New Facility for BE1900 Flight Training
by Sydney Burns, Marketing and Communications Associate
Ameriflight pilots undergoing BE1900 training can now expect not only a new location, but better facilities and new features including two simulators with GPS.
In May of this year, Ameriflight’s Beech 1900 training was moved from LaGuardia Airport in New York (LGA) to Denver, Colorado (DEN).
There were many factors that led to the training move. Chris Adams, Southwest Region Chief Pilot, explains:
“The LGA facility – while historical – had drawbacks. It had only one simulator, the classroom was expensive to rent, and the briefing room was small and of only moderate quality. Perhaps most importantly, New York’s facility did not have a GPS installed in the simulator. This meant that new pilots to the 1900 were not trained in the latest equipment.”
The new facility in DEN offers all of that and much more. It provides access to two GPS-equipped simulators, multiple free classrooms and is located in a modern, brightly lit training facility that is open 24 hours. Time spent training is now more efficient for everyone involved.
Will McDonald, Ameriflight’s BE1900 Program Manager, explains that cost was a huge factor in the move of facilities. The savings that come with the move are substantial.
“We are paying about 25% less for these sims and an average of 50% less on hotels and airfare. So for last year alone, we would have saved about $250,000!”
While the cost is lower, the benefits of the new facility are much greater. Chris says at only three months in the new facility, the training so far has been solid.
“Trainees have been progressing well and the additional sim provides greater opportunity for remedial training if needed. We’ve also been able to use the simulators to train our 1900 First Officers in our Accelerated Captain Program.”
Will further stated: “We have been able to add new things to the training profiles, such as PRM approaches, high altitude airports, and true loft profiles. Overall, the quality of training has improved dramatically!”
Aside from having access to an additional sim, the greatest benefit and biggest difference from the LGA location to DEN is hands-down the GPS. Ameriflight pilots can now expect to be GPS qualified after training, something that wasn’t possible at LGA. But how exactly does GPS benefit Ameriflight pilots?
“GPS navigation allows for higher reliability especially in small, rural airports, where weather can shut down approaches (and thus landings) in and out. It is similar to having snow tires: if we didn’t have GPS (snow tires) we limit the kind of operations we can participate in. Ultimately reducing our capabilities,” said Chris.
In addition to new hire training, the training department plans to use the new facility for recurrent training.
“A good number of our pilots have never trained in a simulator. Sims are fantastic for creating realistic emergencies and scenarios in a safe, trainable environment. And, not to sound like a deferred record, but the GPS in both Denver sims allows us to also qualify previously unqualified 1900 captains during a week-long recurrent,” explained Chris.
Looking ahead, Ameriflight is excited to see the progression and growth from our pilots coming out of BE1900 training. Chris best explains the new facility and the move to Denver in three words: value, efficacy, and convenience.