LOT Polish Airlines is starting out with a new flight training academy. They are taking flight with light Italian Tecnam aircraft, for now with PPL (Private Pilot License) level training.The plan is to grow the flight school over time, until it’s capable of training pilots all the way up to commerical long-haul qualifications, with students potentially piloting the LOT Boeing Dreamliners.
The first courses for PPL started a month ago with 16 students. Instructors will be recruited from among the current LOT flight crew, who will be taking time out from their normal commercial flights on larger aircraft, including the Dreamliner, Embraer 170/195 and Bombardier Q400.
When I started learning to fly for a PPL, within 30 minutes of walking in the door on the first day, I was in the air with my hands on the controls, learning to actually fly. Unfortunately for LOT academy pilots they’ll have to be patient, LOT academy is structuring it so that the theory, and exams, come long before the students get their hands on the controls. Their course consists of around 110 hours of theory, and 40 hours or more of practical flying.In addition to the 40+ hours in the air, students will get 5 hours simulator time to try out different inflight scenarios and adverse weather conditions.
The pilots will enjoy two very new Tecnam aircraft, one single engine and one twin engine, models P2008JC and P2006T. I imagine these two planes are equipped with such luxuries as a heater and a functioning fuel gauge, unlike the 1967 Cessna 150 in which I learned to fly. A third is coming soon.
The aircraft are based, and PPL training will take place, at the “Aeroklubu Ziemi Piotrkowskiej” aerodrome in Piotrków Trybunalski, South of Łódż.
The Italian Tecnam company has been producing light aircraft since 1948, and ships around 200 per year, with prices starting at around €60k.
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