New Professional Flight Simulator at La Porte Municipal Airport Teaches Students About Aviation

The LaPorte Municipal Airport recently took possession of a $33,000 FAA certified Fly Elite PI-1000 Professional flight simulator, which was purchased by Arconic Foundation in order to promote aviation STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) education to area students. Students can now experience flying an airplane without ever leaving the ground.

Area schools, scouting groups, and other youth organizations are encouraged to participate in lessons about aviation and using the simulator.

The simulator lessons will also be part of the airport’s summer Aviation Camp, which is open to students in 6th – 12th grades. This year, camp will be held June 15 – 19, and includes classes, speakers, a flight, field trip, and a Career Fair.

Tera Grinnell, HR Director, Arconic Engines, and Andy Sickinger, Plant Manager, Arconic LaPorte Operations, facilitated the purchase of the simulator for the airport. Their commitment to empowering area youth with STEM skills prompted the purchase of this high-tech simulator, which can be programmed for both single and twin-engine aircraft.

Sitting in the captain’s chair provides an accurate depiction of an aircraft, with glass cockpit, rudder pedals, and all flight controls. Students can choose to fly from nearly any airport in the world. An instructor’s screen allows the simulator to be used for actual, loggable flight training. While most students will fly VFR (visual), the simulator can also be used for IFR (instrument) training.

Learning to fly requires mastering many STEM skills. Using the simulator makes using those skills a hands-on experience.

If your group is interested in more information, contact Diane Schwarz at

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