Training Center Location


Aug 19, 2002
Am I paranoid, or could it be that certain forces are banding together to consolidate all training, door trainers, simulators and ground school in PIT? I can understand consolidating, and moving it to PIT would benefit me personally, but CLT would be the logical place to consolidate our training and would be best for the company. I was told, that during a meeting with simulator engineers the person who is in charge of selling our simulators (I don''t know what department he is from) told them that we can handle all the A320 training with just two simulators. This would require using each simulator for 20 hours each day. This leaves 4 hrs for maintenance and does not include a 1/2 hr preflight (FAA req) ot the inevitable 1/2 to 1hr that the training will go over. Thus we are realisticly looking at 2 1/2 hrs per night maintenace time and are not factoring in any down time when the simulators malfunction. To align the visual system alone takes at least 4 contiguous hours and must be done almost weekly. When this little fact was mentioned to the person that seems to be in charge of selling the simulators, the reply was that he was not aware of this and they had not been factoring this in to their decision to keep either 2 or 3 A320 simulator. The strange thing is that apparently the two managers from the the simulator dept were present and one said nothing while the othe went into the baffle them with bs mode. Why the lack of communication. Unless..... the managers of the sim dept are both from PIT and have manged to stay in PIT even though there are only 3 simulator operating in PIT while there are 7 operating in CLT. The manager of development engineering has cleverly kept himself and 5 of his Development Engineers in PIT while only staffing CLT with 3 of his people. So in PIT they have 5 people for 3 simulators doing the same job as 3 people do for 7 simulators in CLT. The CLT Developement Engineers ARE good, but are they THAT much better than their peers in PIT? Which brings me back to wondering why would the managers from PIT be withholding pertinent information regarding selling or keeping X amount of simulators? Could it be that they think if enough simulators are sold and removed from CLT they can justify moving the ones that are left to that old dysfunctional building in PIT? And bring all the door trainers and other learning devices to the learning center and the old school? That way the mangement won''t have to be inconvenienced by having to move to CLT? Is it possible they could be so arrogant? The CLT training center has room for all of the simulators, cabin trainers, and learning devices all in one location, not to mention plenty of classrooms and a newly built structure. PIT on the other hand is split into three locations and I''ve heard that the simulator building needs a million dollar upgrade to its sewage system, the roof leaks (not good for electronics), and they would have to limit the range of motion on the newer Airbus simulators so they don''t hit the wall with the new visual systems. Not to mention that we will also have to buy time on simuators from other companies to fulfill our training requirements if we are left with only two A320 simulators. I don''t think it is a good idea to rely on some other company to supply us with the time train our pilots and keep them current (that is a problem waiting for the wrong time to happen) I hope this isn''t another case of mangement making decision that are in their own interests rather than doing what''s best for the company. Hopefully I am wrong in my assessment but with this company it has become normal to expect the worst.
you'd expect the 'PIT as Mecca' attitude from Ed or Butch.

how it lasts to this day is beyond me, but it does, and it is everywhere.

Sim, the union politics work that way, too.

I reckon it doesn't have to make sense.
Was just curious if GECAT (GE Commercial Air training) might have something to do with the upcoming changes. GECAS afterall is now a big investor in US Airways and is already up and running with EMB-170 training programs/sims as well...

They are already a primary training organization for Airbus, and their operation can handle everything from selling sim time to running (and staffing) the entire training facility for an airline.

If you want some more info go take a look under a search on GECAS, theres a whole section of the website devoted to their training subsidiary.

Im not saying that managment is looking to outsource all of the training, but it is probable that if Airways is going to be utilizing GECAS for financing/leasing the MDA EMB-170/175's that they would untilize GECAT for training as well, who knows to what level they might outsource other fleet training...?
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Good point, and you are probably right about outsourcing (at least the rj training). That is why the company slipped a clause into our last labor friendly contract that allows them to use outside sources if a simulator is leased. Sure am glad we gave up the no furlough clause and a good percentage of out little checks to help this company out. It seems as though the more you try to help, the more you get screwed, but if you adopt a selfish attitude and screw the company, you end up coming out ahead.
Well, I think that you should take a closer look at what happened with another bankrupt airline, Swissair, if you want to get an idea of what COULD happen. From what I could glean from the GECAS website, GECAT took over the entire training center for Swiss.

At a mininum it appears that GECAT has positioned itself to provide the training for the EMB 170/175's, and that alone will be a substantial percentage of future training operations at Airways.

I just doubt that GECAS will invest as much into Airways as planned without a fair expectation of future returns. Large scale, long term training contracts as part of a substantial aircraft order would only add to GE's bottom line. Transferring/outsourcing training might bring in additional capital or transfer/spread out costs in managment's view.

I guess we'll find out in the long run, Either way, I would like to thank you for the fine work that you and your coworkers perform. In comparison to using sims in other facilities, my visits to CLT almost always go off without a hitch. I appreciate your efforts.

Good luck