When Kirby and Teresa Ortega retired from Textron Aviation—after a combined 66 years with the company and its predecessor, the Cessna Aircraft Company—they knew that they were far from through with general aviation and flight training. The pilots wanted to develop their own path in teaching folks to fly based on those decades of experience, and their dream came to fruition when the couple launched Ortega Aviation Services, in Wichita, Kansas, in Fall 2019.
OAS began with a series of ground school courses aimed at moving would-be pilots successfully through their FAA knowledge exams in November 2019. Since then, the company has grown incrementally, with instrument ground school, flight instructor training, and pilot consulting services with a deep bench of experienced instructors. On May 24, OAS announced the installation of a new Frasca Reconfigurable Training Device at its facility to support those expanding training operations.
The Frasca RTD is new to the region—and it fits a niche that applies Frasca’s quality to an affordable advanced aviation training device (AATD). The RTD at OAS can emulate a Garmin G1000 NXi-equipped Cessna 172S, or one with analog gauges. The G1000 NXi configuration allows for training on RNAV approaches to LPV minimums, and VNAV, with an integrated GFC 700 autopilot. The RTD uses actual Garmin G1000 NXi software for enhanced realism in the training environment. Up to 20 hours in the RTD can be applied to an instrument rating (under Part 61), with up to 2.5 hours applied toward a private pilot certificate, and 90 percent of an instrument proficiency check.
The Ortegas plan to use the RTD for “immersive” instrument courses, stretching 10 days in length, with up to 18 hours in the AATD. “The Frasca device was a $90,000 investment and is the only superior AATD in the Wichita area,” said Kirby Ortega, chief pilot and co-owner of OAS. “We recognized the need and are excited to offer this option to our clients…with our classroom presentations, G1000 trainers, G1000-equiped Skyhawks and now the AATD, we are now positioned as national experts when it comes to G1000 training.”