Flight Design has established a network of Flight Design Pilot
Centers to meet the needs of training institutions. The process
began at Oshkosh 2008 with visits to numerous flight operators to
best determine their needs for Light-Sport Aircraft. By fall, the
program was well underway and by Spring, Flight Design USA had
rolled out the new program.
"Our Flight Design Pilot Center (FDPC) program is a complete,
professional package of elements needed by large and small
schools," indicated Tom Peghiny, president of Flight Design USA,
importer of the German line of best-selling aircraft. "The primary
components of the FDPC are: a leading Light-Sport Aircraft; a
Flight Design-branded learning system of books and DVD
instructions; a PC-based flight simulator with specialization for
the CTLS; and a 'First-Aid Kit' for flight schools, which provides
them with a starter kit of commonly needed maintenance items to
reduce CTLS downtime to a minimum."
Students at FDPC flight schools benefit from learning in the
'third-generation' CTLS. All flight schools use materials to help
train students to take knowledge tests (written and oral exams),
and flight evaluations, but Flight-Design made a dedicated effort
to assure their study guides were specific to the CTLS.
The decision to use X-Plane software, which is available for
PC-, Mac-, or Linux-based computer operating systems, proved to be
a smart move after Microsoft suspended development on its Flight
Sim program. The X-Plane version not only runs on more computers
but is more customizable to fit the Light-Sport segment. Flight
Design will strive through regular upgrades to make the X-Plane
CTLS ever closer to the actual experience as it considers the
software a training aid more than an entertaining game.
FDPC students will also benefit from a feedback system and
active online CT Owner Group to help them learn from others
operating the CTLS (and earlier CTsw model), plus "Most Favored"
insurance rates and readily-available financing. As Flight Design
has sold more Light-Sport Aircraft than any other company, it also
benefits from a growing support network to assure the CTLS
continues its training mission.
All Sport Pilot candidates benefit from reduced hourly
requirements and simpler aircraft flying in simpler airspace. The
cost of obtaining the first pilot certificate offered by FAA is far
lower than for the Private Pilot ticket. The final cost of a Sport
Pilot certificate varies, but is widely quoted as $3,500 to $5,000,
well below the $8,000-10,000 average for a PPC.