mike Pearce, the Aspen Flight Academy’s Board of Directors Chairman, a Boeing 777 Captain for American Airlines and the creator of the Every Student Flies program adds: “We have given hundreds of introductory flight lessons to our High Schools students and staff. Our current classes are now over-subscribed! Our hope and plan is for other public high schools across America to be excited about our program and look into doing the same in their communities. We have worked to boilerplate all aspects of our program so other High Schools can simply roll out the program without all the brain damage we have gone through. This would include legal, aircraft, simulators, fundraising, insurance and many other aspects of program management.
Captain Pearce adds: “I envision a strong long-term partnership with ALSIM where young aviators succeed. The model, meaning the format, curriculum, equipment, and overall boilerplate that we create with our Diamond Aircraft and the ALSIM Simulator, will be the gold standard that we will then roll out all across America.”
Aspen’s AL40 simulator will be on display and available to fly at EAA Airventure Oshkosh 2021 in July.