Turkey ramps up its pilot training capacity

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Turkey is ramping up its pilot recurrent and type rating training capability with a view to becoming the training centre for a region that has habitually sent many of its flightcrew abroad to gain or maintain licence privileges. The International Flight Training Centre (IFTC) Istanbul and Turkish Airlines have both placed extensive orders for simulation equipment that will increase their ability to train local crews locally.

IFTC founder Mekin Gözen says he has acquired three Boeing 737 Next Generation and three Airbus A320 series simulators from the Mechtronix FFS X range. These can be software-tailored to provide any level of training need from level C to the zero flight-time level D.

The Central American Grupo TACA airlines have also chosen A320 simulators from the same simulator range. Mechtronix appears to be registering success in winning orders from small- to medium-size airlines that want to bring training in-house - or closer to home - by producing significantly cheaper simulators using software from the aircraft manufacturer, but without having to install the on-aircraft avionics in its simulators, because the same displays can be reproduced in high fidelity at lower cost.

Meanwhile, Turkish Airlines has become the first European carrier to order a multi-crew flight training device from Mechtronix to bridge the gap between student pilots' basic flying training in multi-engined types and progress to their multi-crewed jet or turboprop type ratings.

The product, known as the Ascent XJ, is a generic flight and navigation procedure trainer with a full visual system that can be software tailored to the levels specified by the training organisation. Turkish Airlines has chosen jet performance familiarisation.