Tuesday, August 17, 2010

FAA grants provisional approval to Boeing for 787 Dreamliner pilot training

by B. N. Sullivan

Boeing will soon begin training pilots to fly the Boeing 787 Dreamliner.  According to a press statement, released yesterday by Boeing, the US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has granted provisional approval to Boeing Training and Flight Services for the company's training courses, which will allow pilots currently type-rated on the Boeing 777 to transition to the B787.  The provisional designation will be removed once the aircraft is fully certified.

The transition training can be accomplished in five to 20 days, depending on pilot experience, says Boeing.  The relatively short training period is possible because there is said to be a high level of commonality between the B777 and B787 airplane types, from a piloting perspective.

The airframer is now working with the FAA "to obtain provisional approval of the training devices at which point formal pilot training will commence."
The Boeing 787 pilot training program uses a sophisticated suite of training devices including a full-flight simulator, flight training device and desktop simulation station to ensure that pilots are ready to fly the Dreamliner.
"Gaining FAA approval for our courses is a significant milestone as we ramp up to the start of flight training," said Mark Albert, director of Simulator Services and 787 Training Program, Boeing Training & Flight Services. "It validates our approach to provide world-class training solutions at great value for the 787 Dreamliner."

Boeing training & Flight Services currently operates eight training suites at five locations around the world, including Seattle, Tokyo, Singapore, Shanghai, and Gatwick, UK.

Some individual operators of the Boeing 787 Dreamliner also will have their own training courses for pilots of the new aircraft type.  According to Boeing, local FAA offices will approve those courses, "and these may be based on provisional approvals."

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