As any good pilot knows, ground power is an essential part of modern flight. Ground power units are used to supply power to various aircraft while they are on the ground. The most common use for the larger power-supplying vehicles is supporting large aircraft as they are moving around the runway, such as after a landing. Ground power also helps create a low-pressure environment in which pilots in training can practice and learn the avionics of the plane before they actually fly.
A ground power unit is a may look like anything from a small box to a large truck depending on the planes it services. It carries electric energy from a generator to a connection on the aircraft. Some airports also have the ground power built in. Ground power allows aircraft systems to be used without depleting the battery, so new pilots can train without the pressure of flying and make sure they’re comfortable with the plane and all of its instruments before ever taking it into the sky.
The Benefits of Ground Power
Chair flying lets new pilots get familiar with the avionics of the aircraft. This is because the actions of the student’s body while sitting in the cockpit and envisioning flight help to develop muscle memory. Chair flying provides experience with GPS, frequency and different waypoint inputs. It makes lessons more productive, because once the student has become competent in the procedures, he or she is able to practice rather than just learn from a book or simulation. Students are focused on fine tuning their procedures instead of learning the procedures in a classroom.
Chair flying also provides students with practice in all the following areas:
Ground power is a resource you’ll find in practically any airport these days. It helps to reduce emissions, fuel costs and noise pollution around the airports while the aircraft are circling the runway. From a student perspective, it is also the most efficient way to learn.