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.
Advanced flight-simulation devices
FlightSafety International is upgrading its helicopter simulator graphics with its new Vital 1100 visual system and has already qualified it in several level-D machines and for use in other advanced training devices. Providing sharper resolution and a larger field of view, the new system has five times the computing power of its Vital X predecessor and significantly enhances training by providing realistic mission-specific imagery with improved scene content and greater levels of detail, says the training provider.
FlightSafety International (Booth No. 5902) is upgrading its helicopter simulator graphics with its new Vital 1100 visual system and already has qualified it in several level-D units and for use in other advanced training devices. FlightSafety says the new system has five times the computing power of its Vital X predecessor and significantly enhances training by providing realistic mission-specific imagery with improved scene content and greater levels of detail.
FlightSafety International promoted Daniel MacLellan to vice president of operations. He assumes responsibility for operations at FlightSafety’s worldwide network of learning centers from senior vice president of operations Greg McGowan, who is retiring at the end of this year. In his new position, MacLellan will provide guidance and support for center operations, the development, management and delivery of training programs and interaction with aviation regulatory agencies worldwide.
CAE has begun simulator training at its facility in Delhi, India. The training center, a joint venture between CAE and Interglobe, houses two full-flight simulators providing pilot and maintenance technician training for the region. According to the company, the six simulator bays will be able to train more than 5,000 professionals per year once they operating at full capacity. The center occupies 3.5 acres in the Greater Noida Industrial Area, about 25 miles southeast of Delhi.
Implementation of a new Brazilian requirement mandating the use of level-D simulators for renewing privately operated business aircraft type ratings has had to be postponed until next year due to a shortage of suitable training equipment in the country.
L-3’s acquisition last year of UK-based Thales Training & Simulation has broadened its Link subsidiary’s capabilities and truly put it back in the civil aircraft training business. Since the announcement last year, L-3 Link Simulation & Training, an 85-year-old flight training specialist, has won significant new airliner training system business in key new markets.
In parallel with global business jet sales, pilot training activity is, for the most part, stable and growing somewhat, particularly in new markets. At the same time, flight-training providers are reporting unprecedented growth in the civil helicopter sector, with much of this being driven by a surge in demand for rotorcraft support in the booming offshore oil and gas industries, plus the deployment of new-generation helicopter simulator technology.
With the number of business jets in China steadily increasing, the country is facing a shortage of qualified pilots, with virtually all of those attending its flight academies and training schools destined for the commercial aviation sector. Operators in China use a ratio of five pilots for every business jet in operation, according to Christopher Jackson, co-founder and executive director of China-based aviation consultancy Jackson Rosenberg, who sees a need for hundreds of additional business jet pilots in the short to medium term.
UK-based CAE Oxford Aviation Academy placed an order for 35 Piper airplanes today at the Sun ’n Fun Fly-in in Lakeland, Fla. The agreement includes firm orders for 22 Archer TX piston singles and 13 piston twins, as well as parts and service.