Airplane time vs. sim time.


New Member
For those who've looked into the Pro Course and 200 Multi-Engine Program at Ari-Ben, they've probably noted that the course is made up entirely of aircraft time, i.e. no simulators are used.

While this is marketed as and certainly is a benefit, it also seems to me this could be detrimental. After all, the success of an airline interview weighs heavily on your simulator performance. And then, assuming you're hired, the indoctrination employs heavy simulator usage. You may be a top-notch aircraft pilot, but if you can't cut it in the sim, and fail your indoc, then it goes on your FAA record for ten years. Potentially meaning no flying job for ten years.

While most simulators are supposed to be pretty darn accurate to their real-life counterparts, I understand some folks still really struggle with the simulation. They claim it handles nothing like the real thing, they struggle with the 3D depth perception ... Overall, it's just a much different environment.

I've used MS Flight Simulator extensively, and am very comfortable with 3D and that whole bit (after all, I'm ninteen, generation of the video gamer ...
). Nevertheless, a computer game and a million dollar Level D full-motion simulator (with engine failures and weather mins bein thrown at you) are slightly different.

While most flight schools use simulators to varying degree, Ari-Ben seems an exception in having none, that I can think of anyhow.



Well-Known Member
I have tons of sim experience through the military, and I disagree. While it is true that sims have different visual cues and flight characteristics than the real thing, and you experience scenarios and flight conditions that you'll probably (hopefully) never see in real life, the transition is not all that difficult.

If you're looking into other schools and compare prices for similar ratings and actual flight time, especially the multi, then you might say that you can buy sim time with the money that you'll save by attending here.

The big draw to the Aviator is the multi time that you get, and the comparably small price you'll pay for it.


New Member
I tend to agree with you on this. Of course they're gonna market that all flight time is Actual and not sim, I beleive that being able to pause a simulation and discuss something that's happening can be very helpful. How many times in your flight training so far has something happened, instructor tells you what you did wrong/how to correct yet forgot all that because you were in the midst of that 'real life crisis'.

I will also say, while touring the schools recently, I had the opportunity to actually fly the CRJ simulator at Ari-Ben's on field neighbor(and great pal's - i'm sure
) I sat right in there and it was amazing... having never sat in a simulator before, that came pretty darn close and pretty natural to all those characteristics of actual flight. Granted, Im sure they set the thing to "idiot at the yoke' setting.

I am seriously considering the Aviator and the lack of sim time hasn't really deterred me too much.

my .02 cents


New Member
The level D sim's that the airlines use are a lot different than the Frasca Flight Training Devices used by most flight schools. In general the Frasca is very unstable, especially in pitch. They are almost impossible to trim out. This makes the Frasca much more difficult to fly than the airplane. A fair amount of employers use these types of machines to evaluate applicants. If you know that you are going to face one of these FTD's in an interview, you owe it to yourself to spend several hours getting used to it. I have MS Flight Sim, and it is alot easier to fly, so there is really no comparison. Partial panel instrument flight is relatively easy in MS Flight Sim, and almost impossible in a Frasca.

Overall I'm not really convinced that it is a plus to have a school that has 'all flight time and no sim'. You can count up to 50 hours of FTD toward your commercial under part 61 and 30 under part 141. So it's not like you are wasting your time and money in the Frasca. It is also much easier to teach new concepts in the sim, and if a mistake is made, you can just slew the student to the beginning of the approach and have them try again. Getting an extra 30-50 hours of flight time instead of the sim does not really mean much when you have to get over 1000 hours total time to get your first flying job after being an instructor. This is about 1 more month that you may have to spend as a CFI.


Well-Known Member
also think about this

Lets say Ariben had 50 hours less flight time and 50 more hours of sim time. Thats all good when your a student but think about it when you become a CFI with the school, thats 50 less hours you will have per student which means you will be a CFI a little bit longer.

Am I right or wrong?


New Member
This is true. I hate to think how many hours I have sat in the Frasca giving instruction. But, I still think they are a great way to teach instrument flying. When I have students that are having difficulty during instrument lessons, I usually recommend more Frasca lessons instead of flying. Even though the Frasca is more difficult to fly, it is a more relaxed atmosphere to teach in. It is much easier to focus on any difficulties without worrying about ATC or other traffic. The Frasca is also much cheaper than flying the Seminole. It is all about providing the best instruction for your students.