All Training

Virtual Airbus A320 Type Rating

Learn how to fly the Airbus A320 in a simulated IFR ATC environment such as VATSIM.

Overview

Learn to fly the Airbus A320 series in your sim. The right way.

With a systematic program and one-on-one guidance from an expert instructor, you will be able to reach your virtual piloting goals quicker than you ever imagined.

Is this course for you?

Perhaps you recently installed one of the “study level” Airbus A320 add-ons (such as the Fenix A320 for MSFS or Aerosoft A320/A321 for Prepar3D), but you aren’t sure where to begin. Maybe you would like to fly on an online ATC network (such as VATSIM or PilotEdge), but you’re overwhelmed by the FMS, as well as IFR flight planning and communications.

Indeed, there is a lot to learn to be able to successfully operate a realistic airliner simulator. Real airline pilots often have 1000+ hours of flight experience before stepping into their first simulator, and undergo weeks of intensive ground school and various levels of procedures simulator training.

However, thousands of hobbyist simmers around the world like yourself have learned how to successfully. It’s very much possible and a highly rewarding experience.

The power of 1-on-1 instruction

By working with a real-life flight instructor, you will be able to achieve your virtual aviation goals as quickly as possible. Instead of spending hundreds of hours watching YouTube tutorials, you can learn real-world procedures in an efficient, structured, and targeted manner with an actual airline pilot by your side.

We have designed our virtual A320-type rating course to cover the most essential pieces required for you to successfully operate the Airbus A320.

Imagine being able to confidently log into VATSIM, request your IFR clearance, and program the FMS without a second thought. Maybe you can join a virtual airline or participate in intense fly-in events such as Cross the Pond to be part of the community. All of this will be within your reach after completing your virtual type rating!

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Are there any prerequisites? In order to complete the type rating within the estimated amount of time, we require that you first have basic aircraft handling skills & knowledge of flight instruments and navigation. Ideally, you would also be familiar with some basic IFR concepts. If you're not, we would recommend performing some preparatory training in a general aviation aircraft with one of our instructors to build a solid foundation.
  • Do I need any add-ons? Yes; if you are using MSFS you must be using the Fenix A320 add-on. If you're using Prepar3D, you must be using the Aerosoft A320/A321 add-on. The reason is that our instructors will be training you using real-world procedures, and the default aircraft systems in X-Plane/MSFS fall short in many areas which are addressed with these add-ons. You also will need an active Navigraph charts subscription.
  • Am I guaranteed to finish in a certain number of hours? The number of hours will depend on your starting skills/knowledge, how much solo practice/study you can do, and how quickly you progress.
  • Can the syllabus be adapted? Absolutely. While the syllabus is a good starting point, it can be adapted to suit your specific background and interests.
  • Is there any real-world training credit available for this course? No. This course is to be used for entertainment purposes only. Flight Sim Coach is not associated with Airbus or any of its official training courses. If you are a real-world airline pilot in training, this course is not for you; please consult your airline's official training materials.
  • I already know the basics of flying the A320. Can you help advance my skills? Definitely. While this course may not be the best fit for you, we recommend scheduling a consult with one of our instructors to develop a custom-made coaching plan to suit your needs.

Syllabus

1
Flight Controls and Simulator/Plugins Setup
1 Hour
This is your initial orientation session. We will get straight to work at preparing your simulator for the subsequent training. We will help adapt your flight sim hardware assignments for airliner operations (reverse thrust, speedbrakes, etc.). We will also install and configure relevant plugins (such as a pushback utility, online ATC, etc.).
2
Cold and Dark Startup Flows
1 Hour
Learn how to turn on the aircraft! You will learn about the concept of flows versus checklists, and use a flow that will allow you to start up the aircraft from a cold and dark condition like an expert.
3
IFR Flight Planning (SimBrief) and ATC Comms
1.5 Hours
This session will cover the basics of planning a flight from Seattle (SEA) to Boise (BOI) using SimBrief.com. The focus will be on the selection of a route and altitude, as well as the basics of airport diagrams, SIDs, and STARs. The session will end with practicing how to request and read back a basic IFR clearance from ATC.
4
FMS Programming
1.5 Hours
At the start of the session, you will review the communications procedures for requesting an IFR clearance from ATC. Then you will learn how to program the FMS for that route. Time permitting, we will repeat this process for several other example routes, allowing you to get fully comfortable with the process.
5
Startup, Taxi, and Takeoff
1.5 Hours
Before the start of the session, you will be asked to pre-program the FMS for a flight from SEA to BOI. Then you will begin the session by practicing pushback and startup procedures/checklists. You will then practice communications procedures for several variations of taxi instructions (including hold shorts) and utilize an airport diagram to brief the taxi. Finally, you will complete the before takeoff checklist, and practice the procedures for a normal takeoff and climbout, including the flap retraction profile and after takeoff checklists.
6
Hand Flying and MCP/Flight Director
2 Hours
Before the start of the session, you will be asked to start with the aircraft holding short of runway 16L at Seattle and with the FMS pre-programmed for a flight from SEA to BOI. We will set up the autopilot and discuss the philosophy behind the use of automation in airline operations. This session will be focused on building your basic skills of hand flying and trimming the aircraft, with the aid of the Flight Director (FD) and other Primary Flight Display (PFD) cues.
7
The Autopilot
1 Hour
Before the start of the session, you will be asked to start with the aircraft holding short of runway 16L at Seattle and with the FMS pre-programmed for a flight from SEA to BOI. After takeoff, you will engage the autopilot at the minimum altitude, and master the different autopilot modes.
8
Approaches, Go Arounds, and Landings
1.5 Hours
Using a pre-made scenario file, we will load the aircraft in the air about 10 minutes away from landing and practice the flap extension profile and flying a basic ILS approach terminating in a landing. We will repeat this several times (starting at different distances from the airport), then you will practice the go-around procedure. Finally, you will complete several IFR traffic patterns, practicing approach clearances and learning tips for flying visual approaches.
9
Initial Operating Experience (IOE)
6 Hours
At this point, you have learned most of the building blocks needed to execute a full flight. Your IOE is where all these building blocks will come together. It consists of 3 flights on an online network with SIDs/STARs, and ILS, RNAV, and visual approaches.
10
Line Operational Evaluation (LOE) Checkride
2 Hours
Here is your chance to demonstrate everything you learned. You will plan and execute a full flight from PHX-LAX on the VATSIM network. Your instructor (or a separate Line Check instructor, depending on availability) will evaluate your performance. If you score at least an average of 70% in each category (such as communications, automation management, flight planning, etc.), you will be awarded with your Flight Sim Coach Virtual Type rating!

Instructor