Contact: Wendel Sloan at 505.562.2253
Reporter: Donna Gutierrez
ROSWELL – Pilot training and research at the Flight Safety Training Center at Eastern New Mexico University-Roswell will continue thanks to federal funding approved in the 2003 Omnibus Appropriations Bill. The bill contains $3 million for the joint university-industry project, which trains commercial airline pilots and collects research data utilizing advanced 'in-flight simulation' technology.
Through this training, pilots learn how to respond to loss-of-control aircraft situations, which is the leading cause of all commercial aviation accidents. The program began operations one year ago. Approximately 80 pilots have completed the training, with about 3,000 more on a waiting list.
"Calspan-UB Research Center, prime contractor for the In-Flight Upset Recovery Training Program based at ENMU-Roswell, and our other Alliance for Flight Safety Research partners--Veridian, the State of New Mexico Department of Transportation, and the City of Roswell--are pleased to learn that continuing federal funding for this very important safety initiative has been approved through the efforts of the New Mexico Congressional delegation," said Michael D. Moskal, Upset Recovery Training Program Manager-Calspan UB Research Center, Inc.
"The Alliance has received excellent response from the commercial aviation community during the first year of this program and has been successful in demonstrating the effectiveness of the training taking place on the campus of ENMU-Roswell. This effectiveness is being measured using advanced in-flight simulators developed by Veridian that enhance a pilot's ability to regain control of an aircraft after experiencing a control system failure or other condition such as wake turbulence that causes an airplane to lose control," he said.
"As the Alliance moves forward into the next year of this program, our goal is to continue to make great strides in reducing the number of loss-of-control accidents, and thus have a significant impact on reducing the loss of human life as a result of these accidents. During this next year, we will attempt to accomplish this goal through advanced development of the innovative 'Advanced Maneuver Training' program systems and expanding the number of pilots trained. We are very much excited about the progress that we have made so far and we look forward to working with each of the invaluable partners involved in the Alliance for Flight Safety Research Program as well as the Federal Aviation Administration, our Government sponsor, as we continue to develop and expand these technologies and training methods," said Moskal.
"The additional funding that has been approved for this vital program is wonderful news for our university and our community and we thank our congressional delegation for their continued support," said Dr. Judy Armstrong, Provost, ENMU-Roswell. "We are pleased with the work our partners are doing to improve air travel safety for passengers and pilots. This is also a boost for local economic development efforts," she said. A ground simulator and classroom for the Flight Safety Training Center are housed in the Aviation Maintenance Technology Center on campus.