Embraer and CAE partner to train Phenom 100 pilots

 - April 28, 2010, 7:40 AM

With accumulated flight time approaching 10,000 hours, some 350 pilots have been trained to fly Embraer’s new Phenom 100 very light jet, more than 100 of which have been delivered, including around 30 to Europe. The Brazilian airframer’s backlog includes 600-plus Phenom 100s and the larger Phenom 300 light jets. This stretches planned production to early 2013, but delivery deferrals and cancellations have released an undisclosed number of earlier delivery slots.

Embraer CAE training services (ECTS) has been established to provide Phenom pilots and maintenance technicians with computer- and Web-based instruction, interactive classrooms, cockpit procedures and avionics trainers, and electronic-motion full-flight simulation. Courses involve pre-training and copious avionics content to familiarize students with the Phenom before they undertake expensive simulator training, said Simon Newitt, director of Embraer customer training (ECT).

ECT guarantees training for all Embraer aircraft programs, including pilot type training and familiarization courses for maintenance and cabin personnel conducted by in-house or contracted instructors. The ERJ 145 regional jet series is the only Embraer design in which the manufacturer is not involved in training, said Newitt.

FlightSafety International (FSI) trains pilots for the larger Embraer 170 and 190 jetliners and is contracted to provide Legacy 600 and 650 business jet flight operations and maintenance training. It also will provide pilot training for the Lineage 1000 corporate jet, with Embraer (and other providers) training maintenance personnel.

ECTS provides Phenom training in the UK at Burgess Hill, near London Gatwick Airport, where there is a Phenom 100 full-flight simulator (FFS). CAE SimuFlite also operates another FSS at its base in Dallas, Texas, providing Phenom 100 training for customers in the Americas. It was scheduled to commission a second simulator last month.

ECTS provides Phenom 100 and 300 flight, maintenance and avionics instruction for pilots, technicians and authorized service and OEM support personnel using Web-based training, instructor-led ground school instruction with integrated procedures trainers and simulators. The joint venture offers initial, recurrent and single-pilot transition training, while technical instruction covers initial type, maintenance, familiarization and engine run and taxi training. Its equipment has been qualified to U.S., European and Brazilian standards.

ECTS began providing Phenom technical training in 2008 and followed it quickly with European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) and U.S. Federal Aviation Administration pilot courses. It conducted the first Phenom simulator pilot training last September. ECTS has provided more than 500 Phenom training events and around 250 pilots have completed training. Some 60 type ratings have been issued at Burgess Hill, and it has trained more than 100 maintenance technicians there.

The ECTS Phenom curriculum begins with initial pilot assessment, which might include simulator or instrument tests, and assigns flight crews one of two skill levels. The process determines the trainees’ flying experience, which drives their Web-based training requirements, and identifies nonprofessional pilots needing instrument flight skills evaluation.

The next phase includes 15 to 30 hours of Web-based training covering cold-weather operations, reduced vertical separation minimums, wind shear, ATC terminology and high-altitude aerodynamics. Avionics, powerplant, load and balance, and performance follow in a systems review.

Six days of training comprise 34 hours on normal and abnormal operations and 14 hours of avionics and integrated procedures training. Gate checks ensure trainees receive sufficient avionics instruction before simulator sessions and allow ECTS to report their progress.

On the seventh day, pilots do not rest but enter the simulator for 15 to 28 hours of instruction and testing in seven three- to four-hour blocks (with a gate check after three sessions), culminating in a three- to four-hour simulator checkride. CAE claims its 5000-series simulator provides a “breakthrough solution” for airlines operating narrowbody aircraft, as well as for training schools and for emerging market requirements, such as multi-crew pilot license and VLJ training programs.

According to ECTS general manager Damon Cram, the company has modified procedures to improve indication of pilots’ skill levels. “We are continuously updating assessments to accommodate different levels of experience in order to tailor training,” he said.

The company has also increased avionics instruction to give “tactile, hands-on” training to inexperienced pilots. It provides technical training through eight possible courses varying in length from one day (engine run and taxi update) to 13 days (“B1” and “B2” maintenance and avionics training).