Arizona-based Sabena Airline Training Centre (SATC) has received US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) approval to offer Eclipse 500 type rating pilot training at the company’s Falcon Field facility in Mesa, Flight International has learned.
A subsidiary of Belgium-based Sabena Flight Academy, SATC is the first training provider outside of Eclipse Aviation cleared by the FAA to offer the type rating course. Training will begin in March with two to four pilots candidates completing the course every three weeks, according to Kris Van den Bergh, managing director and training chief for the company.
By June, SATC hopes to begin training as many as six to eight pilots every three weeks once a second leased Eclipse 500 comes online. Training will take between 10 and 15 working days to finish, depending on the pilot’s experience, Van den Bergh tells Flight. SATC currently trains more than 400 pilots per year for European and Indian airline customers at the Mesa facility, using a fleet of 40 single-engine Piper and Diamond training aircraft that accumulate some 75,000 flying hours a year.
The Mesa operation is part of a broader Sabena ab initio program that begins with 12 months of textbook, airline familiarization and simulator training in the company’s facilities in Belgium, followed by six months of flight training in Mesa. In addition to offering type ratings for Eclipse 500 owners, Sabena will use the very light jets for jet familiarization training as part of its ab initio program.