Partnership with Cloud Ahoy improves debriefing for flight students

Cloud Ahoy
Embry-Riddle’s fleet, housed between the Daytona Beach Campus (pictured), in Florida, and the Prescott Campus, in Arizona, is comprised of more than 100 aircraft — about the size of a regional airline. (Photo: Embry-Riddle/Daryl Labello)
Embry-Riddle students are getting an enhanced debriefing and analysis of their flight training, thanks to a new partnership with Cloud Ahoy, a web-based pilot-training software implemented this past fall. 

“What is means to students is a higher level of training, retention and learning,” said Ken Byrnes, chair of the Flight Department and assistant dean of the College of Aviation at Embry-Riddle’s Daytona Beach Campus. 

The partnership, which is supported in part by philanthropy, allows for CloudAhoy to integrate data-driven, post-flight analytics that automatically assess flight maneuvers and performance. 

“That is something we haven’t ever had before,” Byrnes said. “Before it was students remembering the details of their training, but now we can replay it from inside and above the cockpit. It creates a better mechanism for more effective and efficient training.”

CloudAhoy uses data automatically gathered and transmitted from the aircraft’s Garmin avionics systems to analyze flight performance. The system then uses that data to recreate students’ flights, offering full replays or the opportunity to review specific segments in order to critique performance.

“Working with Embry-Riddle students, instructors and faculty is an absolute pleasure and very rewarding,” said Chuck Shavit, creator and CEO of CloudAhoy. “In addition to providing immediate value during flight training, the ongoing feedback and insights are extremely valuable. This is a fruitful collaboration, working together to improve this groundbreaking technology.”

Between its two residential campuses (Florida and Arizona), Embry-Riddle’s training fleet comprises more than 100 aircraft — about the size of a regional airline. The Daytona Beach Campus rolled out Cloud Ahoy in fall 2020. The Prescott Campus is currently testing the program for a fall 2021 implementation.

Accuracy graphs and procedural overlays, which outline the correct flight actions as well as those the student-pilot made throughout their time at the controls, are all available in CloudAhoy’s post-flight visualization. Flight path, altitude, airspeed, engine parameters, centerline deviation, bank and pitch angles, and other data, are all displayed over satellite imagery and aviation charts in 2D and 3D, as well as in a synthetic “cockpit view” animation. 

The new program provides the students with a clear vision of performance and allows the flight instructor to appropriately suggest corrections. As a result, students may reach milestones quicker and more efficiently, Byrnes said. 

For Flight Department instructors, the data streamlines the debriefing experience, allowing them to jump to any maneuver performed throughout a flight in a single click. Each maneuver is also paired with a suggested grade by the system, which aligns with Embry-Riddle’s completion standards for each lesson.
“We are working with CloudAhoy to develop precision scoring envelopes unique to Embry-Riddle flight operations and make the CFI Assistant feature a valuable flight-training tool,” said Assistant Chief Flight Instructor Paul Cairns.

Cloud Ahoy can also enhance flight safety. 

“We have a separate safety program, but anytime there is an event — it is recorded and we can go back and analyze and break it down, so it does not happen again,” said Byrnes. “CloudAhoy is a great product and we have gotten a lot of value out of it.”