Currency as a Minimum.
Proficiency as a Goal.

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1. Why should I train in a REDBIRD Advanced Aviation Training Device (AATD)?

Let us count the ways!

  • The aircraft is an ineffective classroom. Noise, traffic, weather, ATC and other airplane factors detract from learning or improving procedures. In the Redbird FMXcl AATD you can learn everything from basic flight maneuvers to complex instrument approaches in a controlled environment that can pause, replay, and reset configuration and location; safely practice emergency procedures; and, not be constrained to flying the same local and area approaches over and over again.
  • The aircraft is an expensive classroom. You can fly many more instrument approaches or practice visual landings in the simulator compared to an actual aircraft. You don’t have to worry about ground/taxi time, airport and ATC congestion, finding a safety pilot, navaid outages, or aircraft rental, maintenance, and availability.
  • The simulator is great for practice, proficiency, and planning. Going cross-country to a crowded airport? When was the last time you flew a DME arc? Missed approach and holding? STAR or SID? The simulator can get you up-to-speed.

Don’t get us wrong – we love airplanes! The simulator simply makes the end goal – safe flying –  much more enjoyable by making it easier, more effective, and less expensive to stay instrument current and proficient.

2. What is the cost to train in a REDBIRD AATD?

The Redbird FMXcl simulator rents for $110.00 per hour, with discounted block rates available. This is less than half the hourly cost of most rental training aircraft.

More importantly, you should not think in terms of cost per hour but in cost per approach. For example, you can accomplish five approaches per hour in the simulator; at best, you will average only 2-3 approaches per hour in an aircraft. Comparing a $200 per hour aircraft rental versus $110 for the simulator, this translates into $80 per approach in the plane versus $27.50 in the simulator.

Furthermore, the simulator does not require a safety pilot; is not tied to local-area approaches; and, can create any weather condition. And, each $27.50 simulator approach counts the same as the $80 aircraft approach in meeting your currency and training requirements.

3. How realistic is the simulator?

To be certified as an AATD by the FAA, the simulator must provide “…an adequate training platform for both procedural and operational performance tasks specific to the ground and flight training requirements for Private Pilot Certificate, instrument rating, Commercial Pilot Certificate, and Airline Transport Pilot (ATP) Certificate, and Flight Instructor Certificate per parts 61 and 141.” Unlike desktop simulators and basic training devices, it uses advanced technologies for motion, control loading (feedback) and high definition 200+ degree wrap around visuals rendering the experience almost indistinguishable from the real aircraft.

‡ – FAA AC 61-136A

4. Can I train in the same aircraft type in the Redbird FMXcl AATD as I’m flying

The simulator counts for Aircraft Single Engine Land instrument currency. Our Redbird FMXcl AATD currently supports 2 different ASEL aircraft dashboards: Cessna C-172 (G1000) Skyhawk and the Piper Archer (traditional panel).  All of the configurations include instrumentation, flaps, trim, and fully functional 3 axis autopilots.

5. Is the Simulator approved by the FAA for training? Does the FAA allow you to log time in the Simulator?

You can log time in the simulator as simulated instrument conditions in an Advanced Training Device (AATD). Also, the following aircraft training and currency requirements can be met in the simulator:

  • The six instrument approaches, holding procedures, and course interceptand trackingwithin the previous 6 calendar months for instrument currency.
  • Instrument proficiency check.
  • Up to 20 of the 40 hours of instrument time for Part 61 aeronautical experience.
  • Up to 14 of the 35 hours of instrument time for Part 141 aeronautical experience.
  • Up to 2.5 hours of flight training time for Private Pilot Certificate‡‡.

The FAA issues a Letter of Authorization (LOA) that certifies our Redbird FMXcl AATD for use in meeting these requirements, which we provide for your personal records and logbook references.

‡ Does not require instructor or safety pilot.

‡‡ Minimum experience requirements for cross country, night, solo, takeoffs and landings, and the 3 hours of training with an authorized instructor in preparation for the practical test within the preceding 2 calendar months from the month of the test must be accomplished in an aircraft. Private Pilot Airplane applicants must also accomplish the minimum requirement for 3 hours of control and maneuvering of an airplane solely by reference to instruments specified in § 61.109 in an airplane.

6. Why use the Redbird FMXcl AATD for my Instrument Rating currency requirements?

The Redbird it is a great way to not only meet the currency requirements, but to maintain proficiency as well. You can meet the FAA currency requirements in about 1.5 hours in the simulator. The equivalent work in the aircraft would require at least double that time. And, once you’re “checked out” in the AATD, you can accomplish currency work without an instructor or a safety pilot.

7. Where can I fly in the AATD?

The database is world-wide.  Most training with more accurate terrain data is performed in the United States. The simulator can fly to almost any airport in the US.  Familiarize yourself with the terrain, landmarks and the runway layout before you fly your next cross country.

8. Can I do GPS/Autopilot training in the AATD?

Absolutely, The Redbird FMXcl fully simulates the most popular GPS navigators, and each configuration includes a fully functional 3-axis autopilot.