BAA Training (formerly known as Baltic Aviation Academy) is one of the largest European standard aviation training centres. It provides tailored training solutions, combined with high levels of personal service. BAA Training’s people are united by a passion for aviation and a desire to deliver the most efficient training solutions for both pilots and airlines. Certified as an Approved Training Organization (ATO), BAA Training currently offers training solutions for Fixed and Rotary wing Ab Initio, Type Rating, Cabin Crew, Ground Handling, Flight Dispatcher and UAV/UAS, including online training courses.
Part of the training BAA provides trainees viewing a real aircraft, with an instructor showing them what is what on the aircraft, where it is, what they should focus their attention on and what they need to know. This part of the process is necessary, but expensive. For each session, BAA have to book a plane for several hours, as there is no other way the trainees can see it in ‘real life’ themselves. Along with that, there is travel to the airport and back to consider – and waiting for the aircraft to arrive and become available may also take additional time.
To reduce costs and save time, an immersive VR training program was created to deliver Pre-flight Inspection for trainee ground handling crew. Shaped by their specific needs and requirements, it provides all the aviation training information necessary for their roles.
The VR program also includes virtual aircraft walk-around, virtual training and maintenance training in all the key skills required for the trainee to achieve the main competences in this area of learning.
The whole process is very simple, and is based on an app which can be purchased from the Oculus App Store. Using the app, trainees put on a Samsung Gear VR device, go to the lecture room and see the aircraft in front of them in virtual reality – just as if it was physically there. They can view the plane in detail, in 360 degrees, and the device has an integral navigation pointer which enables them to look around and under the plane, even around the cabin, seeing every detail in close up.
All of this happens in real time within the lecture room, so the lecturer can see the same images on his/her computer and navigate the trainees through all the topics they would cover when viewing a physical airplane. He/she can lead them to any pertinent location around the plane and virtually lock them into that location so they remain fully focussed on the area being covered and do not ‘wander off’ in virtual reality. At the same time the lecturer is able to talk to the trainees and explain the relevant study materials.
TECHNOLOGIES AND TOOLS
Hardware: Samsung Gear VR
Game Engine: Unity
Frameworks and SDKs: Oculus Platform SDK, Photon Unity Networking
IDE: Visual Studio
Other tools: Git