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FlyThisSim complaints continueFlyThisSim complaints continue

AOPA reached out to flight simulator firm FlyThisSim after receiving continued complaints about the company to our Pilot Information Center, but emails bounced back as undeliverable and phone calls were not answered. The company’s events webpage hasn’t been updated since 2017.

FlyThisSim was established in 2006 to provide “low cost software simulations” of Avidyne, Garmin, and other general aviation avionics systems. The simulated TouchTrainer flight stations are aimed at fixed-wing and helicopter operators and equipped with flight controls, visual representations of aircraft instrument panels, and wrap-around screens depicting the outside environment.

Customers said they paid thousands of dollars in advance with hopes to use the devices for flight training and instrument currency. However, the company fell far behind an ambitious plan to deliver the consoles in a timely manner and complaints soon arose.

In January, AOPA detailed some of the issues that customers experienced. A representative from Northwest Flyers, a 70-member club in Columbus, Ohio, wrote that the club paid $13,000 for a simulator in 2019 and that the company had fallen “many months” behind its promised delivery dates and was “largely unresponsive to phone calls, emails, and letters.”

Soon after the article was published, Demetri Capetanopoulos, vice president of Northwest Flyers, wrote that a FlyThisSim representative contacted the club and promised to rectify the situation. He added that “for the first time ever” the company made a series of follow-up calls and on February 20 the club received the simulator it had paid for and expected “to be delivered over a year ago.”

The article noted that X-Plane founder Austin Meyer claimed in his blog that FlyThisSim also had not paid for $18,000 worth of software his company had delivered. Meyer posted a text thread between an X-Plane representative and FlyThisSim CEO Roland Pinto in which “Pinto promised time and again to pay, claimed he had paid, and blamed his nonpayment on clerical errors before going silent.”

At that time a company representative blamed a lack of specialized parts for lengthy production delays and promised to catch up.

Capital City Aviation in Ohio also experienced multiple delays during a $46,000 purchase that a club representative called “bittersweet” after the transaction concluded. The Cirrus Owners and Pilots Association and AOPA members have voiced similar concerns about product availability and communications with the company.

David Tulis

David Tulis

Associate Editor Web/ePilot
AOPA Associate Editor Web/ePilot David Tulis joined AOPA in 2015 and is a private pilot with single-engine land and sea ratings and a tailwheel endorsement. He is also a certificated remote pilot and co-host of the award-winning AOPA Hangar Talk podcast. David enjoys vintage aircraft and photography.
Topics: Training and Safety, Advanced Training, Aviation Education Programs

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