As any student or rusty pilot will tell you, staying sharp on communications is not easy. It’s not enough to read a book; by definition, talking to ATC requires a back-and-forth dynamic. That’s why ARSim (previously called Plane English) has proven to be such a helpful app over the last few years. More than just static text, this colorful and interactive app offers step-by-step lessons and practice sessions that allow you to speak to your mobile device and get feedback. It literally turns your phone or tablet into a personal communications training partner.
ARSim was originally create by three Purdue University alumni, and since then it has grown significantly, adding a wide variety of VFR and IFR lessons. You can practice taxi route read backs with ground control, VFR flight following with center, and instrument approach clearances with approach control. With over 240 airports and airspace types, there are literally thousands of possible scenarios.
The app has been updated to add new modules, including PIREPs and ATIS, but the biggest news is the addition of an online version. This offers easy access to each training module from the convenience of a web browser. Simply log in using the same credentials as the mobile app, and you’re ready to train. Progress syncs between the online version and the app, so you can move between devices and never lose progress. This option should be particularly helpful for flight schools.
ARSim is available in both VFR and IFR subscriptions, but the best value by far is the combination. For $95.99, you get access to all the scenarios and training modules.