Eclipse Update: Training...

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One of the industry's major concerns about the forthcoming flood of light-light jets like the Eclipse and the Safire Jet is training. Turning loose, say, a Baron pilot in a jet cruising 150 knots faster at much higher altitudes is not something to be taken lightly. Just ask the insurance companies. Perhaps recognizing this, Eclipse Aviation Corporation this week took the cover off its new six-phase pilot training program. The company also announced the first module of its self-paced study course and revealed that it recently purchased an L-39 Albatross for use in upset recovery training. "Our commitment to innovation extends far beyond the design and manufacture of the Eclipse 500 jet," said Vern Raburn, president and CEO. "We have defined a six-phase program that will train customers of various experience levels to be safe and successful in the Eclipse 500 jet. These latest milestones demonstrate our progress in delivering on that promise," he added. Eclipse’s "Jet Basics Self-Paced Study Course" is a five-part series of CD-based modules providing an overview of jet aircraft and their operating environment to assist pilots transitioning to jets. Just what the Baron doctor ordered. Meanwhile, the L-39 Albatross jet trainer will be used to demonstrate to each Eclipse 500 customer how to recover from upsets. Eclipse’s six-phase training program includes pilot qualifications review, the just-announced jet basics self-study course, an altitude-chamber session, upset recovery training in Eclipse’s L-39, a seven-day Part 142 Eclipse 500 type-rating transition course, either certification to fly single-pilot or requirements to fly with a mentor pilot, and regular recurrent training.