Much more than simulation
SimPilot is the Ab-Initio Course for Trainee Pilots, PPLs and Serious Enthusiasts, designed to take you from zero experience to having a full understanding of the operational techniques of the Airbus A320. Many competing courses call this a Virtual Type Rating, however this is not an accurate reflection of what we do. We have branded SimPilot as a (s)ATPL, which means Synthetic Airline Transport Pilots’ License. The synthetic signifies that the training has been carried out on Synthetic Flight Training Devices, or commonly, Flight Simulators.
For all purposes we are teaching you how to fly and operate the Airbus A320 in dual aircrew, airline alike environment.
SimPilot is available to those with a PPL, ATPL cadets, serious flight simmers and those currently studying Aviation Degrees that wish to have a thorough and complete understanding of the operational techniques to operating the Airbus A320 to the highest possible standard. We are proud to be able to offer a realistic flight training environment for enthusiasts who would not normally have access to this type of training or facility.
Many of our SimPilots go on to fly the Airbus A320 for an airline.
Irish Aviation Student Association
Increasing awareness to the extensive aviation sector from Pilot Training to Aviation Leasing.
SimPilot is a professional-level entry course to Pilot Training. This is your first step on the journey as an Airline Pilot. We pride ourselves in professional delivery and instruction from the beginning.
Our Airbus A320 Simulator is built to EASA standards
Our simulator is built to EASA professional pilot training standards and uses EASA approved software. It’s the ultimate in realism that a desktop Flight Simulator quite simply, cannot be compared.
The immersion into the ‘job’ of flying the Airbus A320 Simulator is every bit as real as flying the real thing, even down to the vibrations you’ll feel with our full sim vibration system. The wrap around visual encapsulates you into the scenario. We’re also able to introduce random or timed failures into our simulator forcing you to use your SimPilot Basic Training to deal with the problems. The challenges are endless and rewarding.
We keep things as realistic as possible, the decision making processes behind dispatching and releasing an aircraft for flight is yours and by the end of your basic training you will be comfortable with Operating Flight Plan and Load sheet as you would in the real aircraft.
Importantly, we are quickly closing the gap between amateur and professional flying.
SimPilot Basic Training
- Airbus A320
- Self Study
SimPilot Basic Training is 12hrs in our Airbus A320 Simulator, delivered by AlphaTech Flight Simulator Training. Most of this will be as Pilot Flying, but there will also be some Pilot Monitoring so that you understand both roles, as you’ll not always be Pilot Flying.
Before you come to AlphaTech for your SimPilot Basic Training you will be required to do self study at home and be prepared to undertake progress assessments to ensure you’re on top of everything. If you need help – we’re here along the way without any pressure.
Every Simulator session is supported by a briefing and a debriefing. We run SimPilot Basic Training as Line Orientated Flight Training (LOFT) exercises, so every time you’re in the sim you are essentially flying a line training flight from Airport A to Airport B. This is critical for understanding the roles of each pilot on a normal flight.
SimPilot Basic Training
- 12 hrs Airbus A320 Flight Simulator Training
- 8 hrs Classroom Theory
- High Quality Printed Course Material
- 10 hrs self study with our Online Knowledgebase
- Access to our Online Training Videos
- Preferential Access to Simulator after SimPilot Course
- Ongoing Hourly flying rate of only £30ph per pilot.
- Airport Transfers Included from either Belfast Airport
Benefits of SimPilot
SimPilot is for those
that have a firm understanding
of aviation and the basics of flight
The programme is structured in such a way that it caters for all
levels, however there will be a requirement to work towards and
maintain a minimum standard.
The programme currently has pilots of all levels.
We have Airline pilots, PPL holders, home simulator enthusiasts,
general aviation enthusiasts, and aviation degree students looking for that next challenge.
All of our pilots are from different working backgrounds with a vast
range of experience and skill sets between them.
The minimum age for SimPilot is 16 yrs.
What our current SimPilots say
I’ve always dreamed about being a pilot, and SimPilot has offered an opportunity to develop these skills in a way that is truly unparalleled. From the high quality instruction to the depth of online resources available, and the excellent friendships made, I would highly recommend this program for any aspiring pilot. Having been on the SimPilot programme since its inception I have learned a number of skills that have benefited me both in my real-world flying experience and in the workplace. For example, the emphasis on working as a team within the cockpit of the A320 has greatly improved my communication, leadership and followership skills. Outside of skills development, one of my personal standout benefits of SimPilot is the community of simpilots themselves. As we train together, we support one another’s development and form lasting friendships outside of the training environment. Unique facility in Northern Ireland with friendly and patient instructors. For anyone with an interest in commercial aviation this is the way to develop your knowledge and appreciation of what really goes on in the flight deck. An enjoyable challenge and a total break from whatever your day job demands. I have learnt how to fly an Airbus. How many people can say that? With first class training and support at a much lower cost than you might expect, this is as close to the real thing as you will get. New friendships a real bonus, I can’t recommend this more strongly.
I’ve always dreamed about being a pilot, and SimPilot has offered an opportunity to develop these skills in a way that is truly unparalleled. From the high quality instruction to the depth of online resources available, and the excellent friendships made, I would highly recommend this program for any aspiring pilot.
Having been on the SimPilot programme since its inception I have learned a number of skills that have benefited me both in my real-world flying experience and in the workplace. For example, the emphasis on working as a team within the cockpit of the A320 has greatly improved my communication, leadership and followership skills. Outside of skills development, one of my personal standout benefits of SimPilot is the community of simpilots themselves. As we train together, we support one another’s development and form lasting friendships outside of the training environment.
Unique facility in Northern Ireland with friendly and patient instructors. For anyone with an interest in commercial aviation this is the way to develop your knowledge and appreciation of what really goes on in the flight deck. An enjoyable challenge and a total break from whatever your day job demands.
I have learnt how to fly an Airbus. How many people can say that? With first class training and support at a much lower cost than you might expect, this is as close to the real thing as you will get. New friendships a real bonus, I can’t recommend this more strongly.
Where can SimPilot take me?
You join SimPilot to study the sATPL Course as a Cadet
When your basic training has finished you will be accredited with the position of First Officer and fly from the Right hand seat, much the same way as you would in an Airline.
You will then spend another 6hrs with a Line Training Captain and you will be expected to recall your training and perform to the highest standard
You will be promoted to Senior First Officer by our Training Captains when you have completed 10 sectors with a Line Training Captain, who will often be a Captain you aren’t familiar with. This is the ultimate test of your abilities.
As a Senior First Officer you will still be expected to operate proficiently and professionally at all times. Your next step is to become a Commander.
It take approximately 18 months to become a Captain. We treat the training aspect of this in the same manner as the real world, whereby you must pass a Command Course Upgrade.
Once you have passed your Command Upgrade and become a Captain you will fly from the left hand seat and have much more responsibility on how the slots are conducted, the training is carried out and you’ll be able to impart training to First Officers naturally.
We also recruit Instructors from our SimPilots. To be able to instruct for SimPilot and AlphaTech you will be required to study for and pass an Instructors Course.
We’re located near Belfast, Northern Ireland (UK)
Head Office (Northern Ireland)
28a Comber Road
Monday to Friday – 0800 to 1900
Saturday & Sunday – 1100 to 1600
On demand & request during other times.
Parking is available at our hangar
All facilities on ground level
Travel & Accommodation
For all our SimPilots coming to us from mainland UK or Europe, we offer complimentary airport collections from either Belfast Airport. If you’re coming from Dublin, there is a small surcharge.
There are various hotel and B&B accommodation all located within 15 minutes of our facility. If you need help securing accommodation, please just let us know. We have discounts available with many budget and premium hotels.
Belfast City Airport – 40 Mins
Aer Lingus, British Airways, Loganair
Belfast International Airport – 40 Mins
easyJet, Ryanair, Jet2
Dublin Airport – 90 Mins
Aer Lingus, Ryanair, Lauda, KLM, SAS, Turkish, Air France, Croatia, Aegean, Air Baltic
British Airways, Eurowings, Lufthansa, Swiss
Londonderry Airport – 90 Mins
Donegal Airport – 120 Mins
Frequently Asked Questions
Do I need to have any flight Experience?
No, We can teach you from scratch. However, the less you know the more difficult and prolonged your training may be. You will be expected to learn from home before attending your course.
Is the simulator easy to fly?
The simulator is a complex training device modelled exactly as the real aircraft. There are no shortcuts and therefore an extensive knowledge of the systems and procedures is required in order to fly the simulator.
Can I fly the simulator on my own?
No, The Airbus A320 is a multi-crew aircraft and requires 2 pilots to fly.
Can I bring friends along to fly?
You must fly with another SimPilot, however friends who are not SimPilots may be permitted to watch from the jump seat once you have completed your initial training as long as they do not interfere.
Can I try stunts or dangerous maneouvers in the sim?
No, the simulator is treated as a real aircraft and training device therefore we do not allow negative training. We will teach you upset recovery techniques.
I have a flight simulator on my computer at home, do I still need to complete my training?
Yes, Most people find that flying a real training simulator in the correct manner is a lot different that flying at home on your home simulator. Everyone must complete initial training regardless of your experience
Can I fly other aircraft in the sim?
No, The SimPilot simulator is an Airbus A320, No other aircraft can be simulated.
Is there a lot to learn in SimPilot training?
Yes, The initial Basic Training is condensed with a lot of information! We try to get you to a basic standard as soon as possible but the real learning begins after training. A good pilot is always learning.
Does my training count towards a real pilot license?
In short, no. However, we recommend everyone keeps a logbook of their hours anyway. These hours are extremely valuable to you should you ever go on to become and airline pilot.
Do I need any qualifications?
No. You don’t require any formal qualifications to be part of SimPilot. SimPilot Training is pitched around the GCSE level of education.
I already have a Pilots' License, can I still apply?
SimPilot is not suitable for those with more than a PPL.
Is there any Air Traffic Control involved with SimPilot?
Yes. We use VATSIM under our Virtual Airline Callsign JETSET. We try to use online ATC were possible.
Does the simulator move?
No, The Simulator is fixed base but it can feel as if you are moving due to the advanced graphics and displays.