CAE Academy buying 35 Piper trainers

April 9, 2013

Jeff Roberts Jeff Roberts of CAE, left, talks with Piper’s Simon Caldecott.

CAE Oxford Aviation Academy will add 35 Piper training aircraft to its fleet, CAE and Piper Aircraft, Inc. announced in Lakeland, Fla., April 9. The agreement includes firm orders 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.

The companies said the initial order is part of a five-year fleet replenishment initiative agreement. CAE has designated Piper as its preferred aircraft provider, and the agreement could result in additional orders as CAE Oxford Aviation Academy modernizes its fleet.

“We have purposely outfitted the aircraft with the latest and best in avionics,” said Jeff Roberts, CAE group president of Civil Simulation Products, Training, and Services. “The reason for this is [that] we are wholly and singly focused on providing the best first officers in the world today.”

All of the aircraft will be equipped with Garmin G1000 avionics suites and Garmin Traffic Advisory Systems, and will have satellite-enhanced, dual-antenna traffic awareness technology that provides updates every second, for enhanced situational awareness. The aircraft will be the first ab initio aircraft factory-equipped with CAE-designed flight data analysis and cockpit video recording systems, which record data, audio, and video as part of CAE's Safety Management System. The recorded information will be replayed through the CAE Flightscape Insight flight data analysis software, enabling students to debrief immediately after a flight using flight animation with synchronized audio/video—as well as allow CAE to gather statistical trends for longer-term safety and performance benefits.

Worldwide, CAE operates 200 training aircraft at 11 locations with more than 1,000 cadets, Roberts said. “The ab initio academy combined with CAE’s simulation uniquely positions us as the worldwide leader in training.”

“The order of 35 aircraft from an organization of CAE’s strength affirms Piper’s commitment to flight training,” said Piper President and CEO Simon Caldecott. “The dual-country destination for this fleet order is a first for Piper’s recent fleet sales.”

The order shows the value that the airline training community places on the G1000 glass cockpit. “That was one of the key features for CAE,” Caldecott said. He noted that Piper currently has three G1000 certification programs under way. The Piper Archer is expected to be certified with the glass cockpit in May, followed by the Seneca in June and the Seminole in July, he said, adding that an Archer which had been at Garmin’s Olathe, Kan., facility for certification work since December was due back at Piper’s Vero Beach, Fla., factory today.

At Sun ’n Fun, Piper is displaying one of the first Piper Archers that will be delivered to the Florida Institute of Technology under the Piper Aviation Career Alliance announced last November. Caldecott and Ken Stackpoole, vice president of aviation programs and dean of FIT’s College of Aeronautics, unveiled the program during Piper’s seventy-fifth anniversary celebration. The partnership will educate and provide enhanced vocational opportunities for graduates from FIT’s aviation program, as well as graduates from other programs at the school.

The five-year agreement includes new Piper training aircraft for FIT as well as enhanced career opportunities for its students and graduates through Piper internships, scholarships, career interviews, and mentoring.

FIT’s College of Aeronautics will take delivery of eight single-engine Piper Archer TX this year, and has options on 16 additional Archer or twin-engine Seminole TX trainers for future delivery.

Jeff Roberts Jeff Roberts, CAE group president, looks at the glass cockpit in one of his new Pipers.