For U.S. Army fixed-wing pilots and civilian pilots who want to expand their skills, the CAE Dothan Training Center at Alabama’s Dothan Regional Airport offers a unique experience for learning how to prevent loss-of-control inflight (LOC-I). The Dothan Training Center operates a fleet of six Grob G120TP single-engine turboprop trainers as well as a Frasca flight training device and a cockpit procedures trainer. These assets are also available for civilian upset prevention and recovery training (UPRT) through a partnership between CAE and Aviation Performance Solutions (APS).
CAE built the 79,000-sq-ft Dothan Training Center in 2016 and opened it in early 2017, after winning the U.S. Army training contract that used to be held by FlightSafety International. The center’s focus is pilot training for the Army’s Fixed-Wing Flight Training Program, including transitioning Army helicopter pilots to fixed-wing aircraft and recurrent training for pilots flying military King Air B200s, including the C-12 (Army), RC-12 (Air Force), and UC-12 (Marine Corps). The center also operates a fleet of military King Airs as well as three C-12 simulators that can be quickly switched to the optimal configuration for each type of customer.
The Grob G120TP trainers are not only used for the Army’s initial-entry fixed-wing (IEFW) training program but also for a three-day UPRT live-aircraft course. The Army pilots start in the G120TP, logging 15 hours of instruction, then finish the Grob phase with 3.9 hours of UPRT, followed by a stage check. Once that is completed, the pilots move on to training in the fleet of C-12s.
CAE pilot-instructor Epi Atencio teaches in the Grobs and appreciates that the G120TP is the only fully aerobatic single-engine turboprop trainer with side-by-side seating. This configuration makes for a more natural transition into the C-12 flight deck, he explained. The Grob’s handling is closer to that of the C-12 as well, and the side-by-side seating lends itself to early introduction of crew coordination concepts that are critical for flying the C-12 and larger military transports.
CAE (Stand 1450) training systems under its Defence & Security division include 4th- and 5th-generation combat aircraft, lead-in trainers such as the Leonardo M-346 and BAE Hawk, and participation in the Eurofighter Simulation Systems consortium.