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Now browsing: Hometown News > Business & Finance > Indian River County

Aircraft company's future looking up
Rating: 1.8 / 5 (5 votes)  
Posted: 2013 Apr 19 - 06:34

Flight training schools soon to fly high with Piper

By Jessica Tuggle


INDIAN RIVER COUNTY -- A pair of announcements from Vero Beach-based Piper Aircraft could mean good news for the future of the company and the Indian River County residents employed by the company.

During the Sun 'n Fun International Fly In and Expo in Lakeland, Piper Aircraft administration announced two new agreements with two flight training schools for up to 135 Piper planes.

CAE Oxford Aviation Academy, based in Oxford, U.K., ordered 22 single-engine Piper Archer TX training airplanes and 13 twin-engine trainers. This spring, 27 of the new aircraft will be going to the school's Phoenix location, and later this year, the other eight will be sent to the Oxford location, a press release said.

Along with the purchase order, the two companies have struck a five-year fleet replenishment agreement that includes Piper being named as the school's preferred aircraft provider.

Jeff Roberts, CAE group president, civil simulation products, training and services, said this agreement is part of his company's goal to have a high-quality, safe network of cadet flight schools.

"These Piper aircraft are equipped with multiple systems designed to enhance training and safety of flight, including flight data feedback systems and traffic awareness technology," he said in a press release.

The planes will be fitted with CAE-designed flight data analysis and cockpit video recording systems, which once reviewed, will allow the school to gather statistical trends for longer term safety and performance benefit, providing more consistent high-level training for cadets, a press release said.

After completing the training at CAE Oxford Aviation Academy, the cadets will be able to move on to become airline pilots, Mr. Roberts said.

The academy trains more than 2,000 cadets each year in11 flight schools on five continents.

Piper also announced a three-year agreement with Airline Transport Professionals, America's largest flight school, for 15 Piper Archer TX planes this year, with options for 85 more in the future.

Airline Transport Professionals began a relationship with Piper planes in 2011 with a 30-plane order to build a fleet of Piper Seminoles. The school plans to transition to a predominately Piper training fleet, a press release said.

Piper President and CEO Simon Caldecott said the new contract shows Piper's quality and fitness as manufacturers of training aircraft.

"ATP is transitioning our fleet to Pipers because these airplanes offer rugged dispatch reliability, technological flexibility in cockpit avionics and instrumentation and operation economy," he said.

For more information about Piper Aircraft, visit www.piper.com.

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