NBAA Convention News

FlightSafety Boeing gets busy with new Luton site

 - June 11, 2008, 6:52 AM

FlightSafety Boeing Training International (FSB) officially opened its new UK training center at London Luton Airport over the summer. The 35,000-sq-ft facility is equipped with a pair of Boeing 737-300 full-flight simulators, a 737-700/800/900 (New Generation) unit and a 757 unit.

Ford Europe’s corporate flight department has already booked time for recurrent training for its Boeing Business Jet (BBJ) crews at Luton, which is just 27 mi from its base at London Stansted Airport. The Ford pilots will use the New Generation 737 simulator, which can be quickly reconfigured to replicate the different handling characteristics of the 737-derived BBJ (e.g., thrust and c.g.). In January, Ford Europe took delivery of two BBJs to replace a pair of MD-11 jetliners for its daily corporate shuttle operations to Cologne, Germany; Bordeaux, France; and Valencia, Spain.

Most of FSB’s BBJ training is conducted at its Seattle and Atlanta facilities. Training is also available at the joint venture’s Burgess Hill center near London Gatwick Airport as the New Generation 737 simulator there is equipped with the head-up display (HUD) featured on the BBJ. FSB is now planning to add a HUD to the 737-700/800/900 unit at Luton, which features the FlightSafety International (FSI) Vital ChromaViewPlus visual system.

BBJ training can be conducted in any New Generation 737 simulator once it has been adjusted to represent the BBJ’s flight management computer. According to BBJ flight training instructor Tim Cooney, since there is significant commonality between the BBJ and these New Generation 737s, pilots converting between types require only computer-based training. Flight crews rated in the “737 Classics” (i.e., the -300/400/500 series) need to work in the full-flight simulator on newer avionics systems such as the primary flight and navigation displays.

FSB is now evaluating possible locations in mainland Europe for another training center, and also has plans for a new facility in the Middle East. The company already has another European center at Palma de Mallorca in Spain (which opened in May), Paris Le Bourget Airport and at Manchester in the northwest of England. In addition to its U.S. sites, it also has a training facility at Johannesburg, South Africa; Seoul, South Korea; Kunming in the People’s Republic of China; Mexico City; and Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

TRTO Certified

In September 1999, FSB became the first non-European company to secure type rating training organization (TRTO) approval and certification in accordance with the terms of the European Joint Aviation Authorities’ new Joint Aviation Requirement-Flight Crew Licensing (JAR- FCL) system. The initial TRTO covers all 737 types. The  company is now seeking to extend this to other aircraft families.

TRTO status is important because, in theory, it allows any European airline to have its crews trained at the facility without the need to revalidate the type rating with their own national licensing authority. However, in practice, many European civil aviation authorities are still failing to honor the common licensing approach of JAR-FCL some three years after it was implemented.

FlightSafety Boeing also provides a wide range of maintenance training for aircraft technicians at its centers or customer locations. The company has a team of more than 100 technical instructors who provide training covering the U.S. Air Transport Association’s Skill Levels I through IV. It is both Boeing-approved and compliant with
the requirements of Europe’s Joint Aviation Authorities.

New Wiring Course

This year, FSB introduced a wiring systems course in response to recommendations by the White House Commission on Aviation Safety in conjunction with the Aging Transport Systems Rulemaking Advisory Committee. The program is tailored to specific electrical systems and components and takes up to five days to complete.

Other FSB technical training courses cover the following topics: troubleshooting repairs; ramp and transit maintenance; line and base maintenance for avionics, airframes and powerplant; conversion training from 737 Classic models to the New Generation types (including the BBJ); and nondestructive testing. In response to the industry-wide shortage of qualified technicians, FSB also offers a “service ready” technical training program for ab initio recruits.