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Visionary Training Resources and CommuteAir Partner to Bring VR to Pilot Training

The airline is the first U.S.-based regional operator to utilize virtual reality technology in a training environment.

A CommuteAir Embraer E145 aircraft (Photo: CommuteAir)

Visionary Training Resources (VTR), a Tampa-based developer of virtual reality (VR) flight training devices, and CommuteAir, a regional airline operating as United Express, recently inked a partnership to incorporate VTR’s technology into CommuteAir’s pilot training program.

This collaboration will see CommuteAir pilots utilizing VTR’s FlightDeckToGo system to gain an immersive and realistic training experience. The initial focus will be on Embraer ERJ-145 ground-based procedural flows, with potential expansion to cover other non-normal and emergency scenarios in the future.

“We look forward to expanding our rapidly growing customer base with a leader in the U.S. regional airline market. CommuteAir is fully committed to providing a world-class training experience for their pilots, and we are excited to be their partner in the VR space,” said Captain Evey Cormican, VTR’s Founder and Chief Executive Officer, in a press release.

The airline says that VR headsets will be issued to new pilots during the first several weeks of their initial training, allowing them to practice during ground training at the location of their choice. VR will supplement CommuteAir’s current use of Graphical Flight Simulation (GFS).

According to a press release, CommuteAir spent over two years evaluating VR solutions and has been actively integrating VR into its pilot training infrastructure for the past year. This partnership paves the way for hundreds of new and current CommuteAir aviators to use VR training over the next two years, starting with basic flight deck procedures.

Virtual reality headset for CommuteAir (Photo: Visionary Training Resources)

“VTR’s virtual reality headsets and handsets will enhance our current training program for the more than 200 pilots we’re hiring annually by enabling them to familiarize themselves with our aircraft’s cockpit using a realistic simulation. CommuteAir trainees will practice flight deck orientation, flows, and procedures with the assistance of the VTR’s virtual instructor and eye-tracking features,” Lance Lau, the airline’s Director of Flight Crew Training, added.

VTR was founded by pilots with ‘extensive safety and training backgrounds.’ Since its inception in 2017, the company has partnered with a handful of airlines and flight schools to deliver virtual reality to pilot training programs, including Atlas Air and JetBlue.

Ryan Ewing
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  • Ryan Ewing

    Ryan founded AirlineGeeks.com back in February 2013 and has amassed considerable experience in the aviation sector. His work has been featured in several publications and news outlets, including CNN, WJLA, CNET, and Business Insider. During his time in the industry, he's worked in roles pertaining to airport/airline operations while holding a B.S. in Air Transportation Management from Arizona State University along with an MBA. Ryan has experience in several facets of the industry from behind the yoke of a Cessna 172 to interviewing airline industry executives. Ryan works for AirlineGeeks' owner FLYING Media, spearheading coverage in the commercial aviation space.

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