In a perfect world, every pilot would have a certified training device at home. But, it’s not a perfect world. So, here are a few questions you should ask yourself before reaching a little deeper into your pocket to upgrade to a certified training device for personal use.
An honest assessment of where you stand as a pilot now, and how much farther you think you can advance in the next few years, will help you determine the requirements you should have for a simulator.
Because the device primarily is for personal use, the answer for many pilots is “not at all.” The simulator is destined for a home office and it’ll be used to keep the individual pilot’s skills sharp. However, for others, offsetting the cost of the device—either by renting time on it to other pilots or by eventually reselling it—is an attractive option.
It all boils down to that. Non-certified devices can be extremely effective for developing and maintaining proficiency. Generally, they also require less capital investment. However, in the long run, they offer less value if you plan to pursue more advanced ratings or to capitalize on your device as a revenue stream. If you have a long-term plan for how you, and potentially other pilots, will utilize the device to reduce the costs of training and currency, then a certified simulator is a great option.