Oxford

RAF Brize Norton troops use virtual parachutes

  • 28 February 2011
  • From the section Oxford
Media captionWatch: The machine simulates all stages of a live jump

Troops at RAF Brize Norton in Oxfordshire are training with state-of-the-art virtual reality parachutes.

The machine simulates all stages of a live jump and tests how people adapt in different scenarios and weather conditions.

Sergeant Andy Gillett said the system was "invaluable".

"It will never replace the real world but it can expose trainees to elements we don't want to use in live descents," he added.

Malfunctions can be replicated to allow new recruits to learn how to react if something goes wrong.

A recording is made of each jump to allow instructors to highlight mistakes.

Squadron Leader Gez Whitten-Brown said they had never had a system with such clarity.

"It's absolutely critical for a parachutist to receive this type of training," he said.

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