Czech Airlines has officially initiated the operation of its cabin simulator for the Airbus A320 series aircraft. This simulator is an exact copy of part of the plane’s cabin section and cockpit area and while it will be used primarily to train the cabin crews and the pilots of Czech Airlines, it will also be available for use by other parties. The simulator is mounted on a movable base, which allows it to simulate the movement of an aircraft while in the air. Air crews can use it to rehearse all routine, as well as non-routine, procedures which take place on board the aircraft in realistic flight conditions. The new simulator will also be available to the public as part of the airline’s ‘flying without fear’ courses and during flight crew training centre tours.
Besides allowing its users to train in the providing of standard on-board passenger services, the new simulator can also be used to rehearse emergency procedures - such as those involving a loss of cabin pressure, fire fighting, an aborted takeoff, an emergency landing and the evacuation of the aircraft using emergency slides.
The cabin simulator was manufactured by the German company TFC Velbert. The device is an exact copy of part of the cabin of the Airbus A319, A320 and A321 family of aircraft. The interior includes an on-board galley, two lavatories, a cockpit, a passenger cabin seating 41 and all of the related equipment required for the rehearsal of various routine and emergency situations. This includes communications gear, fire extinguishers and oxygen masks. The three types of doors in the simulator can be opened in either a standard or emergency fashion, which includes the release of the emergency evacuation slides. In a manner similar to way in which flight simulators are used for the training of pilots, the cabin simulator is mounted on an hydraulic base, making it possible to replicate the movements of an aircraft in flight. Some of the cabin windows are equipped with monitors for the visualization of simulated landscapes. With these features, the simulator can be used by cabin crews to rehearse all standard and non-standard procedures which can take place aboard an aircraft and do so under realistic conditions.
European aviation regulations contain very strict and detailed requirements regarding the curriculum to be used for all types of pilot and cabin crew training courses. A part of each initial training, type training and annual recurrent training course for cabin crews is the realistic rehearsal of all emergency and rescue procedures. Czech Airlines previously used a fixed Boeing 737 cabin simulator along with other types of devices for such training purposes.