7 Benefits of IN AIRCRAFT Training

There are many benefits to in aircraft training.  In this article I hope to highlight seven benefits of choosing in aircraft training.


  1. ON-SITE – Reduced need to travel
  2. Customized lesson plans for each individual pilot candidate
  3. Using the aircraft as a teaching tool
  4. Learn to fly with your actual avionics suite
  5. Actual feel of the flight controls
  6. Realistic abnormal flight scenarios
  7. SOE not required for 1st time type rating



  1. When in aircraft training is selected, it is possible to have the instructor come to you reducing the need to make travel arrangements, be away from your home, family and business. It is a productive way to get the desired ground and flight training with a minimal amount of disruption of your personal life.

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  1. When taking training in aircraft, the instructors have the latitude to design course curriculum to each individual’s experience with systems, as well as flight experience. A student who can easily discuss the aircraft fuel system, but has difficulty explaining the electrical system, can benefit from an individual training curriculum that is tailor fit to their level of understanding and experience.

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  1. An ancillary benefit of in aircraft training is the ability to use the aircraft as a class room training aid. The instructor and the candidate pilot can take brief “field trips” out to the airplane to check out the location of a system device, locate a switch on the instrument panel or to participate in a pre-flight walk around inspection. In addition, certain aircraft model’s will have single point refueling panels, that will be discussed in class and is readily reinforced if the aircraft can be referred to in person. This is keen due to the fact that all of the hatches that need to be identified, opened inspected, and then verified closed, latched and locked, can be performed in real time with candidate pilot participation.

  1. We live in a time of great change in electronics including aircraft avionic suites. It is difficult for any business to be able to match the avionics suites that are set up in your personal/business aircraft. By choosing in aircraft training, your training will consist of using the avionics suite that is set up in your aircraft.  Learning the ins and outs of your, in many times custom system, greatly outweigh the benefits of using an outdated legacy system.   Even those who are flying equipment that is new and coming from the manufacture with the latest and greatest avionics packages will note differences between their avionics setup and those generic system setups at generic training institutions. The reason for this is that certain avionics updates may or may-not have been applied to your specific aircraft serial number versus the version of the avionics at the generic training school.  Using your aircraft will ensure that your avionics package will behave for you after training the same as it did during training.   Unless of course there is an avionics update that changes how your avionics package will behave.

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  1. In aircraft training will allow the pilot candidate to get a feel for the control inputs that will actually be required to fly the airplane throughout the flight control envelope. During slow flight, or approach to a stall condition, when the airspeed is decreasing the amount of control, input will vary greatly from that of flight in the positive flight control area.  Experiencing a stall condition, recovery to straight and level flight, or upset training with recovery will allow the pilot candidate to actually feel the weight and required control input to effect the desired flight path.   Simulators incorporate an artificial feel that in many instances do not replicate the actual control forces that are required. Completing the flight training in the actual aircraft really prepares the pilot candidate to be able to safely control the airplane in all corners of the normal and abnormal flight envelope.

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  1. The abnormal flight scenarios in aircraft training tend to be more realistic because it is more difficult to simulate system failures. In simulated aircraft training, it is a simple matter to cause a multi system failure that may or may not be realistic, where a bored instructor can command multiple system failures toward a pilot candidate to see how they would react.   However, having realistic scenarios launched against the pilot candidate will have the desired effect of strengthening the problem solving and flying skills of the pilot candidate without distracting him/her from resolving unrealistic scenario’s which might lead the pilot candidate to decide that flying is no longer a fun pursuit.


  1. If you are conducting your first type rating training in aircraft, and then taking the appropriate check-ride in the airplane, no additional training under 14 CFR Part 61 is required. Your training is complete and you will be able to go fly your airplane subject to any limitations that are placed on your pilot certificate. However, if your training is not conducted in aircraft and similarly the check-ride takes place in simulation, once the check-ride is satisfactorily completed, there is a requirement to get supplemental operational experience (SOE) in an actual airplane in order for your flight training to have been successfully completed.


In conclusion, a balance of multiple forms of flight training can be a helpful and rewarding experience that rewards a pilot candidate with improved problem solving and flying skills. I have outlined a few benefits of in aircraft training.  These benefits should not be ignored when deciding to attend a flight training academy for flying an advanced airplane.  The rewards of completing training in the same airplane that you will actually be flying will be beneficial as you embark on your next exciting frontier of your pilot experiences.



Erik Aibel

Associate Director of Training

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