This is a rough estimate of the differences in maintaining instrument currency in a plane (6 approaches plus holding) as opposed to doing it in the sim. Because so much time is spent repositioning a plane for another approach, we estimated a ratio of about 2:1 in the required time. Currency can be maintained in a plane with a safety pilot, but doing it in the sim requires an instructor. However in spite of the instructor requirement, the difference is still significant.

Six approaches and Holding in a Plane

Item
Rate
Quantity
Amount
Aircraft (wet)
$90.00
5
$450.00
Total
$450.00

Six Approaches and Holding in the Sim

Item
Rate
Quantity
Amount
Sim
$55.00
2.5
$112.50
Instruction
$45.00
2.5
$137.50
Total
$250.00

For an IPC, as much as two hours of ground could be added. This however is dependent on the instructor and pilot skill.

Estimate of an IPC in a Plane

Item
Rate
Quantity
Amount
Aircraft (wet)
$90.00
5
$450.00
Instruction
$45
5
$225.00
Total
$675.00

Estimate of an IPC in the Sim, including items that must be done in a plane

Item
Rate
Quantity
Amount
Airplane (wet)
$90.00
1.0
$90.00
Sim
$55.00
2.0
$110.00
Instruction
$45.00
3.0
$135.00
Total
$335.00

Obviously this comparison would have variables that are beyond our control, such as cost of aircraft rental, and the cost of instruction. Also the amount of time required for an IPC is dependent on how sharp the pilot is on instrument skills. A lot of "rust removal" will take considerably more time. But the bottom line remains the same - the sim will save the pilot seeking to maintain currency or to accomplish a partial IPC a significant amount of money.

Return to cost page.


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