In a highly competitive environment, training school Flight Options is managing to retain instructors, bucking a current trend given impetus by the pilot shortage and migration of experienced hands to the airlines.
First and foremost, Flight Options is about everything from recreational level (RPL) to advanced air transport pilot licence (ATPL) training, supported by some of the most sophisticated equipment available. A CASA Certified Level D full motion Cessna Citation Mustang simulator is available for training, including type ratings and ATPL. In a joint venture with Ansett Aviation Training, Flight Options has also installed a King Air 200/350i Level D simulator that has become the “go-to” for training and endorsing Royal Flying Doctor Service pilots among other civilian and military King Air pilots.
Facilities which deliver a complete training regimen have now provided the trigger for an ambitious new stage in Flight Options’ development: a flight training academy program pitched at the airlines and related operators.
Tim Holland, Head of Operations for the pilot academy, explains, “we can do everything from zero to the ATPL flight test – RPL, PPL, CPL, ATPL, instrument ratings, and including all the endorsements and ratings on the way.”
Cadets will progress from the basics to CPL training in Cessna 182s before migrating to a multi-crew cooperation course (MCC) under the SOPs of their airline, and then instrument rating, as a pair, in the full motion Citation simulator.
Training fees would involve a cadet bonding on a three-year debt reduction program. Holland said he believed Flight Options will be the only private company in the country, “offering from zero to the right hand seat of a jet while working for an airline.”
The initial intention is for Flight Options to take batches of 10 students every six months.