An Inexperienced Girl Attempts to Land the Giant A320

The International language for all aviation operations is English, so all pilots who fly internationally must first learn English before they begin their flight training.  Young Greta Adilyté,  the young  student in the pilot’s seat in this video, is enrolled at the Lithuanian VGTU AGAI Technical Institute and clearly already knows English.  The previous LINK takes you to the homepage of the Institute, but it is in Lithuanian.  If you’d like it translated into English, just click on this link.  You will have to wait a while as your computer translates the Lithuanian into English.

It is Greta’s very first time sitting in the cockpit and she has no idea of how to handle the plane. BAA Training instructor, Vilmantas Rudelis, will help her face this daunting challenge in the Airbus A320 full flight simulator. In this experiment, Greta acts as if she is alone in the cockpit and tries to land the airliner with the help, over the aircraft radio, of an air traffic controller only.  Let’s wish Greta good luck – – – and see how it goes!  Notice how extraordinarily calm young Greta is during this simulation.  Also note how the instructor/air controller needs to describe where to look on the crowded and unfamiliar instrument panels for the correct controls to manipulate in order to guide the large craft through the skies.  One technical term Mr. Rudelis uses several times, is “ILS.”  For those of you unfamiliar with aviation jargon, ILS means INSTRUMENT LANDING SYSTEM.

While watching Greta attempt to bring the airliner safely back to earth, also take notice of the scenery unfolding outside the cockpit’s windshield.  You will see the earth’s horizon indicating turns as she maneuvers the huge airliner.  You will also be able to see the intended airport runway as she tries to land the airplane.

This video was made in the Airbus A320 Flight Simulator at the VGTU Institute and was posted on the Internet on June 23, 2016.  The video is 14:30 in length and in English.  The Institute’s Facebook Page is here.

It might be interesting to consider that, prior to WWII, an inexperienced person such as Greta could not have safely landed – or likely even flown an airliner in an emergency situation such as is simulated in this video.  It is thanks to modern technology that we have excellent radio communications and also high performance autopilots on board all modern airliners.  Without either of these modern innovations, with both pilots incapacitated, the flight would surely be doomed.  Another thing about this above video situation to consider is that, only 20 or so years ago, the instrument panel would likely not have the flat and simple TV-like panel displays, but rather a confusing clutter of smaller round instrument gauges, which would be much harder to correctly interpret and follow, let alone just locate, particularly for an inexperienced person in an emergency situation.

Consequently, in this day and age, it is not at all impossible for a non-pilot to safely manipulate one of these large modern airplanes. But, in a real emergency, most inexperienced passengers, if called upon to take the controls of their airliner, would very likely find themselves far too anxious or frightened to handle the emergency as we witness Greta doing so remarkably – and calmly.  It is not at all uncommon to see experienced pilots exhibit anxiety or display nervous behavior, while flying simulators during imposed “emergency” situations as is depicted in this experiment.  Fortunately, by practicing many times in their flight simulators, this anxiety or emotional stress can be eradicated, as the direct consequence of repeated simulated emergencies and the successful handling of them.

Make sure your audio is turned up so that you can hear the dialogue as Greta is coached in what to do in order to safely control and land the large airliner.

One thought on “An Inexperienced Girl Attempts to Land the Giant A320

  1. Nancy Aldrich

    Interesting. My theory about the crash in SFO a couple of years ago is that the pilot knew how to operate the computers, but didn’t know how to fly! This illustrates what the computers can do, but a pilot needs to know how to fly when the computers fail – as they do!!!

    Nancy Welz Aldrich

    (Webmaster’s Note: Nancy is both an FASF member and one of its contributing writers. She is also a published author, including her autobiography, “Captain Gramma.” She is a retired United Airlines Captain of its Jumbo Jets, including the Boeing 747).


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