FST Blog: The 10 Most Important Things To Consider When Buying Professional Flight Simulators

Internationally known Flight Simulator Trader (FST)’s CEO Alexander Schaffler shares in their blog some insights on the most important factors to consider when acquiring a flight simulator.

“Know your business case
“Aviation is sexy!” This is true, but it draws a lot of unprepared or misguided people into the industry. Mostly, aviators and non-aviators have a wrong comprehension of what the needs and costs of operating professional Flight Simulators are. Detailed business planning and understanding of this asset class and its risks are key. Although we are talking about expensive assets, the return of invest is something you have to work hard on.

Know the technical requirements and implications. Think business and piloting
A simulator is not an aircraft, although the flight deck and flight model can emulate a particular model or can even be generic not representing any particular aircraft type. The underlying technology follows its own standards and regulations and is not comparable with those of the aircraft. Requirements and regulatory compliance can pose risks in the long-term when not familiarised with.

Regulatory requirement is key
There are multiple regulatory rules applicable around the world guided by major regulatory envelopes. Complying with them or transferring devices from one regulatory rule into the other poses incalculable risks when understanding is limited.

Fit your training tools
Simulators have different fidelity levels resulting in different qualification levels when being approved. Training applications are manifold or limited accordingly to ab-initio and type rating and resulting in different creditable hours directly pushing or slowing your business case.

Know what is available in the markets
We are talking about a niche market. Not many players share a piece of the pie. However, customers are not aware of the different types of simulators and their applicability in the training syllabus. Independent guidance when assessing the market is recommended.

Understand and negotiate price and legal aspects during purchase
Know what to consider when looking at contracts and understand what the negotiable prices are. This saves time and headaches.

Understand the benefits of checking and accepting a simulator
Preparation and understanding the different acceptance requirements with regards to technical and regulatory aspects of a simulator prevent extra cost and training time lost.

Know how to interact with Civil Aviation Authorities
Understand the regulatory bodies , their duties and limitations when applying for approvals. Introducing a realistic and point of view for mediation eases the process.

Know the technicalities of establishing a flight simulator operating organisation and the interaction with flight training organisations
Approving a flight simulator is mostly dependent on multiple factors. The main 4 factors are: Technical Requirements, Facility Requirements, Personnel Requirements, Documentation Requirements.

Seek assistance by professionals if you are lacking one of the skills above
Misinformation and incompetence by authorities and industry professionals is everywhere and has led to customers losing money in the space. Knowing the right professionals is key.

Source: Flight Simulator Trader (FST) Blog

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