Three months to train pilots

ST JOHN’S — Chief Executive Officer of LIAT, Ian Brunton, revealed at least three months of training would be required for LIAT pilots to begin flying new ATR aircraft acquired by the airline.

Brunton said training is to begin with a “long three-month process, starting with the ground school” run by the manufacturer in France.

“Pilots have to go across to the training center for ground school and then for both ground and flight simulation,” Brunton said.

The pilots will go through 35 days of training “before they become proficient with flying the airplane in both normal and abnormal flying situations,” he said.

On their return to the Caribbean, the pilots are to “do quick base training flight where they can actually feel the plane under them”.

Brunton said pilots would be required to land the aircraft without passengers before flying the ATRs on routes.

Instructors are to remain in the region and guide the pilots through “the route training until they get something like 25 sectors under their belt and then they go off on their own”.

Brunton said the lengthy process would ensure LIAT pilots are well equipped to fly the planes safely.

Meanwhile, the CEO said negotiations are continuing over the pilots’ demands for a salary increase to fly the new aircraft. (Antigua Observer)

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