December 2010 Issue

Sim-Based Training?

Why bother with a simulator? Real-world training in emergencies, for one. But the key is doing things you wouldnít dare while in an actual airplane.

I fly regularly, adding about 400 to 500 hours per year these days in a combination of ferry and instruction work. So why do I even think about simulator-based recurrent training? What good does it do to fly a sim when I get 60 or 70 real IMC approaches each year, along with lots of flight planning in real life? While Iím certainly not the most experienced pilot out there, I still go in for simulator-based recurrent training. By contrast, the average general aviation pilot flies nowhere near that much. Instead, he or she might reasonably ask, "If I get a BFR, isnít that enough? After all, I only fly locally and the occasional cross-country for a $150 hamburger." There are two basic answers, which are both simple and complicated.

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