Ron Emond is always looking for ways to improve the education and the value proposition for Air Direct Airways students. And like most aviation companies, partnerships play a part in their success.
An important part of that strategy is to ensure that each of the aircraft models on the flight line are also available to fly “virtually” in their XSPEC 142 simulator. This arrangement is made possible because of the relationship between Air Direct Airways, the Nashua Pilot Shop, and XSPEC Aviation Flight Training Simulators.
Targeting the Problem Areas
“The biggest advantage of this sim is that you can re-set at the point a student is having a problem. If a student is having difficulty with a part of an ILS approach, as an example, the student can practice a maneuver 20 times in an hour, as opposed to shooting just 3 or 4 approaches in the actual aircraft.”
Students can also save files and share specific scenarios with an instructor.
Air Direct Airways fleet includes the ubiquitous Cessna 172 “Skyhawk” for elementary flight training, the Cessna 172RG “Cutlass” for complex endorsements and banner flying, the Beechcraft “Dutchess” BE-76 for multiengine training, and the American Champion 7GCAA “Citabria” for tail wheel endorsements, aerobatics and aerobatic training.
Each of these aircraft is completely represented in the sim, including all of the knobs and controls, so that students have a complete learning experience. Since the sim includes the same controls as the actual aircraft, students are able to have a realistic practice session, and become much more confident the next time they climb into the cockpit.
Completing the Training Experience
Unlike most simulators, the XSPEC 142 is capable of providing a complete Instrument Proficiency Check (IPC), including circle to land procedures.
A large part of flight training involves muscle memory. “The immersion program is unique, we get students flying nearly every day,” notes Emond, making reference to the need to develop those physical skills.
It can be helpful for the student to interact with the equipment in the same way as the “real” aircraft. Many sims have a flat glass panel, including radio controls that are represented as LCD graphics. The XSPEC 142 has a metal dash panel with knobs that provide tactile feel and feedback.
Thorough preparation for each hour of flight time reduces the workload and expense on the flight school’s most expensive activity – flight time in actual aircraft. Simulators can be an enormous competitive advantage for a flight school to attract and retain students and keep a reputation for a quality, cost-effective training program.
A Cost-Effective Alternative
The Redbird SD simulator retails for $42,800. By contrast, a new XSPEC 142 can be purchased for $39,800 without a trade-in. flight schools trading in an old “sim core” can expect to save $5000 on the cost of an XSPEC 142, which brings the cost of an XSPEC 142 to $34,800, including two-way shipping, warrantee and service.
In-house financing is available for either option.
Flight schools have many fixed expenses, including airport lease fees, aircraft, maintenance, instructor salaries and insurance; while their income may be seasonal or variable as students come and go.
XSPEC provides affordability that suits the school’s cash flow, as well as a warrantee that reduces their risk on the investment in a simulator. The Redbird SD does not offer in-house financing, and has a one-year warrantee. The XSPEC 142 does offer in-house financing and a two-year warrantee. A great warrantee is important to flight schools because students don’t pay for sim time if the machine is broken or out of commission.
Bill and Aaron Hill of XSPEC Aviation take the well-being of their sims and their clients very seriously. And they have become partners with the natural collegiality of aviators between Air Direct Airways and the nearby Nashua Pilot Shop
“They do many of software repairs and updates over the internet,” said Emond. “And when a hardware fix is needed, they send the part and a phone call usually takes care of it.”
“Keith Webb of the Nashua Pilot Shop has been my ‘hands in New Hampshire,’” said Aaron Hill of XSPEC Aviation. “He has saved us half a dozen trips.”
The Air Direct Airways Experience
Air Direct started as a charter company in the 90s, but their old airport was turned into a golf course, they moved to Nashua and instructors began offering flight training under FAA Part 61. The company obtained certification under FAA Part 141 as a complete flight training organization about five years ago.
A program with a major area university is underway that will provide students the opportunity to participate in a full-immersion flight training program. Students will spend most of their time in their first year completing flight training, obtaining ratings, and becoming eligible to work as flight instructors or charter pilots. Once they earn the appropriate ratings, students can begin earning money and building time to qualify for ATP certification as they work toward their Bachelor of Science.
“The immersion program is really quite unusual,” said Emond. “Students can start to earn money to pay back their loans after that first year.”
About XSPEC Aviation
XSPEC Aviation is a flight simulator manufacturer that specializes in remanufacturing pre May-2008 Flight Simulators (AST / FRASCA). They build training devices with the latest in modern technology on rebuilt AST/FRASCA cores. Because the hardware is rebuilt, they are able to provide a very high quality training device at a much lower price than a new simulator.
Since 2012, XSPEC has been the leader in flight simulator remanufacturing. They are the first company to successfully remanufacture the FRASCA 142 into an Advanced Aviation Training Device (AATD) and the first to become an FAA approved simulator remanufacturer. William Hill has over 30 years in the Aviation industry (8130 Avionics); while Aaron Hill is an award-winning programmer. XSPEC Aviation is a family owned & operated company since 2008.
The XSPEC 142 is the company’s flagship device, developed to meet the growing needs of flight schools for realistic, cost effective training.
XSPEC Aviation has an excellent reputation for FRASCA repair, quality customer support, an unmatched two-year warranty and lifetime remote assistance technical support. To contact XSPEC Aviation, visit http://xspecaviation.com, call 479-715-9514 or find them on Facebook.