Tru Simulation + Training, a Textron subsidiary, has delivered a full flight simulator (FFS) for the Bombardier CL-415 “water bomber” amphibious aircraft to Ansett Aviation’s training center in Milan.

It is the first Level D FFS of its kind. Previously, most CL-415 training had been in the actual aircraft, where pilots had to practice aerial firefighting missions. That created a “significant” safety hazard, said Thom Allen, Tru Simulation’s vice president of technology and innovation.

With the simulator, pilots now can train for real-life scenarios — including water scooping, water landing and water takeoff, and taxiing — outside of the aircraft.

The CL-415 can scoop 13,500 lb. of water in 10-12 sec. and drop it in 6 sec. “Flying these missions is just unbelievable,” Allen said. In missions, pilots are scooping water onto the aircraft, flying 100 ft. off the ground and maneuvering through flames and smoke. “Think of the turbulence and updrafts that come because of the fire,” Allen said.

The aircraft’s weight changes quickly as water is dropped on the flames. “It’s not something you normally do in an airplane,” Allen said.