The Civil Aviation Flight University of China (CAFUC) has begun using the first of six new Cessna Citation CJ1s for advanced pilot training and is in talks with Cessna to acquire about 40 primary trainers.

CAFUC, also known as the Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC) Flying College, says it will sign a contract with a manufacturer next year to supply 42 new trainers to replace its fleet of EADS Socata TB20/200s from 2007. Industry sources say a customised version of the Cessna 172 is CAFUC’s preferred new primary trainer, but other manufacturers are also pitching their aircraft and Cessna may have trouble meeting CAFUC’s delivery schedule. “For other companies, there is still a chance,” says CAFUC.

CAFUC now trains pilots using a fleet of about 70 TB20/200s for primary training and six Piper Seminoles for multi-engine and instrument training. It has just taken delivery of six more Seminoles and its first batch of CJ1s. The CJ1s will be used to improve the advanced training portion of its commercial pilot course, which now relies on indigenous Chinese aircraft.

Source: Flight International