Aeroflot has begun type rating classes for Sukhoi Superjet 100 flight and maintenance crew in anticipation of the planned first delivery next month. The Russian flag carrier has seconded six pilots to the Moscow training facility of Superjet International, the Italian-Russian marketing and aftermarket venture, to complete the type rating for the regional twinjet. The course will take 24 days, suggesting the pilots should qualify in mid- to late March.

In December, Sukhoi said that Aeroflot's first two aircraft were to be delivered in March.

The ground school programme comprises theoretical classes, computer-based training to familiarise the pilots with the aircraft and procedural instruction in a flight training device.

The pilots will then complete flight training on the actual aircraft before gaining the type rating under the rule of Russia's federal air transport agency Rosaviatsia.

A full-flight simulator (FFS) will not be available until June. The FFS will be temporarily installed at the manufacturer, Thales, in France, where it can be utilised by both Superjet International training facilities in Moscow and Venice.

However, once a second FSS has become available, which is planned for 2012, the two devices will be permanently transferred to the two campuses in Russia and Italy, according to Superjet.

Additional flight crew training courses for Aeroflot pilots are scheduled to start in Moscow "in the next weeks", says the company.

Earlier this month, 12 maintenance staff members started a 27-day type rating programme at Aeroflot's training centre at Moscow's Sheremetyevo airport to support the aircraft on the ground.

Source: Air Transport Intelligence news