At an AEF (if you get to one) the day is the same as it was 40+ years ago, sit around waiting to go, trying not to have lunch before you fly and then recounting what you did with your mates. Trying to relate that to a simulator session more than a week ago would be almost impossible. As for doing aerobatics in a simulator, unless you have simulation of g forces it is a computer game.
What is all this talk of co-locating PTTs on AEFs or putting a PTT on every Wing, common sense talk like that is never on the agenda of the ivory towers. I do think the PTT on every Wing idea is a far better idea and much more cadet friendly.
Like incubus and no doubt many others, our potential VGS location and AEF are nowhere near each other, we could get a day at the VGS and AEF 2 or three months later, so that would be 2 days out for staff and cadets and no matter how you try and dress it up a lot of sitting around to achieve one little badge, this of course means that you turn up at the AEF and these all align; the weather is good enough, planes are serviceable and enough pilots. Get anyone of those not happening and it would be a day wasted, with the next opportunity another 4/5 months, by which time anything the cadets picked up on a PTT would be as vague a memory as their 5th birthday party.
I would sooner turn up wait around have a flight and go home, like we have for years. Over the last few years, there seems to be a theme of doing lots of things to keep cadets busy all day when going to places. I quite like going to a VGS or AEF and watching a vid, reading the paper, doing a crossword, racking some zeds and so on. Having to faff around coming up with and organising things to try and keep cadets busy, in case they get bored isn’t what I’m into. If they are going flying / gliding that should be enough ‘excitement’ to prevent them getting bored. I have never got bored having a relaxing day, even as a teenager in a pre-device world, we needed little more than a ball and an area to kick it around on.