Dan Littmann & Mike Jackson

Dan Littmann, Staff Scientist, Simulation Systems, FlightSafety International

Dan Littmann is a Staff Scientist at the Simulation Systems unit of FlightSafety International. He received a degree in Aerospace Engineering from the University of Cincinnati in 1976 and joined FlightSafety in 1981. Over the course of his career at FlightSafety, Dan has guided the development of Level D aircraft simulations ranging from single-engine turboprops to commercial jet transports. He was instrumental in the development of the company’s first Advanced Upset Prevention and Recovery course offering for the Gulfstream G550.Dan was a member of the 2001 ICAO Flight Simulator Data Requirements working group and the International Committee for Aviation Training in Extended Envelopes (ICATEE). He presented at WATS in 2015. He has presented multiple times at the Flight Simulator Engineering and Maintenance Conference as well as the Royal Aeronautical Society. Dan is an active light airplane pilot, holding a Commercial certificate with Single-Engine, Multi-Engine, and Instrument ratings.



Mike Jackson, Manager, Acquisitions and Programs, Flight Simulator Engineering, FedEx Express

Mike received a Bachelor of Electrical Engineering degreein 1978 from McGill University, in Montreal, Canada. Mike started his career in flight simulation in May 1979 at CAE Electronics, In his time there, he has worked in multiple departments and levels. His titles have included Hardware Test Engineer, Site Chief, Field Service Representative, Integration Specialist, Project Engineer, Group Leader – Technical Proposals, Manager – Simulator Test, Manager – Electrical Engineering, Site Manager – American Sites, Manager – Update Services, Program Manager – Commercial Flight Simulators and Program Manager – Military Systems. In that time he has worked on DC-9’s, MD-80’s, MD-11, A300, A310, B727, B747, B757, B767, P3-C, Alpha Jet, MRCA/Tornado, Blackhawk, C-130, MiG-29, and others. He has worked with customers and delivered multi-million dollar flight simulation and training products in North America, Europe, Australia and Asia.Mike has worked for FedEx Express for 19 years, and counting, as Manager of Acquisitions and Programs, in the Flight Simulator Engineering department. He has been responsible for maintaining the regulatory qualification of the FedEx simulators, the acquisition of simulators and flight training equipment for FedEx’s trunk fleet, managing major upgrade projects, and flight simulator engineering. This has included acquisitions of A300, A310, MD-11, MD-10, B727, B757, B767, B777, and A380 Flight Simulation Training Devices. In this role Mike has established project plans and costings for simulator acquisitions and updates, performed vendor evaluation and selection, contract initiation and negotiation, and planned and executed engineering activities on he FedEx FSTD’s and associated equipment. The FedEx FSTD’s are used for flight training and maintenance training. Mike has previously received the FedEx Express Five Star Award for his work in simulator acquisitions.Mike has been a member of the FSEMC Steering Committee since 2005 representing FedEx. He served a four year term as Steering Committee Chairman, 2008-2012. He has also previously acted as Chairman for various Working Groups for FSEMC. Prior to that, Mike was also a member of the Flight Simulator Working Group of IATA.


Dealing with Reality: Possibilities and Pitfalls

No matter the cause, the developing shortage of qualified jet transport pilots is placing strains on the training pipeline. This creates a need to maximize the efficiency of available resources. Since the challenges of real-world flight operations arise when the unexpected happens, learning to successfully deal with those challenges must be the ultimate objective of any pilot training program. In this regard modern flight simulators continue to raise expectations as technology enables ongoing advances in fidelity. The question is no longer “Can this task be trained?” Rather, it is “Can this task be trained in a synthetic device?” Most often, the answer is “yes”. The result is that today’s flight crews are usually well acquainted with the equipment they fly right from the start. The next question is whether the simulated operating environment is realistic enough. We can do almost anything with today’s technology. That does not mean we should do everything. Furthermore, simulator time is precious. How do we utilize lower-level devices to the maximum practical extent? 

This presentation will explore the differences between initial and recurrent training. It will look at what tasks can be accomplished on lower-level devices, and which aspects of the real-world environment are most essential to training. Lastly, it will consider which things are key to continuously improving the outstanding safety record of commercial aviation.