Airport panel OKs flight simulator purchase

Thursday, April 22, 2021

Local pilots looking to work on their instrument rating and potential pilots looking to log some cockpit hours will soon have a place to do so — on the ground.

The Carroll County Airport Commission voted Friday to purchase a flight simulator from Redbird Flight Simulations Inc. of Austin in a move they hope will bring more people to the airport just west of Berryville.

“From what we understand from Redbird, they come up, they set it up and they certify it,” commissioner Morris Pate said. “When they walk away from it, we have an instrument there that can be used to log time. It can be used for training; it can be used for whatever we want to use it for.”

Pate went on to say that he felt it would expand the capability of the airport and would be a “revenue generator” for the airport.

“I think once we publicize this enough, the general public is going to come in and say, ‘Hey, we can go out to the airport and we can learn more about aviation,’ ” Pate said.

The simulator, which will cost approximately $11,683, will feature an interchangeable, desk-mounted basic aviation training device featuring a Redbird G1000 avionics panel with integrated GFC700 autopilot on a custom designed table.

The purchase price includes monitors, brackets, cables and hardware.

In addition, the Redbird simulator — which is certified by the Federal Aviation Administration — comes with a subscription package that will provide real-world global information about airports, runways, en route and terminal waypoints, VHF navigational aids, airways, instrument approaches, standard instrument departures, standard terminal arrival routes and airspace frequencies.

Funds to purchase the simulator will come from the commission’s general fund and will be offset by donations totaling $2,631.

In other business, the commission heard a report from consulting engineer Dan Clinton regarding the positioning of a new LED windcone.

According to Clinton, the initial location chosen to place the windcone was rejected by the FAA.

“Evidently, when you go past the end of the runway, there’s all kinds of other rules that take place,” Clinton said. “What I’m recommending is that we put it between the runway and the taxiway.”

Clinton said this location has just enough room to accommodate the required spacing.

Commissioners requested Clinton look into a minor change to move the windcone as far down the grass strip as possible to make that area still usable as an emergency grass airstrip.

The commission is expected to vote on the matter at its next meeting, scheduled for noon, Friday, May 21, at the airport.

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