April 11, 2013
By Mike Collins
Piper Aircraft Inc. and Airline Transport Professionals on April 10 reached a three-year agreement under which ATP, which said it is America’s largest flight school specializing in airline pilot training and pilot career development, could purchase up to 100 Piper training aircraft.
Piper and ATP jointly announced at the Sun ’n Fun International Fly-In & Expo that ATP will purchase 15 Piper Archer TX single-engine advanced training aircraft for delivery in late 2013. In addition, ATP has options for 85 additional Archers for future delivery. The Archers will be the first single-engine Piper training aircraft in ATP’s fleet as it transitions to predominantly Piper training aircraft. This follows an order ATP placed with Piper for 30 twin-engine Seminoles in 2011. The fifteenth aircraft from that order is on display at Piper’s Sun ’n Fun exhibit.
All of ATP’s new Pipers will be equipped with Garmin G500 glass-cockpit avionics suites. Dual 6.5-inch LCDs, mounted side by side, put both primary flight display and multifunction display information directly in the instructor’s and student’s field of view to help streamline instrument scanning and enhance situational awareness.
"ATP is transitioning our fleet to Pipers because these airplanes offer rugged dispatch reliability, technological flexibility in cockpit avionics and instrumentation, and operational economy,” said ATP Vice President Jim Koziarski. ATP currently operates 107 Piper Seminoles, five Diamond DA40s, 93 Cessna Skyhawks, and a CitationJet.
"This large follow-on fleet transaction clearly shows continued confidence on the part of ATP in Piper Aircraft,” said Piper President Simon Caldecott. “Our training aircraft have proven themselves with millions of hours of rugged flight school training around the world."
Wednesday’s announcement follows other news at Sun ’n Fun that CAE Oxford Aviation Academy is buying 35 Piper training aircraft. CAE placed a firm order for 22 single-engine Archer TX and 13 twin-engine trainers, as well as parts and service. Deliveries will begin this spring, with 27 new airplanes going to CAE Oxford Aviation Academy in Phoenix; the remaining eight will be sent later in the year to CAE Oxford Aviation Academy in Oxford, United Kingdom.
Mike Collins has worked for AOPA’s media network since 1994. He holds a private pilot certificate with an instrument rating.
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