Eclipse Customers To Train With United Airlines

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Eclipse Aviation last week announced it had inked a deal with United Airlines (UAL) to provide pilots of its forthcoming Eclipse 500 very light jet with a comprehensive flight training program. The deal with UAL is a reversal of Eclipse’s original strategy for its to-be-certificated jet, in which it planned to perform training in-house. Under the expanded program, Eclipse says its customers will receive both their initial flight-skills assessment, as well as their type-rating transition training, at UAL’s flight training center in Denver, Colo. A full-motion simulator will be used under a curriculum jointly developed by Eclipse and UAL. For its part, UAL has done a separate deal with Boeing’s Alteon subsidiary to provide the pilots and other instructors for the Eclipse training program. “United’s training organization has one of the best safety records in the world, and a philosophy of training that closely mirrors our own. We’re delighted by their desire and ability to translate airline style training into a program appropriate for Eclipse 500 customers,” said Vern Raburn, president and CEO of Eclipse Aviation. According to Eclipse, UAL will pioneer “single-pilot cockpit resource management training for the Eclipse 500.” The UAL flight training facility in Denver conducts more than 1400 pilot training events each month; it was created in 1968 and caters to more than 75 outside customers, including pilots in the U.S. Air Force, NASA and the FAA.