Cessna Picks FlightSafety For Citation Mustang Training

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If Eclipse Aviation is the upstart contender in the VLJ sweepstakes, Cessna Aircraft is the grizzled veteran. While Cessna's FAA-certification target of late 2006 for its Citation Mustang likely will not win the race to be first to certify what many in the industry are labeling a VLJ, the company is selling enough of its other Citations for it not to matter very much. Most recently, Cessna said it had selected FlightSafety International to provide initial type training for what it calls its "new generation entry-level jet." Training will be available to customers prior to delivery of the first Citation Mustang late next year and will be conducted at the FlightSafety Cessna Learning Centers in Wichita, Kan., and Farnborough, England. According to Roger Whyte, Cessna’s senior vice president of sales and marketing, “The selection of FlightSafety is the extension of a mutually beneficial relationship that has existed for more than three decades. Due to the large number of overseas orders, it was determined that the location for training close to the customer was an absolute must,” Whyte said. FlightSafety will design and build two motion-based Level “D” flight simulators and two avionics flight training devices (FTD). Additionally, so-called "distance learning" will be used to provide Mustang-specific and ancillary courses via the World Wide Web, according to Cessna. Using distance learning will help maximize time spent at the learning center by focusing on the essential simulator training element of the initial course, the company said. Cessna also announced that FlightSafety International will provide "Mentoring Services" for Citation Mustang customers, which provides Mustang type-rated pilots the opportunity to fly with FlightSafety instructors for a period of time before they begin operating the aircraft on their own. A core set of operational scenarios will be coupled with the routes to be flown by the customer to strengthen proficiency in day-to-day Mustang operation. The Citation Mustang is a twin-engine, turbofan-powered, six-place business jet designed to operate at up to FL410. To date, the Mustang prototype has logged 248 hours; the first production Mustang first flew on Aug. 29.