NBAA Convention News

SimCom upgrades units, adds light-jet fam course

 - October 14, 2009, 5:59 AM

SimCom Training Centers is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year, as well as  the addition of new training programs and upgraded simulators. One new program–
the light jet familiarization course–is aimed at pilots who are thinking about transitioning to a light jet, which ties in perfectly with the new Light Business Airplane content at this year’s convention. 

The light jet familiarization course was developed because customers were asking for a way to try jets without spending the time and money to attend a full initial jet course, according to SimCom Orlando training center manager Tom Evans.

The light jet familiarization course takes five days and includes 20 hours of classroom time, 10 hours of flying in a Cessna Citation CJ full-motion simulator and 10 hours of technology briefings and post-flight debriefings. Subjects covered  include type-rating practical test standards, jet engine theory and power management, systems management, departure and approach profiles, high-altitude flight and scenario-based cross country.

The course allows prospective very light and light jet pilots to sample flight profiles and speeds they’ll be facing in a jet, but in a generic sense. The simulator can be flown to match profiles of typical VLJs, Evans said.

Cost of the jet familiarization course is about two thirds that of a typical 14-day type-rating course in a light jet. The customer can opt to apply the full cost of the light jet course to a full type rating by taking the type-rating class within one year.

SimCom also recently upgraded its two Mitsubishi MU-2 simulators with high-resolution visual systems, equivalent to level-D simulator quality. The new visual system includes detailed features for selected airports, converging ground and airborne traffic, dynamic thunderstorms with rain shafts, ragged ceilings, blowing snow, patchy fog and scud.

Earlier this year, SimCom added a new Daher-Socata TBM 850 simulator at its Orlando training center that incorporates high-resolution visuals plus a full Garmin G1000 avionics suite. The company has also upgraded the Citation II simulator at its Scottsdale, Ariz. facility to level-C. It can now be used to conduct full type-rating training and issuance. This upgrade brings the number of level-C simulators operated by the training company to 11.

SimCom (Booth No. 3408) has seen some effects of the recession, according to president and CEO Wally David, primarily in a slowdown in initial class attendance, while recurring training classes have remained busy. The slowing sale of used aircraft means less training opportunities. But, he added, “Economically, we have always been the best value.”