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Sonex To Offer Transition Training

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In a study of amateur-built aircraft completed last year, the NTSB cited a need for transition training to help new owners safely fly their airplanes, and this week Sonex said it has developed a training program for its fleet. Sonex said the FAA has authorized the company to provide flight training for pilots who are building, buying, or considering a Sonex design. "Preparing to fly your Sonex with the proper training and type-specific flight time is just as important as building the aircraft properly," said Sonex CEO Jeremy Monnett. The training is offered by Sonex staff CFIs at the company base in Oshkosh, Wis.

"We are not a flight school, and we do not see this service as a revenue stream," Mark Schaible, Sonex general manager, told EAA. "This is purely intended to make our customers comfortable with the transition to our sport planes and increase safety." Joe Norris, Sonex chief flight instructor, said the process of dealing with the FAA to get the approval to offer the training went smoothly. The whole process took about three weeks, he said, "which I thought was incredibly fast." Sean Elliott, vice president of advocacy and safety for EAA, said he hopes the transition training program and others like it will become models for the industry. "EAA is very excited that Sonex took the initiative to create its own highly tailored training program," Elliot said. "This is a significant enhancement to safety for the kit manufacturer community." Sonex also said it is establishing a national type club to promote safety and education among owners.

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