Eagle Creek in the News

Twin Commander Training Moving to Orlando

SimCom Aviation Training is closing its Dallas Training Center just north of DFW airport and moving Twin Commander simulators and training programs to its Lee Vista Orlando Training Center north of Orlando International Airport.

SimCom acquired the Twin Commander pilot training program from FlightSafety International in 2011, and moved it from FSI’s Houston center to SimCom’s newly acquired Dallas facility, which also supports other manufacturer make and model training programs. The decision to now close the Dallas center is the result of several factors, including lack of space to handle the larger full-flight simulators that SimCom plans for its future growth in other training programs, SimCom President Eric Hinson explained. Also, some of the Dallas center’s busier training programs are replicated at SimCom’s Lee Vista and Scottsdale, Arizona, facilities. “We’ll be able to adequately serve the market with two locations instead of three,” Hinson noted.

SimCom will operate two full-motion Commander simulators at its Lee Vista Orlando center including one configured as a JetProp 1000 with TPE331-10 engines, Garmin 530, and visual display with day and night depiction. The second is configured as a 690B with Garrett TPE331-5 engines, a Garmin 530 and 430 in the panel, and a visual display that duplicates both day and night conditions. The company will no longer use a fixed-base visual-motion device configured as a 690A. “It has limited capability, and we’ll have more than enough capacity using the two motion sims,” Hinson said.

The move to the Lee Vista Orlando Center should prove beneficial to the Twin Commander program because of better technical support—24 simulator technicians on site at Lee Vista compared to four at the Dallas Center—and dedicated software engineers on site, Hinson added. That support should improve the reliability of the two Twin Commander sims, an issue that Hinson acknowledged is a concern for customers. Improving reliability is one of the prime reasons for moving the program to the Orlando facility, Hinson said. “It will allow us to deliver a better product.”

SimCom is exploring options for upgrading the avionics in the two Twin Commander sims with newer-generation Garmin products including a G600, GTN750/650, or some combination, Hinson said. He asked Commander customers to weigh in on the decision. “I encourage the market to give us feedback,” he said. “We’d like to hear from customers.”

One factor that SimCom must consider when upgrading the avionics is that it serves more international than domestic Twin Commander customers, and many operate older models with analog cockpits.

SimCom’s Twin Commander pilot training options include a five-day initial, three-day recurrent, three-day second-in-command recurrent and a two-day express recurrent.

SimCom also offers several specialty courses including: