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Mastering Simulated Emergency Procedures for Fighter Pilots

Updated: Jul 20, 2023

The United States Air Force (USAF) has seen an 85.7% decrease in the past three years in aviation fatalities and a 42.8% decrease in loss of aircraft. These are the lowest numbers seen in the past decade. So, what’s leading to this increased conservation of life and resources? Training, mission preparation, and better training devices have contributed to this positive change.

Class A Mishaps




Loss of Aircraft




Loss of Life




Table 1: Aviation Mishaps show steep decline over the past three years showing the effectiveness of safety training. (Source: Department of the Air Force Safety Center Aviation Class A Mishap Summary released on March 27, 2023.)

Training for a Myriad of Circumstances

Training on fighter pilot simulated emergency procedures is an integral part of the reduced number of fatalities and loss of aircraft. Scenarios are often developed based on past data gathered on mishaps or near misses of such. With the release of the second Top Gun movie, most civilians are familiar with parachutes and ejection seats, but much more is needed to prepare an aviator for the myriad of emergency situations possible within any one mission.

In an article released by Air Force Global Strike Command on Nov. 1, 2022, Francisco Webb, Deputy Chief of B-2 Requirements, said simulated emergency procedures “makes them better at switch memory, so it’s muscle memory and almost a second nature reaction versus having to struggle through handling an actual in-flight emergency. It makes them faster, but it makes them more efficient and potentially it’s going to save lives. That’s the ultimate goal.”

Our experienced pilots and loadmasters work to develop scenarios throughout our contracts with all military branches. DRG has exceptionally skilled aviation and mechanic instructors who align their scenarios and instruction to address the changes within the performance of each aircraft, morphing political landscapes, and growth of technology to keep fighter pilots safer in emergencies.

Mike Haire, DRG’s Vice President of Training Services sees the value of this safety-centered focus. “With crew resource management (CRM) and flight safety established as the cornerstone of priorities, our daily charter for our organization of former flyers from each branch of the (Department of Defense), DRG strives and succeeds at bringing currency and relevancy to every evolution we engage in with our uniformed and commercial-based customers.”

Mission Preparation for Success

An important part of mission preparation is emergency procedure practices. An instructor or loadmaster can inject a scenario into the simulator to change the course of the training for the pilot. More advanced simulation practices include the use of virtual reality goggles and reflector gloves that allow for devices to track the movement of the pilot in the model flight deck. This gives instructors the ability to find the smallest discrepancies and lags in performance to ensure today’s warfighter is prepared for whatever challenges they may face.

Once training has been completed successfully in a simulator, instruction in fighter pilot-simulated emergency procedures can then be conducted in live flight training. Priority 1 Air Rescue (P1AR), a live flight training course, provides hands-on experience of hoisting and emergency procedures training for the USAF’s 55th Rescue Squadron “Night Hawks” at the Davis-Monthan Air Force Base in Tucson, Arizona. Two HH-60G helicopters are used in coordination to complete this simulated emergency procedure.

Devices Enable Progress

PARASIM, the flagship product of Systems Technology Inc. (STI), is a virtual reality parachute training simulator used throughout the USAF and United States Navy for aircrew-simulated emergency simulator training. STI acknowledges the importance of this work, “Emergency ejection or bailout from a badly-damaged aircraft is a life-or-death situation. PARASIM’s virtual reality parachute simulator gives aircrews the skills and confidence to follow parachute emergency procedures under dangerous situations, by recreating them in the safety of a classroom. As we like to say, our system gets the ‘dumb stuff’ out of the way. Practicing the required skills and emergency procedures in a virtual environment develops muscle memory and makes correct responses second nature.”

DRG maintains ejection seat part-task trainers through the Air Combat Command (ACC) Training Support Squadron (TRSS) program with the USAF on HH-60, UH-1, C-130, V-22. Continuously adjusting scenarios to changes in tactics, techniques, and procedures makes us a great solution for fighter pilot-simulated emergency procedures.

DRG is Your Solution

We have the operational and maintenance experts needed to maintain your valuable simulators and aircrafts, and the instructional staff to train your aviators to be prepared for any emergency. DRG is your fully integrated, all-in-one solution.

Contact our Business Development team to learn of the ways we can support your program


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