Cessna has selected FlightSafety International (FSI) to provide training for pilots and mechanics of the Citation Mustang very light jet (VLJ), and the training firm will design and build two full-flight simulators and two avionics training devices.
Such a partnership between the two companies was not unexpected. The Mustang is the costliest of the new breed of VLJs–initial training costs typically being incorporated into an aircraft’s pricing–and the Flushing, N.Y.-based training organization has been an OEM- approved Citation training center since 1977. The price of the airplane includes training for one pilot and one mechanic.
But some aspects of this training contract differentiate it from those for other Citation models. Because many Mustangs will likely be flown single-pilot by their owners, FlightSafety has “worked closely with Cessna to develop a training program tailored to the specific needs of Mustang operators,” said FSI president Bruce Whitman.
For example, Cessna and FSI worked together to develop a mentor services program. It provides pilots who have been type-rated on the aircraft with the opportunity to fly with FSI instructors for a period before they begin operating the aircraft on their own. The owner would bear the cost of the program, and the price would depend on the length of time for which the instructor is hired.
Cessna expects to gain certification of the Mustang in the fourth quarter of next year. The first simulator should be online at about the same time. The second simulator will be installed at FSI’s new training center in Farnborough, England, and available for training by the end of 2007. FlightSafety also intends to start offering Mustang online distance learning courses beginning in January 2007.