Coast Flight earns FAA/DHS approval to train international pilots

Coast Flight earns FAA/DHS approval to train international pilots

Coast Flight Training

Media Contact: Nate Cole‐Daum, Nyhus Communications LLC for Coast Flight Academy, (206) 323‐3733,

Coast Flight Academy earns FAA/DHS approval to train international pilots

First allinclusive commercial pilot program to fully integrate scenariobased training

SAN DIEGO – March 25, 2010 – Coast Flight Academy, San Diego’s only Cirrus training center to use the advanced avionics of the Cirrus Aircraft in its program, has now been approved by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to train international student pilots using the sophisticated scenario‐based training (SBT) model in its certification courses.

Cirrus instruments and controls are similar to those of the most widely used and best sold commercial jetliners. As such, pilots who graduate from Coast Flight Academy’s commercial program using the industry‐level SBT will be prepared to immediately enter the pilot ranks of commercial airlines.

Cirrus is the best‐selling private aircraft in the country for the past 10 years with the most advanced safety and technological features of any private aircraft available for training. Using the plane makes Coast Flight Academy unique in its complete preparation of students for the advanced cockpit of modern airliners.

“We saw an opportunity to stand out as a flight school offering the whole, comprehensive range of pilot training in one program; right up to the specific aircraft,” said Coast Flight Academy president and CEO Will Dryden. “By employing realistic scenarios and making our pilots accountable for the outcome, they develop stronger in‐flight analytical skills and faster decision‐making abilities, ultimately becoming better pilots.”

In nearly a decade of flying, and after graduating more than 100 students as a flight instructor, Dryden noticed that only a handful of pilots ever continued to fly and exercise the rights of their certificate. At the time, the industry primarily trained students to execute flight maneuvers with only a secondary focus on decision‐making skills and the ability to confidently navigate the complex U.S. airspace structure while safely managing weather conditions.

“This was discouraging,” Dryden said. “The end analysis was that the training standards of the flight instruction industry were mostly training students to pass a check‐ride and written exam, and were not necessarily preparing them to be pilots afterwards.”

Over the past 18 months, Dryden has been exclusively marketing Cirrus aircraft and training to the San Diego area employing the SBT techniques. During that same period, he and his team of instructors have been creating, evaluating and refining a scenario‐based training syllabus for commercial pilots while training students to receive their Private Pilot License and Instrument Rating. Coast Flight Academy was granted certification of its scenario‐based training syllabus by the FAA under Part 141 of federal aviation regulations in October 2009. DHS approved Coast Flight Training for international students in January of 2010. Scenario‐based training, which has been used by the military and airlines for decades, focuses on providing the student with the critical decision‐making skills necessary to exercise the duties and responsibilities of being Pilot In Command, in addition to the necessary flight skills.

In a scenario‐based exercise, the instructor asks the student to plan each flight according to a mission script, which will include a goal for the flight as well as a prescribed weather scenario and passengers. The student will have to incorporate all of these factors into pre‐flight planning. During the flight, the student will be taught flying skills while executing the flight plan. Additionally, the instructor will introduce emergencies during the flight, which could result in a diversion to another airport or other actions. In the end, students not only learn flying maneuvers, but also learn critical and necessary decision‐making skills.

In developing its training program, Coast Flight Academy used the innovative scenario‐based flight curriculum provided by Cirrus, and under the direction of Chief Pilot Jeff Bushnell, who further adapted the curriculum using his 40 years of experience flying and developing training courses for two airlines and the U.S. Air Force.

“Operating in some of the world’s busiest airspace, our students will not only pass the FAA test standards, but also have the skills necessary to make them the most qualified airline candidates,” Bushnell said. “Our goal is to absolutely exceed the expectations of the airlines and make our pilots the most sought after worldwide.”

Coast Flight Academy is strategically located to present students a multitude of scenarios, carried out in real world conditions such as advanced airspace infrastructure, diversity of weather, terrain and airports.

About Coast Flight Academy

Based at the nation’s 11th busiest general aviation airport, Montgomery Field in San Diego, Coast Flight Academy is the first flight school to use scenario‐based training from the first day of ground school through the commercial rating level. The school uses the advanced avionics of the Cirrus SR20 aircraft, which are similar to the most widely used and best sold commercial jetliners, and teaches pilots in a metropolitan airspace considered one of the best areas in the world for flight training. The Academy was recently granted federal approval to train international pilots.