DAYTONA BEACH, FL – Embry–Riddle Aeronautical University is expected to announce in the coming weeks a 100% online flight simulator based commercial pilot rating.
According to an admissions representative at the college who spoke to us on the condition of anonymity,
“In response to the Coronavirus pandemic and unwillingness of instructors and students to sit uncomfortably close in tiny planes, we are fast tracking discussions with the FAA, flight sim software developers and several regional airlines to offer this groundbreaking flight training that will let nearly anyone get hired as a first officer by the regionals with no actual time in an aircraft.”
Other outlets are also are also reporting a shutdown of live flight training: https://www.avweb.com/insider/flight-instruction-just-say-no/
Aviation Daily News reported with great foresight on January 10, 2019 in a story titled ” How to Solve the Pilot Shortage: Less Training” :
It’s time to create a separate and new training track for career pilots that has no solo flight experience requirement. You should be able to land your first airline job without ever soloing an airplane. Leave that for the low time GA pilots that took 60-80 hours to get a PPL and think tricycle gear planes should be three-point landed.
The major milestone in your training is your first solo. This is when you fly the plane without your instructor. Most students reach this point after 15-20 hours of flight instruction. If you are allowed to be PIC at that point then you should be allowed to sit in the right seat of a commercial jet and do what the captain says for a few thousand hours until you are ready for the left seat.
When asked how they will guarantee students learning from home remain sober and attentive, the admissions representative said the school is also working with Alcomate who produces a USB PC-Connect Kit for the AccuCell Breathalyzer that will be integrated into the downloadable flight simulator application to ensure no student ever flys the sim drunk.
According to the admissions office at the university, the cost for this program has not been finalized; however, Aviation Daily News was told that it could decrease the total price of education from around $200,000 by as much as 50%. One hundred thousand dollars is a bargain to get an online Bachelor’s degree and multi-engine commercial with instrument rating while logging 200 hours of live simulator flying.
Slots for this program are first come, first served so don’t delay. For more information visit the Embry-Riddle office of admissions on their website: erau.edu