FlightSafety International began customer pilot training for the Gulfstream G650 yesterday at its Savannah Gulfstream Learning Center, just three days after the aircraft received FAA type certification. There are 16 pilots enrolled in the first class, which is expected to last 3.5 weeks and will be supported by two FAA-approved full-motion simulators, four graphical flight simulators (GFS) and 14 pilot instructors. One sim is also approved for EASA training; the other will receive this nod early next year.
FlightSafety is building two more G650 simulators and will deploy them to as-yet undetermined locations for service entry in 2014. For the past year, FlightSafety has been training Gulfstream factory pilots on the G650 and conducting maintenance training with the help of the GFS units.
It also obtained interim level-C approval for its G650 simulators from the FAA so it could use them to train factory pilots. “Thanks to our close relationship with Gulfstream and its engineering team, we were able to demonstrate to the FAA that the simulator does in fact operate just like the aircraft even though the aircraft did not have type certification at that point,” notes David Davenport, FlightSafety’s vice president and general manager of the Savannah center. Level-D approval is pending.