Simulators could see a revolution in the quality of visuals as new ray-tracing technology comes to the fore and replaces rasterized images, and new multi-core chips make it possible to use multiple projectors simultaneously. That was one of the conclusions to emerge from a Royal Aeronautical Society conference in London on flight simulation research in late November. Whether the increased cost of greater “fidelity” is necessary to meet training goals was another matter for discussion.
Two years ago, FlightSafety International nearly doubled the size of its Dallas Learning Center at DFW. The company’s largest campus, founded in 2000, has grown to 210,000 sq ft and now features 24 simulator pads, more classrooms and an engine shop, allowing FlightSafety to add several new programs. The Dallas center has 250 employees (125 of them instructors) and graduates 10,500 students annually. One-third of those students are from outside the U.S.“Dallas is just a great place to get to with direct flights, and that helps a lot,” said center manager Dan McClellan.
FlightSafety International will start construction this spring on an expansion and renovation project at its learning center in Teterboro, N.J. The project is slated for completion early next year.
The existing building will be renovated and reconfigured to provide more amenities and improve workflow, FlightSafety said. A new wing will be added that features facilities for flight crew emergency training, including a pool and other specialized equipment, as well as more classrooms and office space.
FAA officials met with representatives from NBAA, NATA, Part 135 charter operators and Part 142 training providers last week in an attempt to resolve the issue that is forcing charter operators to stop pilot training and checking at Part 142 schools.
Recently I was fortunate to experience something that is probably fairly ordinary for most corporate pilots, initial type rating training at a simulator training center. I had the opportunity to complete a Citation V type rating initial course at FlightSafety International’s Long Beach, Calif., learning center. And for a pilot who hasn’t spend much time in a two-pilot cockpit environment nor flying a jet, the experience was tremendously beneficial, illuminating and hugely enjoyable.
Dassault Falcon’s certified practical training program has passed the 300th trainee mark. The program, which provides training for Falcon operators and service center personnel, recently graduated Wu Jian Ming from Business Aviation Asia in China.
China’s Avic International is going into the flight training business. The group announced at Airshow China 2012 yesterday that it is bringing to China a new company, Alabama-based Zulu Flight Training, to address the need for general aviation pilot training in China. Zulu Flight Training opened its first training center in the U.S. last July.
Air traffic service academy Entry Point North is offering on-site training in a specially equipped mobile simulation trailer. During September and October, up to 30 tower controllers from Aviation Capacity Resources, a private Swedish air navigation service provider, received emergency training provided in the mobile simulator that was put into operation next to their tower units at Stockholm Västerås and Växjö.
FlightSafety International is moving to expand and upgrade its helicopter training portfolio substantially, according to David Davenport, vice president of operations.
“Helicopter training has been a high-growth business for FlightSafety for many years. We have always been the factory-authorized training provider for Bell and Sikorsky. We’ve also tried to branch out into highly successful helicopters such as the [Eurocopter] EC135 and [AgustaWestland] AW139,” Davenport said.
FlightSafety International’s Orlando Learning Center caters to the full range of Cessna Citation clients. Many return to the center for recurrent training while their aircraft undergo maintenance across the street at Cessna’s factory-owned and -operated regional service center.