Edmonton-based Serious Labs, a leader in virtual reality (VR) solutions for training and operation of heavy equipment such as cranes and mobile elevated work platforms (MEWPs), announced a new airline module for MEWP operators as part of its latest software update. Now globally available, the module provides advanced hands-on training and assessment in a risk-free environment for airline maintenance crews.
Serious Labs’ new airline module offers MEWP operators advanced training that tests precise positioning and placement near challenging curved structures. Created by MEWP industry experts, these challenging scenarios allow the operator to increase risk awareness and develop the operational skills needed to position the MEWP within inches of the aircraft when performing real-world maintenance tasks — while reducing the risk of touching or damaging the aircraft with the equipment.
“One of the challenges in the aviation industry is airplane maintenance, and this type of work is frequently done through the use of scissor and boom lifts,” said Darren Verschuren, International Account Director, Serious Labs. “Typically, when you train airplane maintenance crews how to operate MEWPs, you have to do it far away from the actual aircraft. There are significant financial repercussions for even minor mistakes. Training through the use of VR simulation is an ideal way for the operators to gain hands-on experience and hone skills before they get close to the aircraft.”
The 23 task-based scenarios are easy to set up, easy to run, and are focused specifically on operating near the parabolic structure of an aircraft. The airline module challenges the operators to have smooth control of the equipment at all times, use the joystick controls to demonstrate correct feathering of the functions, alter the machine speed when approaching the fuselage, and more. Serious Labs’ ESP Scoring™ system provides quantifiable feedback to understand operator performance in terms of efficiency, safety, and proficiency.
“Because the ESP Scoring™ data is captured from the scenarios where we control the conditions, we are able to isolate the operator’s skills and really begin to understand how to help them improve. We are the only ones in the world to offer this capability, and it’s tremendously advantageous from a training and results perspective,” said Verschuren.
“The airline industry is an excellent niche for our VR MEWP simulators,” said Jim Colvin, CEO, Serious Labs. “Decades ago, the airline industry adopted simulators as a training technology for pilots, so it’s easy for them to understand how their maintenance crews could benefit from its effectiveness as well. They know it works.”
Airlines and airline maintenance contracting companies can rent or buy Serious Labs’ VR MEWP simulators through its global rental partners.