Aurora State Airport, Aurora Oregon
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Flight Lab

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.


Common questions…

Can I log my time in Flight Lab?

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.

What equipment is in the Flight Lab?

Our Flight Lab features the commercial version of X-Plane, with a panoramic view of the flight environment across four 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.

How long is a typical Flight Lab session?

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.

Can I bring a friend?

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.

Pricing & scheduling

Feel free to contact one of our flight instructors, call our dispatch desk, or email info@willametteair.com to reserve time in the Flight Lab!