Published on March 19th, 2021 | by Mark Dwyer0
Airbus Sim Pilot at AlphaTech Newtownards
The coronavirus pandemic has thrown up lots of issues for pilots, not just fully qualified commercial pilots but also those in training. A Newtownards based simulator company, has come up with a novel way of managing pilot currency and the associated costs of additional and refresher sim training. AlphaTech has been operating their Airbus A320 fixed base simulator since 2016, and although not qualified, it provides the same level of completeness as a certified device and is an effective platform to teach pilots about multi-pilot concepts, refresher training, simulator assessment preparation, command preparation and much more.
We recently spoke to Paul Savage, AlphaTech Head of Training, about the company and what they have on offer. He told me about their innovative simulator subscription programme that’s designed to help pilots by paying a small monthly amount towards sim time that allows them to redeem it in one block or on a regular basis. “We are committed to helping pilots emerge stronger and ready to go back to work, ready for the challenge of recurrency training by their Airline, a new challenge or simply to keep pilots current on the A320, so that they can perform to the highest standard today and in the future.”
“We know how difficult it is to stay positive, interested and motivated during these extremely challenging times, so working together to solve this problem we have enhanced our support to A320 Pilots around Europe to offer an A320 Flight Simulator Subscription package that is amongst the most affordable in the industry.”
Prices vary based on the subscription package but can be as low as £35 per pilot per hour without an instructor. If an Airbus instructor is required, they can also be supplied by AlphaTech.
The company also have a programme called “Airbus Sim Pilot”. This course is primarily designed for Trainee Pilots, PPLs and Serious Enthusiasts, to take them from zero experience to having a full understanding of the operational techniques of the Airbus A320 and gain valuable industry skills as a pilot. Sim Pilot 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 of operating the Airbus A320.
The course consists of 12hrs of basic training in the Airbus A320 Simulator, delivered by AlphaTech instructors. Most of this will be as Pilot Flying, but there will also be some Pilot Monitoring so that the student understands both roles. Before arriving at AlphaTech, each student will be required to do self-study at home and be prepared to undertake progress assessments to ensure they have the prerequisite knowledge. Once at the simulator, every Simulator session is supported by a briefing and a debriefing. Training is conducted as Line Orientated Flight Training (LOFT) exercises, so every session resembles a line flight from Airport A to Airport B. This is critical for understanding the roles of each pilot on a normal flight. For those arriving from overseas, AlphaTech offers free airport transfers from the two Belfast Airports.
Like most companies, expansion plans for 2020 went on hold but AlphaTech are planning on opening two new A320 simulators later this year, one in London and the other in Vienna. We’ll bring you the details when they open. In the meantime, you can find more information about AlphaTech on their website at www.flyalphatech.com or the dedicated Airbus Sim Pilot website at airbussimpilot.com