Whether you are a brand-new student, moving up, or getting back into flying, Willamette Aviation's Flight Lab is a fun, stress-free simulated flight environment where you can learn about airplanes and explore our Pacific Northwest flying region — all at a much lower cost than renting an actual airplane.
Yes, and no. Your logbook is yours, and you can put any flight experience in it. It’s your personal history of flight, and we encourage pilots to mark down anything that they think is worth remembering. So yes, you can log your Flight Lab time.
However, when people ask if a flight simulator is “loggable,” typically they want to know if time spent in the simulator can be credited toward an instrument rating, IFR currency, or Instrument Proficiency Check (IPC). Our Flight Lab system is not certificated with the FAA for loggable hours (please see our Redbird FMX page if you need to log time). The Flight Lab is an immersive, low-cost training tool for students to grasp new concepts, review procedures, and do some rainy-day flying — and it can be used to help lower the overall costs of obtaining a private pilot certificate or instrument rating.
Our Flight Lab features the commercial version of X-Plane, with a panoramic view of the flight environment across five large screens. A mechanical yoke, rudder pedals, throttle quadrant, trim wheel, aviation radio, and panel switches are within easy reach. The instructor can control weather, location, time of day, and other criteria from a separate station. Aircraft include a Cessna 172SP, a Diamond DA20, a Piper Malibu, and more. The flight environment includes realistic scenery, airports, and navigation aids throughout the United States.
Private pilot students can expect two-hour sessions, while three hours are common when practicing traffic patterns and cross-country flights. Pilots seeking an instrument rating typically schedule two-hour sessions.
Yes! There are extra seats in the lab, so feel free to bring a friend along to observe — or even split the cost if they would like to fly as well.
Feel free to email firstname.lastname@example.org to reserve time in the Flight Lab!
Flight Lab Syllabus, Private Pilot (PDF): View/download
Flight Lab instructor Robert Wederquist holds a Commercial Pilot certificate and Instrument rating. He also is an FAA-certified Advanced Ground Instructor and Instrument Ground Instructor, with a specific focus on teaching in flight simulators. He designed Willamette Aviation's Flight Lab and Private Pilot syllabus to help students grasp aeronautical concepts set out in the FAA's Airplane Flying Handbook. Robert's goal is to help student pilots accumulate complex flight skills in a ground-based environment, resulting in flight hours that are less frustrating, more effective, and always worth the effort.