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Alaska Airlines one of first US Airlines to use virtual reality in pilot training

Alaska Airlines is one of the first US Airlines to use virtual reality in pilot training

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The Flight Operations Training Center of Alaska Airlines now uses new technologies. Basic training for a pilot usually consists of classroom instruction, followed by half simulations, full simulations, and finally time in a real aircraft. Now, the first section of textbook training includes an introduction to virtual reality (VR).

The virtual reality goggles were utilised for the first time today by students like Scott Wathey, a newly hired First Officer with Alaska Airlines. Wathey compared it to how you know precisely where the snooze button is on your alarm clock in the morning. “This enables our muscle memory to remember exactly where that switch is,” said.


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Pilots used flat posters that were taped to their walls to study before VR technology was available. The simulator’s lights and levers would require some getting used to. “We won’t need to waste four hours attempting to locate the switches when you begin your first simulator sessions. You can enter on day one and in the first minute and know precisely where things are “said Shawn Thumma, first officer for Alaska Airlines.


The technology has been in Alaska Airlines’ possession for almost a year, and it has been used for six months already. At a time when the airline is expanding its hiring procedure, this has happened. 300 Airbus pilots are currently learning to fly a Boeing 737 while 600 new pilots are being produced annually.

An essential action to assist in staffing airplanes and boost customer capacity. One of the first US airlines to deploy this VR technology is Alaska Airlines. They predict that because of its success, it will soon become the standard.