Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What is GIFT?

A: GIFT is software that runs on Redbird simulators and provides flight instruction aimed at helping you earn your private pilot license.

Q: What does GIFT stand for?

A: Guided Independent Flight Training

  • Guided –the software teaches you how to perform each maneuver with text and video instruction prior to each flight, then coaches you while you’re in flight
  • Independent –you can use GIFT even if your flight instructor isn’t available, yet still receive valuable flight instruction
  • Flight –the immersive environment of the Redbird simulator provides an experience very close to flight in an actual airplane
  • Training – the software is designed to teach effectively – Before each flight you read about and watch an instructional demonstration of each maneuver, then you fly the maneuver while receiving real-time coaching – it even tells you when you’re doing something wrong and how to correct it, just like a real flight instructor would do

Q: How does GIFT “coach” me during a flight?

A: GIFT includes audio dialog that will speak to you during your flight, just as a flight instructor would – GIFT monitors everything about your flight and plays the appropriate dialog as required.

Q: How much does GIFT cost?

A: $249 for an unlimited, lifetime license. This doesn't include the hourly rate that you'll be charged to rent a simulator from your flight school. Some schools sell blocks of simulator time for a set price, so be sure to ask about this option. We've also heard of flight schools that bundle a GIFT license with unlimited time in the Redbird, this is a great deal if you'll be using GIFT for your training. You can also use GIFT on a Redbird Jay, TD, or TD2 at home for no additional cost.

Q: Once I purchase GIFT, how often can I use it?

A: As often as you like, and it never expires. You simply pay the flight school’s normal hourly rate for use of the Redbird simulator.

Q: When I master a maneuver in GIFT, will I be able to repeat it in a real airplane?

A: Usually, yes – you’ll notice the “feel” of flying a real airplane is somewhat different because you’ll be experiencing up/down motion not felt in the simulator, but most other elements of what you mastered in the simulator are the same skills needed in a real airplane.  In other words, your skills will transfer from the simulator to a real airplane.

Q: Is GIFT a replacement for a human Certified Flight Instructor?

A: No.  While GIFT is remarkable technology, it is intended to supplement instruction from an actual Certified Flight Instructor.

Q: Why should I use GIFT?

A: GIFT is an effective way to reduce the amount of time and money it takes to earn your private pilot license – learning in a simulator is much easier than learning in an airplane – in a Redbird simulator, GIFT can teach you maneuvers (in comfort) no matter the weather or your instructor’s schedule, all while saving you money on the costs of actual flight.

Q: Can GIFT be used to keep my skills sharp after I get my pilot’s license?

A: GIFT is an excellent way to keep basic stick and rudder skills sharp, but we recommend that certificated pilots use Redbird Pro to gain and maintain proficiency.

Q: How realistic is GIFT?

A: GIFT is realistic enough to teach you flying skills in the simulator that will transfer to a real airplane…the skills you’ll need to earn your private pilot license

Q: How effective is GIFT at training me to fly?

A: Very effective – GIFT takes advantage of the fact that you can fly the same maneuver many times in a single session, which is expensive and time-consuming in a real airplane. When you learn and practice GIFT maneuvers, you always get an objective score at the end of each flight that shows you what specific skills you’ve mastered and which need improvement.

Q: Do I have to be in a Redbird simulator to watch the instructional videos for each module?

A: No – No matter where you are, as long as you can connect to the Internet with a computer, tablet, or phone, you can read the instructional text, watch the demonstration videos, and view all your previous scores.

Q: Will GIFT work on any Redbird simulator, anywhere?

A: Just about! If you have access to a Redbird simulator where GIFT is installed, and a paid license from, you're ready to go. Contact your flight school to find out if they have GIFT, and if they don’t, ask them to contact Redbird for installation.

Q: Can I log my GIFT training hours?

A: In most cases, federal aviation regulations stipulate that persons pursuing a private pilot license may only log 2.5 hours in a simulator, and only when accompanied by a (human) certified flight instructor – Ask your flight school or a flight instructor how these regulations apply to you, or contact Redbird Flight - that said, we have Part 141 and Part 61 customers who rely on GIFT for primary and instrument flight training as an integral part of their flight training syllabus.

Q: Can I try GIFT before I buy it?

A: Most flight schools with Redbird simulators have the ability to demonstrate GIFT to you before you make a purchasing decision – ask your flight school, or contact Redbird directly for more information, or for a demonstration.

Q: Can GIFT help me save time or money when pursuing my private pilot license?

A: Yes – By mastering maneuvers in a simulator with GIFT, you spend more time in a less-expensive simulator, and only fly in a more-expensive airplane to refine and fully master these maneuvers.

Q: Can I track my progress with GIFT?

A: Yes – After each flight, GIFT gives you a detailed score that breaks down which skills you’re good at and which need improvement – these scores, along with a graphical debrief, are saved to your online account forever.

Q: Will GIFT tell me specifically what skills I need to work on more?

A: Yes – after you have flown a module several times, you can scan those scores looking for trends that will help you determine how quickly you are progressing and what specific skills need more practice.

Q: What kind of airplane does GIFT use?

A: GIFT currently uses a Cessna 172 with either a analog-gauge panel or a G1000 (glass) panel – The Cessna 172 is by far the most common type of airplane used for flight training around the world.

Q: Can I use GIFT with other types of airplanes?

A: Redbird is planning to release GIFT for other popular airplane types in the near future.

Q: Can GIFT train me to get my IFR endorsement?

A: Yes! An Instrument Rating version of GIFT is available for purchase.

Q: Is GIFT a good way for nervous students to gain confidence?

A: Definitely – Some students want to learn to fly, but are nervous in the airplane. GIFT is a safe environment in which to learn how a real airplane will behave in the air, and an ideal place to master a few maneuvers before getting in a real airplane and realizing that their skills transfer to flying an actual aircraft.