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Tags: Aviation

World’s Coolest Video Game?

March 18, 2015

FedEx Flight Simulator

FedEx Flight Simulation and Safety

It’s been called the “world’s coolest video game,” and while it is a sensational visual and motion experience, visuals only scrape the surface of flight simulator capabilities in the FedEx Air Ops Training Center in Memphis, TN.

But, that wasn’t always the case says Captain John Hunt, the Boeing 777 Flight Training manager. “Historically, simulator training was not to the fidelity that it is today.  Simulators did not have motion, visuals were not that acute, and the FAA required continued training while in the airplane.”  Today, the nearly 4300 FedEx pilots and instructors log more than 12,000 annual training sessions in one of the 17 flight simulators, including the MD10, MD11, Airbus 300/310 series, 757, 767 and 777 models.

“When the pilot enters the simulator, it is the exact same cockpit in which they operate; buttons, displays, all of the systems are the same as it would be in the actual jet,” says Captain Hunt.  “This dedication to flight simulators highlights the commitment that FedEx has to safety.”

Simulator training is not Pilot Training 101.  Pilots have thousands of hours of service before ever being hired by FedEx. Flight simulation is an enhancement, in addition to classroom training, that takes pilots above their previous experience. Some main benefits included activity repetition and increasing levels of challenge.  In a simulator, pilots can strengthen their muscle memory, consistency and standardization while they have the opportunity to redo, reposition and reevaluate their own performance along with instructor feedback.  Because FedEx flies to so many locations around the world, another unique benefit is that pilots can see and work through those airport locations before experiencing them in an aircraft.

Captain Hunt continued, “FedEx takes advantage of the highest technical advanced simulation today and always looks to the future not only with technology, but with the quality training of the anticipated technology that will become available.” One example is the Head-Up Display Enhanced Flight Visual system also known as HUD EFVS.  This device allows for enhanced situational awareness as the pilot looks through a special piece of glass that displays navigational and flight data systems along with critical flight guidance information. In addition, thermal technology called FLIR (forward looking infrared radiometer) provides pilots with a type of “synthetic vision” to clearly see the environment below.  This is extremely helpful when landing in low visibility conditions like fog, rain, snow or any other reduced visibility situations.

At FedEx, safety is paramount and the goal at the Air Ops Training Center is to provide the highest quality training available.  With flight simulation, the skies will remain safe.

  • FedEx Flight Simulators in Memphis, TN

  • FedEx Flight Simulators in Memphis, TN

  • Pilots training inside Boeing 777 Flight Simulator

  • Flight Instructor in Boeing 777 Flight Simulator

  • Captain John Hunt, Boeing 777 Flight Training Manager

  • Boeing 777 Flight Simulator in Memphis, TN

  • FedEx Air Operations Training Classroom

  • FedEx Air Operations Briefing Room


    Colin Crispin says:

    Wow fantastic facility. Tomorrow I’m taking members of my team to BIrmingham Fedex Express UK. Meeting ramp teams, 757 loading PM operations. To see the real thing! Guys can’t wait.

    dearztex says:

    Thank you ever so for you blog post.Thanks Again. Really Great. oqza

    Douglas Lang says:

    Looking forward for the hiring window to open so maybe one day I could play those “video games” too.

    Chris Berthold says:

    This is a pipe dream for me. I’ve been flying Sims since I was in middle school and have 120 hours in a few aircraft mostly 172. When I was a kid this was my dream. I’m living part of it. Transport hauling just seemed so cool. I admire the pilots of FedEx. It’s a cool job no doubt.

    sarah jones says:

    I love the idea of the simulator its kind of like NASA’s space ship.

    Robert Smith says:

    Great Company. Got to work in sales for them for 17 years before retiring. Years ago when I was a customer of FedEx I was invited to Memphis and got to fly the Boeing 747 simulator for an hour. Having a commercial pilots license and the love of flying made this a real experience.

    Ray Campagna says:

    Dear Mr. Smith,

    Not that I have been counting but I have been working on this one job for the last 13,010 days, 19 hours and 55 minutes. I update my resume with you DAILY. I WELL exceed your minimum requirements not to mention I have a couple of decades with THE company that everyone wants to fly for. Please ask the next interviewee, “Do you know what a ULD is? A PLA? An M3? An SAA?” Maybe “Where were they on the first day of the Overnight Letter?” Or “How many 737’s did FedEx have?” “Ever heard of ZAP mail?” Where did the term “Gemini” come from? Maybe the significance of “Wendy” on the Falcon 20 that is in the Smithsonian. I could go on forever.

    I was hired in 1980 when you were looking for people who wanted to spend their life there; not just a job but their life. For the next 24+ years I was an exemplary ultra mega dedicated employee who constantly went way above and beyond the call for the good of Federal Express and have ZERO regrets for the quality of my work. A multitude of awards and a training record over 3 feet long. Your company made me a really good person in life and I will never be able to thank you enough.

    So I will keep beating on your door until I get to fly for you. On that day I will be able to show not only my kids, but every single employee of Federal Express that they CAN do what they dream to do in life if they work long enough and hard enough. I’ll be right here. I’m not going anywhere.

    Ray Campagna

    Bravo Zulu!

    David Moeslein says:

    An interesting comment by Mr. Campagna, except that I don’t quite understand it. It looks to me like he has/had a nice career with FedEx and was flying? If he started in 1980 and was 25 years old at the time – he’d be 60 today; maybe he was 30 in 1980, so he’s recently retired. I can’t find his name or employee number in the directory, so that’s my guess. Is he saying that he wants to fly Mr. Fred Smith? There’s a corporate flight department, but I believe they also have an age 65 retirement. For Mr. Campagna’s benefit, I hope that somebdoy is reading this who can help him out, but I think that psoting it on a forum such as this may not be the best approach. I wish him success – as what appears to be a 35-year employee, I’m surprised he hasn’t ahd the opportunity to meet Mr. Smith and persoanlly make his request. Best wishes to Mr. Campagna, nonetheless!

    David Moeslein

    Jose Garbutt says:

    so can one go about flying for FedEx?

    David Placek says:

    Was a simulator Pilot/technician until retired from USN Plus 20 yrs. Got to fly American airlines 747 sim in DFW what a blast 1980’s. Would love to come see your video game? Worked on F-14 E-2c A4 S3 , got to fly in A3D and TA4 and numerous cods & helos. I worked on Top Gun & Firefox F14 sims and got to meet the actors, Clint is quite a guy. Hope to see ya soon.

    chhatrapati says:

    Hi FedEx, is there any vacancies for Simulator Technician?

    Don Clay says:

    Does anyone know if they have a DC-10 simulator and whom I would need to contact to see if it is for sale?

    Elizabeth Street says:

    i wood love to work with World’s Coolest Video Game.

    Joe Sheffield says:

    Very impressive Facility and presentation

    backlinks says:

    wtur8U Very neat blog post. Will read on…

    Heather Womack says:

    Yet another example how FedEx proactively looks to the future for technologies that can keep us safe and provide outstanding service for our customers. Proud.

    Rodney Botts says:

    Boy the training system for FEDEX has come a long way since 1980. Before 1980 FEDEX pilots were trained in other companies (Braniff, American Airlines,ETC) devices in the middle of the night. I was hired by Brian Pecan VP Flight and worked with Clive Seals to created a world class training system for FEDEX. Our first simulator was a 727-100 from Singer Link. It was the first box simulator in the industry to be painted with company colors. We went on with many other first building the finest training system in the world. Looks like the tradition has been cared on.

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