China’s great need for airline pilots is well documented, not least by Boeing, which last year estimated that the country’s fast-expanding air transport industry will need some 77,400 pilots through 2032 (plus 93,900 mechanics). According to the airframer, that represents around 40 percent of the overall requirement across the Asia Pacific region over the same period.
Illinois-based aircraft training device manufacturer Frasca International, Inc. (Booth H304) announced here at ABACE 2014 it has just completed factory acceptance by the Civil Aviation Authority of China (CAAC) of a Citation CJ1+ Level D full flight simulator (FFS) purchased by Nanshan Flight Academy in Shandong.
“Factory acceptance per CAAC guidelines is like certifying an airplane,” said Niu Tao, Frasca’s Beijing-based Chief Representative in China. “The requirements for the simulator are very stringent.”
Training specialist FlightSafety International signed a multi-year agreement with Chinese business jet leasing firm Minsheng Business Aviation yesterday at ABACE 2014. Under the deal, FSI will train pilots, maintenance technicians, flight attendants and dispatchers for Gulfstream G450/550 operators Beijing Capital Airlines and Shanghai Deer Jet. Most of the training will take place at FSI’s Hong Kong learning center, which opened in 2012. FSI also named Paul Statskey as its new program manager at the Hong Kong facility.
Airbus Helicopters Japan inaugurated Japan’s first full flight simulator (FFS) for helicopters at its training facilities in the Kobe Airport vicinity on Monday. The EC135 P2+ simulator received level-C certification from the Japan Civil Aviation Bureau (JCAB). Such airworthiness authority approval allows training hours accumulated by pilots in the full flight simulator to count as actual flight hours.
FlightSafety International technician training programs for Pratt & Whitney Canada engines have been moved from Beijing to Haikou, and will be provided at the new location by FlightSafety-trained instructors working for Lufthansa HNA Technical Training. FlightSafety is also providing all courseware and training engines for the program, which initially includes theory and practical training on the PT6A and PW100 series engines.
Early next year, FlightSafety International will provide Embraer Legacy 650 training at its learning center at Paris Le Bourget Airport. The factory-authorized program will include initial, recurrent and update training for pilots, maintenance technicians and flight attendants who operate and support the Brazilian-built twinjet. The program will feature a FlightSafety-built level-D-qualified full-motion flight simulator.
Business aviation continues to grow in China and the rest of the Asia region, and the demand for pilots and technicians is stronger than ever. With a generally accepted ratio of five qualified pilots required for each business jet in service, supplying training for those pilots–and the technicians who will service the aircraft–remains one of the industry’s more profound challenges.
After the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA) and Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA) submitted a petition for exemption for the third-class medical requirement for private or recreational pilots on March 20, 2012, more than 14,000 comments overwhelmingly in support of the exemption were submitted to the FAA. However, the agency failed to act on the exemption request, and now Congress is exerting pressure on the FAA to expand the third-class medical exemption, which currently applies to sport pilots.
King Schools, the flight instruction empire founded by John and Martha King, announced a pair of initiatives aimed at increasing the pilot population and enhancing the sense of community among those within it this week at the Sun ’n’ Fun Fly-In in Lakeland, Fla. A free eBook, So You Want to Learn to Fly, introduced at the show, covers all aspects of attaining a pilot’s license, written in a fun and easy-to-read style. The book is available through the King Schools website and iTunes book store.
Sporty’s Pilot Shop (N-100, N-101) highlighted its recently unveiled Partner Programs along with new products and services at its annual Sun ’n’ Fun press conference here in Lakeland, Fla. Sporty’s trio of Partner Programs provide discounts and rebates to flight instructors, flying clubs and FBOs for their orders from Sporty’s, paid quarterly. “One [flying] club just got a check for $200,” said Michael Wolf, president of the pilot supplies provider.