Thursday, April 16, 2015

KingAir Academy

Last week I did the KingAir 200 initial course at KingAir Academy in Phoenix at Deer Valley.  Why, am I getting a KingAir?  I wish!  I don't think I can swallow the operating cost on a turbine twin, that's a plane that needs a job... but man o man is it a great airplane.  The course was a week long, and by far the most intensive training I've done in one five day sitting thus far.  The KA200 is a big plane, with lots of systems, and we covered ALL of them.

Day one was classroom ground all day, focussing on turbine engines in general and the PT6A specifically.  The rest of the days were classroom ground in the morning, going through everything from the fuel system to the electrical system to the hydraulic system to the landing gear system to the environment system, etc.  Then the afternoons were simulator sessions which were my primary interest.  As I have posted here in the past, I'm a sim geek and spend a fair bit of time in my own sim... well the ones at KingAir Academy put me in my place, their sims are really, really good.  I was happy to see their sims are based on X-Plane which is what I run at home and am of the opinion is the best flight simulator software available.  Here is a quick video that shows how real the sim is..

Pretty cool!  In the video is my friend Alex whom I went with for the training.  He is considering putting a KA200 in service in India as a business idea so that was the primary impetus for him attending, and I just went to expand my knowledge, get the high altitude endorsement and also learn about turbines.

All in all a fantastic experience.  I can't say enough good things about the training and the guys there at KingAir Academy.  They are super accommodative and want you to learn and do well.  Also got to have lunch with Tom Clements and chat with some really, really experienced pilots.  A great way to spend a week.  Highly recommend KA Academy and they are also building some new sims that look even better.  The capper was the quick flight to Sedona for the Beechcraft BBQ.

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