Company unveils Ready, Set, Fly training program
The PiperJet Altaire mock-up is at SUN ’n FUN for the first time, allowing visitors to get an up-close look at the company’s entry into the light jet market.
“We are full speed ahead on the Altaire,” said Randy Grooms, Piper’s executive vice president, on opening day.
After it leaves SUN ’n FUN, the mock-up will go on a nationwide tour, he added.
The Vero Beach, Fla.-based company has 175 engineers working on the jet, which is on schedule for first flight in 2012, he said. The company has selected vendors and is in the process of renovating its production facilities to manufacture the jet. That renovation should be complete this summer, he said.
The company also unveiled its “Ready, Set, Fly” training program at SUN ’n FUN, which offers new Archer LX customers their own private pilot training at Vero Beach Municipal Airport. The new program, which promises zero time to private pilot ticket in about three weeks, helps new aircraft owners learn to fly safely and efficiently, and promotes growth in general aviation by encouraging people to become pilots, Grooms said.
“Piper’s Archer LX Ready, Set, Fly program solves several of the common detractors to successfully learning to fly, according to recent AOPA independent research,” he added. “The AOPA study indicated that those detractors were lack of convenience, the quality of instruction at some facilities, and scheduling hassles that hinder progress for prospective student pilots. Piper’s program addresses the convenience issue head on, because the standardized training course will be offered in a highly concentrated, three-week course, with a dedicated, professional instructor,” Groom said, noting that using customers’ own new Piper Archer LX aircraft for training also answers the issue of subpar flying equipment found at some training locations.
The Archer LX, powered by a 180-hp Lycoming engine, features the Garmin G500 avionics suite. Price: $309,900. If you are already a private pilot, Archer LX customers can apply their Ready, Set, Fly privileges toward another FAA certification, Grooms said, adding customers can also elect to conduct their training at another location with the training provider of their choice.
For more information: Piper.com