I attend a Part 141 training school and have a total of 98.5 hours of flight training towards a commercial certificate, with 8 hours of simulator training, also for the commercial certificate. Can I count both the flight and the sim hours towards the aeronautical experience for the commercial certificate? It would be a lot cheaper and faster to reach the required 120 hours this way. The Beech Baron is not cheap to rent!
According to the FAA, yes you can count those hours, but they can only count for only
Under FAR part 141:
7 hours(35%) of 35 hours of flight training towards a private pilot certificate
17 hours(50%) of 35 hours of flight training towards an instrument rating
36 hours(30%) of 120 hours of flight training towards a commercial pilot certificate
10.5 hours(30%) of 25 hours of flight training towards a multi-engine rating
12.5 hours(50%) of 25 hours of flight training towards an ATP cerfificate
2.5 hours(10%) of 25 hours of flight training towards a flight instructor certificate
1.5 hours(10%) of 15 hours of flight training towards an instrument flight instructor rating.
From what I see, you can probably fill up your remaining hours with sim time because you only have a little over 20 hours left and you can have 28 more hours of sim time towards your certification.
You can count the hours for certification subject to certain limiations. According to Federal regulations, Title 14 → Chapter I → Subchapter H →Appendix D to Part 141—Commercial Pilot Certification Course,
(2) Training in a flight simulator that meets the requirements of §141.41(a) of this part may be credited for a maximum of 30 percent of the total flight training hour requirements of the approved course, or of this section, whichever is less.
As the commercial pilot certificate requires 120 hours of flight training, this works out to 36 hours.
The simulators should be approved by the administrator. According to §141.41 Flight simulators, flight training devices, and training aids,
(a) Flight simulators. Each flight simulator used to obtain flight training credit allowed for flight simulators in an approved pilot training course curriculum must—
(1) Be a full-size aircraft cockpit replica of a specific type of aircraft, or make, model, and series of aircraft;
(2) Include the hardware and software necessary to represent the aircraft in ground operations and flight operations;
(3) Use a force cueing system that provides cues at least equivalent to those cues provided by a 3 degree freedom of motion system;
(4) Use a visual system that provides at least a 45-degree horizontal field of view and a 30-degree vertical field of view simultaneously for each pilot; and
(5) Have been evaluated, qualified, and approved by the Administrator.
For other certification courses, the percentage of simulator time that can be credited vary. For Instrument Rating Course, it is 50%, while for Private Pilot Certification Course, it is 20%.