Browse Publications Technical Papers 2021-01-0038

Virtual Simulation-Based Training for Aviation Maintenance Technicians: Recommendations of a Panel of Experts 2021-01-0038

A well implemented and suitable training plan makes a company's operations more effective. In the aviation industry, qualified maintenance technicians are one of the most significant assets to improve safety of passengers and reliability of air transportation. This paper investigated the effectiveness of virtual simulation-based training in the aviation maintenance. It garnered data from a panel of experts to discover if virtual simulation-based training can be used instead of the traditional training techniques to train maintenance technicians. From the aviation industry in Saudi Arabia, 11 experts were selected and interviewed. Experts were asked 9 questions seeking their opinions on utilizing the virtual reality technology on the aviation maintenance training, and if it can overcome the limitations of utilizing traditional methods while providing the needed skills. The panel of experts agreed that this technology is an efficient, practical, and doable method to be used in the aviation maintenance training. It provides a risk-free technique to train technicians. However, they stated that this technology should be used in combination with the traditional training methods to avoid potential problems and limitations, such as lack of equipment, time consuming, and exposing trainees to dangerous situations when using the traditional methods, and to avoid challenges, such as information technology (IT) infrastructure, high cost of implementation, lack of accountability, and more importantly, not offering a real sense of equipment when using the virtual reality technology. Therefore, the panel of experts recommended that this technology should be used as a Recurrent Technical Training (RTT) for maintenance technicians who already received an Initial Technical Training (ITT) using traditional techniques, hands-on training, for instance.


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