Much more than simulation
Training to Airline Pilot Standards

SimPilot is a Training 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.

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, fATPL, 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.

Proudly Supporting
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
  • Classroom
  • 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
  • 4 weeks of self study with our Training Manual before starting your Basic Training
  • Preferential Access to Simulator after SimPilot Course
  • Ongoing Hourly flying rate of only £30ph per pilot.
  • Airport Transfers Included from either Belfast Airport
  • Discounted local Hotels

Ready to start on your SimPilot Journey? Please see our Joining page.

Benefits of SimPilot

Professional Pilot Training. There’s no gaming at SimPilot. What you get is proper Airbus A320 Training.
Access to our Knowledge Base. Throughout your self study and training on site at AlphaTech, you’ll have full access to our Knowledge Base for all the latest Airbus SOP changes and Operational Techniques.
Affordable Ongoing Hire After your basic training our SimPilot hourly hire rate is only £30 per hour per pilot with various options for those residing outside of N Ireland or Rep of Ireland.
Professionally Printed Course Material The material is yours to keep, make notes and and use throughout your training and beyond.

Got questions? No problem. Talk to us, we’re glad to help.  Live Chat to Us or Contact Us.

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.

Don’t just take our word for it – SimPilot Testimonials

If you’re into flight simming but would love something more realistic, look no further than AlphaTech. They provide an environment and training that can only be matched by real airlines. Paul and the instructors put so much effort into ensuring this is as real as it gets and his level of expertise is second to none. I have learned more here than I ever would from YouTube. You learn actual procedures (SOPs) and practice multiple failure scenarios as well as line flights. The technology is amazing – also, the other sim pilots are excellent craic. I’ve had such a great time and learned so much.

Sean McAuley

First Officer sATPL

The opportunity to pursue a career in aviation has arguably now passed me by. Training at AlphaTech affords me the chance to fulfil in some small way a lifelong ambition and learn to fly the Airbus A320 in a professional but friendly and accommodating environment. Furthermore, I can do so at my own pace as I balance the demands of family and career. Many of the lessons I’ve learned in the sim are directly transferable to my day job too, which is a bonus I did not initially consider.

Gavin Hendrie

First Officer sATPL

I started with an experience flight and have been training with AlphaTech for 2 years since! It is one of most engaging and rewarding activities and I can’t recommend this enough to anyone with an interest in aviation. Since attending, I’ve gone from someone who knew some of the basics, to having a detailed understanding of the A320 systems, their operation and feeling confident and comfortable at the controls of an A320 aircraft. And to get to that level for a monthly cost that is lower than what I pay for my mobile phone contract is just unbeatable. For anyone thinking about it – I can honestly say you won’t regret the decision to join the AlphaTech community. 

Ben Roberts

First Officer sATPL

SimPilot is a must for any budding pilot or keen aviation enthusiast. As I had chosen a different career, becoming an Airline Pilot was only a childhood fascination. SimPilot allows me to learn and progress at my own pace, experiencing the world of flight training and Airline Operations whilst gaining various professional skills which can be applied to my everyday life.

Ryan McAuley

Captain sATPL

I have been flying the Airbus with SimPilot for a couple of years now; it’s a fabulous experience and in addition to learning how to fly and operate the A320 you will gain skills which can be taken back to work or everyday life with you. Certainly I have learned better teamwork, better planning, better management of workload, improved decision making under pressure and enhanced communication skills.

Paul is a very patient instructor; he creates an enjoyable learning environment where complex concepts are clearly explained and he will correct you when your technique or approach falls short, but all while keeping the mood fun and entertaining.

The value for money in SimPilot is excellent – where else could you get to fly an Airbus A320 for a relatively small cost every month ?

Martin Young

Senior First Officer sATPL

SimPilot has helped me immensely to get a true understanding of the professional operation of the Airbus A320, Airline Pilot procedures and operations. The Multi Crew Cooperation aspect of each flight is invaluable and training is always to the highest standard.

As a Private Pilot I take many of the lessons learned through SimPilot back to real aircraft and feel it has enhanced my flying in terms of planning, risk assessment, navigation and general handling. I would highly recommend SimPilot to any aspiring pilots from PPL to ATPL. The training provided is excellent value for money and I feel very privileged to part of the SimPilot Crew.

Paul Brennan

Senior First Officer sATPL

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.

Matthew Gorman

First Officer sATPL

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.

Cameron Caughey

Captain sATPL

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.

Robert McClements

First Officer sATPL

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.

Ian McNamara

Senior First Officer sATPL

SimPilot Journey

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)

More locations coming soon

Bookings & Enquiries
+44(0)28 95 575990

Head Office (Northern Ireland)
Carmichael Hangar
Newtownards Airport
28a Comber Road
Northern Ireland
BT23 4QP

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

Airport Transfer are included

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
Aer Lingus

Need help or advice with your travel plans? Talk to us, we’re glad to help. Contact Us.

Premier Inn Bangor, located only 10 minutes from AlphaTech. Rooms from £39 per night.

AlphaTech can get the best rates available at Premier Inn. Let us know your travel plans and we will book everything for you.

Frequently Asked Questions

How does the subscription work?

It’s simple. You are billed on the 4th of every month the £65 subscription, in line with our Standard Subscription Terms.

What happens if I can't use my 2 hrs during the month?

If you don’t use your Subscription Hours during the month, they rollover into the next month, for up to a maximum of 7 months. We recommend though that you attend every month or every other month.

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 suitable for all pilots up to and including fATPL.

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.

Got questions? No problem. Talk to us, we’re glad to help. Contact Us.