The hardest part of his job, he said, is dealing with entities that don’t quite understand what it is that FlightSafety does. That said, he had high praise for the FAA and his director of standards, the corporate officer tasked with the FAA interface. The recent well-intentioned but not quite right intervention by Congress in the wake of the Buffalo Q400 crash is an example of outside regulation. “Congress mandates full stalls,” Klonoski said, but we don’t want to teach how to stall; we want to teach how to recognize the regime and to recover. The difference is subtle but real. We don’t want anybody to get to the stick shaker in the real world.”
In full disclosure, I have been a FlightSafety client for at least a decade. I got my Cessna 500 rating in Atlanta many years ago and a Lear 31 rating, ATP and Part 135 check ride there this past year. My good friend Doug Commins is an instructor on the Lear 45 at Klonoski’s place. In addition, every spring I have driven over to Lakeland, Florida, to relearn the intricacies of the Cheyenne turboprop that my wife and I own. Too bad this center closed recently, but the obvious decrease in volume over time made it inevitable.
What I have seen on each and every interaction is pretty much what Ed Klonoski expressed. The people bend over backward to meet your scheduling needs.
They are professional, able, interactive, fun-to-be-with folks. CARE rule No. 14, Klonoski told me, is “Make it fun, make it better, make it happen.”
The Lakeland crowd, where the King Air 200, Cheyenne and Meridian sims used to live, was always a welcome sight for me each spring. I consider many of the instructors to be friends. Don Leum, whom I have known for more than a decade and who was the director of standards in Lakeland, was my initial instructor in our airplane. An F-16 driver, he has a knack for crystallizing the essential things you need to know.
Recently, in the real world, I started a descent into bad weather in the Cheyenne. As I maneuvered toward mountains and an ILS complete with procedure turn, the left engine had a prop over speed. I’ve practiced this in the simulator countless times. It is all very different in the bumps, with red on the radar. But I ran the checklist, concluded that I could keep the engine running, informed Boston Center and flew the approach. I swear I could almost hear Don Leum’s voice over the headset. Good thing A.L.Ueltschi was thinking ahead.
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