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Train with us and become a Virtual Aerospace Certified Flight Simulator Instructor and gain masses of satisfaction as you learn to fly the B737-800 flight simulator, guiding hundreds of very happy customers through the flight experience of a lifetime.
Virtual Aerospace Gloucester is introducing an instructor course that would give you the knowledge and skills required to become a B737-800 Flight Simulator Instructor, without having any formal EASA or CAA instructor qualification.
The course comprises 30 hours dual flight instruction with our Chief Pilot and 12 hours of solo practice.
The course should take approximately one month to complete, subject to your own availability, and the amount of study time you can apply.
There will be an element of classroom instruction, which will involve some pre-flight briefing sessions and also a number of short theoretical knowledge classes on principles of flight, radio navigation aids, flight instrumentation systems and operational procedures. If you have already passed the ATPL(A) theoretical knowledge examinations and/or have sufficient relevant experience these will be shortened, as determined by the Chief Pilot.
Phase 1 – Pre-Course Assessment (1 hour Dual Instruction)
This is conducted by our Director of Operations and Chief Pilot and is simply a face-to-face interview plus a 1 hour ‘flight’ in the simulator to assess your basic flying skills; this will be no more than a general handling exercise and you will not be expected to fly instrument approaches, programme the Flight Management System (FMS) or fly on automatic pilot. Following the assessment, we will hold a debrief and discuss your progression onto the main course.
Phase 2 – Cockpit Layout and Instrumentation (1 Hour Dual Instruction)
This initial phase will teach you the layout of the cockpit and the instrumentation, including: the Electronic Flight Instrumentation System (EFIS) displays, the Primary Flight Display (PFD) and Navigation Display (ND); the Mode Control Panel (MCP); the Main Instrument Panel (MIP); the Navigation Panel; the NAV/COM units on the centre pedestal; the throttle quadrant and trim unit; the control yoke and rudder pedals; the forward and aft overhead panels.
Phase 3A – General Handling (5 hours Dual Instruction/2 Hours Solo)
The general handling phase will involve straight-and-level flight, medium level turns, climbing, descending, steep turns, all flown without auto-pilot or auto-throttle.
Phase 3B – Take-Off and Landing (3 hours Dual Instruction/1 Hour Solo)
In reality, every flight starts with a take-off and ends with a landing. In the simulator we have the benefit of being able to start and end flights from any phase of flight – this allows for more take-offs and landings to be practiced during a shorter period of time.
Phase 3C – Emergencies (2 hours Dual Instruction/1 Hour Solo)
Whilst real emergencies don’t happen in a simulator, it can be programmed to simulate real emergencies. Additionally, being a computer it can occasionally do the unexpected and they have been known to shut down an engine without warning. You will learn how to prepare for the unexpected and turn a computer glitch into an experience for your ‘students’ as you effortlessly demonstrate working through the checklist to restart an engine in flight.
Phase 3D – Radio Navigation (3 hours Dual Instruction/1 Hour Solo)
Learn how to tune the radio navigation aids via the NAV/COM panel and how to navigate manually using a range of radio navigation aids, including VOR, DME and NDB.
Phase 3E – Check Flight 1 (1 Hour Solo preparation/1 Hour Dual Instruction)
This will be a manual flight whereby you will be expected to take-off, climb to altitude, navigate between waypoints, undertake some general handing exercises and resolve one or two emergencies and return to your point of departure for three landings, one of which will involve one engine inoperative procedures.
Phase 4A – Automatic Flight 1 – FMS Modes (2 Hours Dual Instruction/1 Hour Solo)
You will now learn how to programme a flight into the FMS via the Control & Display Unit (CDU) and how to fly the flight in Visual Meteorological Conditions (VMC) but using automatic flight controls, engaging the Flight Director (FD), Auto-Throttle (AT), Lateral Navigation (LNAV) and Vertical Navigation (VNAV) modes.
Phase 4B – Automatic Flight 2 – Selected Modes (2 Hours Dual Instruction/1 Hour Solo)
During this phase you will learn how to use the autopilot in the various selected modes: Heading Select, VOR/LOC, Level Change, Vertical Speed, Approach.
During phases 4A and 4B, initially, a short sector will be flown, engaging the auto-pilot at 1,000′ ft during the Standard Instrument Departure (SID) and leaving it engaged for a full automatic landing via a Standard Terminal Arrival Route (STAR) and Instrument Approach Procedure (IAP) – this is where you learn how reliable and accurate the Automatic Flight Control Systems (AFCS) are on modern airliners. You will progressively build up to flying a 45 minute sector from London Heathrow to Manchester, using the selected modes for the various phases of flight.
Phase 4C – IMC (3 Hours dual Instruction/2 Hours Solo)
During this phase, you will fly a number of short sectors, all under Instrument Flight Rules (IFR) in IMC, initially to CAT1 minima, increasing to CAT3A minima (full auto-land).
Phase 4D – Check Flight 2 (1 Hour Solo preparation/1 Hour Dual Instruction)
During this check flight, you will be given a route to fly between two airports. You will be given the weather, as programmed into the simulator, which will be to CAT1 minima at the destination, and you will have to select and prepare the IAP data and publications. You will be expected to fly the route using the AFCS and to manage the flight parameters throughout.
Phase 5 – Flying for Fun and Client Liaison (2 Hours Dual)
You will meet a wide range of clients during your time as a flight simulator instructor, some of whom will know nothing whatsoever about flight, others will have hundreds if not thousands of hours flying simple home simulators and want to move up to the big simulators, others may be experienced commercial pilots who just want to have some fun at ‘the office’.
You will gain experience and your own style of customer liaison as time passes but from Day One it is imperative that you recognise that, if you are working for us you are an ambassador of Virtual Aerospace Gloucester and you speak for all of us when you make any statement to a customer. Years of hard work in building up our excellent reputation, as evidenced by our multitude of 5 Star Facebook and Trip Advisor ratings, can be destroyed in one minute.
Therefore, if things go wrong, and they will occasionally, we want you to be able to deal with the problem, both calmly and professionally, placing your and the client’s safety and well-being above all else.
We want to make sure you are aware of the resources at your disposal when you join the team, what is expected of you and what you can expect from us.
You will also be introduced to a range of customer favourite flights during this phase and some we know that the client will enjoy, even though they may not have heard of them before.
Phase 6 – Assistant Instructor Mentoring and Release to Service
Should you successfully apply to work at Virtual Aerospace Gloucester, during this phase you will work with an experienced instructor, initially as an observer for a minimum of two days before moving on to being mentored by the chief pilot for a series of customer experiences. You will be paid during this phase.
At the conclusion of the mentoring phase you will be expected to undertake an ‘experience flight’ with one of the company directors, to demonstrate what you have learned. This will involve one technical flight using the AFCS and one fun flight of your choice.
Once complete, you will be ‘signed off’ and presented with your wings as a Virtual Aerospace Instructor in a special informal ‘ceremony’.
On successful completion of the course, should you wish to join us you may apply to become a paid contract instructor and highly valued member of the team at Virtual Aerospace Gloucester.
Please note that these are not full-time positions and under no circumstances should you rely on this as your only or main source of income.
Additionally, on certain specified days you will also qualify for significantly discounted rates on the rental of the simulator for your own friends and family.
All required material will be provided to you during the course, including our own Jet Orientation Course (JOC) manual, a copy of ‘Handling the Big Jets’, all required IFR charts and procedural plates.
Unfortunately, there is no formal qualification awarded from completion of this course and the hours gained learning and subsequently operating the B737-800 simulator cannot be counted towards the issue of any ICAO Annex 1 flight crew licence or rating. Please do not be under any misconception that you will become a commercial pilot simulator instructor – to undertake a Type Rating Instructor (TRI) or Synthetic Flight Instructor (SFI) course requires theoretical knowledge study and fourteen examinations, an airline transport pilot licence or commercial pilot licence with instrument rating and 1,500 hours of flight on multi-crew aircraft.
The simulator is not approved under EASA CS-FSTD (Certification Standards for Flight Simulation Training Devices) and our courses are not approved under EASA Part-FCL (Flight Crew Licensing).
Nevertheless, if you are looking for a career in commercial aviation, the experience gained and skills learned during your time with us will be of huge value when you head off for your simulator assessment during your job application process. All of our previous instructors have gone on to fly for UK and European Airlines including Thomas Cook, Ryanair and Jet2.
Additionally, you will receive a ‘course completion certificate’ and a course report, which you will be welcome to use during applications for employment with any other prospective employers.
This product can only be purchased directly through Virtual Aerospace Gloucester.