bjorn14
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Number Of Pilots/planes Per Simulator

Sat May 07, 2016 8:57 am

Is there a rule of thumb on how many simulators an airline needs per number of pilots/planes? Thanks.
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Starlionblue
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RE: Number Of Pilots/planes Per Simulator

Sat May 07, 2016 10:28 am

Quoting bjorn14 (Thread starter):
Is there a rule of thumb on how many simulators an airline needs per number of pilots/planes? Thanks.

A difficult question to answer because many airlines outsource the sims themselves and/or the instructors, either to other airlines or to Boeing, FlightSafety of whatnot. So they might have no simulators, and even if a given airline has so-and-so many simulators a lot of the sim time may be used by other airlines. Many of the sims at airline sim centers are for aircraft not even operated by the airline. Simulator centers are expensive and benefit from economies of scale.

Perhaps the question should be, how many hours of sim time and sim instructor time per pilot?

Just as a VERY ROUGH GUESSTIMATE based on my own impressions, I'd say pilots at my airline go in the sim an average of 4 times a year, 4 hour session each time. So you'd need 16 hours of sim time per pilot, with 11-12 hours of instructor time per pilot, given one instructor per two pilots per session and including brief and debrief bracketing each session.

Again, my own very rough guesstimate.

It does vary per rank of course, e.g. cruise relief pilots sim more often because they can't stay current on take-offs and landings in the plane. Further to that, you have upgrade training courses, conversions to other types etc... Hmmm, maybe it is more than 4 times per year on average.

[Edited 2016-05-07 03:32:38]

[Edited 2016-05-07 03:33:04]
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Francoflier
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RE: Number Of Pilots/planes Per Simulator

Sat May 07, 2016 12:22 pm

Given that the training requirements for pilots are pretty much fixed, and assuming that sims can be used close to 24 hrs/day, the number of airplanes/sims required will almost entirely depend on the number of crew per airplane.

I know of a long haul carrier which needs very roughly 1 sim for every 15 airplanes. A regional airline will use much less pilots/airplane, so will require less sims/airplane (or more airplane/sims).

There is no rule of thumb that I know of. It depends on the airline, its airplane and crew utilization and local regulations.
A high recruitment/turnover rate also creates additional sim usage for initial type training.
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DrEsteban
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RE: Number Of Pilots/planes Per Simulator

Tue May 24, 2016 10:57 am

Approximate numbers for two major UK based carriers (both short haul fleets);

Airline 1) 130 airframes/1500 pilots/4 simulators

Airline 2) 230 airframes/2500 pilots/6 simulators



[Edited 2016-05-24 03:58:45]

[Edited 2016-05-24 04:04:21]
 
hivue
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RE: Number Of Pilots/planes Per Simulator

Wed May 25, 2016 10:10 pm

Quoting Starlionblue (Reply 1):
cruise relief pilots sim more often because they can't stay current on take-offs and landings

Is this a specialized job like the old FE position, or is it bid for? If it's a specialized position why do they need more sim time? I would think they only need the sim time necessary to do their job effectively.
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BreninTW
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RE: Number Of Pilots/planes Per Simulator

Thu May 26, 2016 2:40 am

A couple of years ago I had the opportunity to get an hour of sim time in at an airline training center located in South Africa.

I counted five sims there: 1x MD-80, 1x 737-200, 1x 737-400, and 2x 737-800.

I can probably count the number of 737-200 still in use in South Africa on both hands, and still have fingers left over. I know the airline in question does not fly any, so I guess other airlines rent sim time for their own pilots. It could have been fun having a go in the 732 sim, but we got to fly the 738.

I don't remember if there were separate sims for the 738 and 738(W) -- I have seen photos of sims that specifically call out that they're for the winglet-equipped version of the 738.

The airline's website says the fleet is 26 Boeing aircraft, and the training center website says they offer training on MD-80 family aircraft, and Boeing 737-2/3/4/500 and 737-800.
 
DiamondFlyer
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RE: Number Of Pilots/planes Per Simulator

Thu May 26, 2016 3:07 am

Quoting hivue (Reply 4):
Is this a specialized job like the old FE position, or is it bid for? If it's a specialized position why do they need more sim time? I would think they only need the sim time necessary to do their job effectively.

No, its a job for very new pilots (although I struggle to call them that since they can't land, perhaps systems managers would be more appropriate), that many foreign carriers have moved to as a method to lower their labor costs. Thankfully, no US carrier has started this scheme.


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Starlionblue
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RE: Number Of Pilots/planes Per Simulator

Fri May 27, 2016 11:22 pm

Quoting DiamondFlyer (Reply 6):

Quoting hivue (Reply 4):
Is this a specialized job like the old FE position, or is it bid for? If it's a specialized position why do they need more sim time? I would think they only need the sim time necessary to do their job effectively.

No, its a job for very new pilots (although I struggle to call them that since they can't land, perhaps systems managers would be more appropriate), that many foreign carriers have moved to as a method to lower their labor costs. Thankfully, no US carrier has started this scheme.

Something like that. It could be seen as an apprenticeship.

It is not quite true that they "can't" land. They "may not" land would be more appropriate. Cruise relief pilots are required to do approaches and landings for their licensing and currency.

Cruise relief pilots need more sim time because they never do any of the take-off, climb, approach, landing or taxi stuff in the plane, but they must still be current on approaches and landings, and able to pass license renewals. Landing currency and requisite skill level is maintained in the sim.

Cruise relief pilots will never do a take-off until the upgrade but they may in an emergency (such as an incapacitated pilot) have to be at least PM for a landing.

US carriers tend to have varied long haul and short haul operations so it would be hard to justify purely cruise relief pilots. Then again never say never.

[Edited 2016-05-27 16:25:29]

[Edited 2016-05-27 16:43:54]
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green12324
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RE: Number Of Pilots/planes Per Simulator

Sat May 28, 2016 7:40 am

It depends what the training requirements of the airline are. At my airline sim periods are 4 hours, and the pilot agreement dictates sim training must be between certain hours. This boils down to 5 crews/per sim/per day. This then has to be shared between recurrent and transition training.
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barney captain
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RE: Number Of Pilots/planes Per Simulator

Sat May 28, 2016 7:46 am

For comparison -

WN has roughly 8300 pilots, 700 a/c and 10 simulators. They run nearly 24/7.
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