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Simulator Facts and FAQ's

View the guidance on Simulator Certification for ATD's (BATD & AATD) in the Advisory Circular.


Attention all simulator operators and owners as of Jan 2015 the certification of all FTD & other devices have changed. All devices are now classified as AATD and BATD. All devices must apply to the FAA for re-certification every 5 years and require yearly inspections for calibration .The procedures and AATD or BATD is covered in Advisory Circular AC61-136A dated 11/17/14.

Why these changes is to bring training devices up to the new technical standards. The big change is the addition of a GPS and moving map display. The requirement for an autopilot/Flight director system will be waived if not equipped. Many operators have asked us does that mean my older Frasca or AST-300 or other training device that isn’t equipped with GPS useable for training, the answer is Absolutely Yes, that’s all you have to do is contact us for guidance!

Only restriction is reduction in training credit 10 hrs rather than ATD status which allows 20 hrs as before. Currency for holding and approaches are still valid. See far 91 & 61 & 141 plus practical test guides. Many major universities and operators have come to realize that all the devices are tools to increase learning of basics, procedures and emergency training and are not concerned about the time credits which was the reason why simulators/training devises were invented and the technology continues to improve.

 There is another positive economic side to this change an operator can purchase a good well equipped used device that will qualify for BATD status without GPS. Especially for multiengine training these trainers save lots of money and promote safety that can only be learned in a good training device.

For questions of how to apply for a LOA for a device contact us at 818-371-8653


  1. Simulators are cost effective.  

  2. Simulators are time efficient, it takes 3 hours of airplane time Verses 1 hour of simulation to learn the same task.

  3. Simulators are FAA approved for Private, Instrument(Initial and Recurrent Training), Commercial and Flight Instructor (CFI and CFII) as well as EMT and LOFT procedures. 

  4. Simulators are insurance approved by insurance companies for specific airplane and recurrent training.

  5. Simulators promote safety especially in the case of Multi-engine training. Such as V1, VMC and single and multi engine out procedures.

  6. Simulators are not affected by weather or traffic delays.

  7. The airlines & corporations all use simulators for pilot screening.

  8. CRM & pilot judgment training are best learned in simulators not in airplanes.

  9. Simulators teach systems knowledge.

  10. Simulators teach discipline and proper procedures.


The most important key to any pilot’s education are the tools and the instructor. Professional instructors realize the potential learning and experiences that only simulators provide.

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