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Don’t let pilot training lag, home simulators combined with CTS may help keep your mind scanning the instruments

Is it just me, or has aviation come to a screeching halt? From pilot training, to instrument currency, to new hire classes, and everything in between. A screeching halt. Which led me to do some reading about home flight simulators and even though my initial reaction was that they were great tools for student pilots I’m now wondering if they might be beneficial to experienced pilots as well. While chair flying is good for practicing and memorization, it is not ideal for instrument scanning skills.

Home simulators have come a long way in the past 10 years. Have you ever flown in a Redbird? My local flight school has one and I jumped in, just for fun. And it WAS fun! They had the visual screen set up to replicate our home airport and it was amazingly accurate. Redbird has varying sizes and styles of simulators.

But, if you don’t have the money for a multi-thousand dollar simulator like a Redbird, some home simulators actually come with multi engine throttle quadrants, realistic yoke and rudder pedals and “believable” visual displays. Though they are non-FAA approved, they are still pretty impressive and can help keep you thinking about skills needed for instrument flying and ease the transition back into currency after an extended cockpit hiatus.

It seems as though we’ve gone from a pronounced pilot shortage to the possibility of having thousands of experienced pilots searching for a cockpit. If it is truly survival of the fittest (and most experienced), it may be awhile before some get their wings back. In this case, it might not be a bad idea to consider one of these at home simulators to keep your head in the game.

Although approaches done on a non-certified system do not count towards the FAA recency of experience requirements, there are still many benefits to the pilot. The simple act of practicing approaches is very helpful for pilots who want to keep their instrument scan sharp and their IFR procedures fresh. 

With or without a simulator, CTS is still here to cover your training needs to train when and where it is most convenient for you – our programs are designed for this.



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