General Aviation. Direct & Unfiltered.

Daher-Socata delivers a TBM 850 for airline pilot training at the Nigerian College of Aviation Technology

Tarbes, France, May 3 2010 – DAHER-SOCATA today announced the delivery of a new TBM 850 very fast turboprop aircraft to the Nigerian College of Aviation Technology (NCAT), which will be used primarily for advanced airline transport pilot (ATP) training courses.

Based at Zaria in Kaduna State, NCAT is a long-time DAHER-SOCATA customer – with a fleet of 17 Tampico TB9s for elementary training, five TB20 Trinidad GTs for commercial and instrument training, as well as a cockpit procedure trainer based on TB20 Trinidad GT.

The TBM 850 for NCAT, which is one of DAHER-SOCATA’s model year 2010 aircraft, will be used for the ab-initio airline transport pilot training course. This course is positioned between the College’s multi-engine training phase and its airliner type-rating course, thus preparing the student pilot for high-performance aircraft.

“We’re proud that our TBM 850 has been selected by NCAT to train future airline pilots.” stated Nicolas Chabbert, DAHER-SOCATA’s Senior Vice-President, Airplane Division. “It’s interesting to note that NCAT’s conclusion about the value of our very fast turboprop aircraft family for advanced pilot ratings was the same that we reached 18 years ago when conducting experimental courses with the French Civil Aviation College.”

Current airline industry trends are putting the emphasis on high-speed aircraft experience as a pre-requisite to airline type-rating courses – which makes it difficult for many young pilots who have graduated from ab-initio courses. One solution is a special training course using high-performance aircraft such as the TBM 850. The DAHER-SOCATA aircraft combines the SOCATA – 2010 - 2 - typical performance of a jet – a maximum cruising speed of 320 KTAS, a ceiling of 31,000 ft., and the possibility of high speed descents and approaches – with the economic direct operating costs of a turboprop engine.

“Changes in global aviation training required a repositioning of our college to meet the demands of the 21st century,” said Captain Adebayo Araba, Rector Chief Executive of NCAT. “New equipment such as the TBM 850 will enable us to raise the level of our training to the highest international standards, which is a key to our overall strategy.”

NCAT is the leading aviation training institution in western Africa. It was established as a joint program between the Federal Government of Nigeria, the United Nations Development Program, and the International Civil Aviation Organization. The college’s first graduating class in 1968 was composed of 22 students. Today, it graduates an average of 160 students per year in the following fields: air traffic and communication services, aeronautical telecommunications, aircraft maintenance engineering, cabin crew and pilot training, as well as aviation management for the civil aviation industry.

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DAHER is a European integrated equipment and services supplier. In addition to aerospace, DAHER specializes in three other sectors: nuclear, defense and industries. DAHER is developing in three fields of expertise: manufacturing, services and transport, which enable it to offer a comprehensive package. DAHER-SOCATA is one of the world’s leading general aviation manufacturers, with more than 17,000 aircraft built since its creation as Morane-Saulnier in 1911. Current products include the TBM 850 high-speed turboprop aircraft, aerostructures for Airbus civil airliners, the A400M military transporter, Dassault Falcon jets, Eurocopter helicopters and Embraer regional jets. DAHER-SOCATA is expanding its customer service activities to support its growing fleet of TBMs and offer its light aviation expertise for aircraft below 19,000 lbs (8.6 metric tons) through avionics modernization, maintenance, repair and overall package offers. Founded in 1863, DAHER is an exclusively family-run, independent international group, with more than 7,000 employees and 12 international installations (four in Western Europe, three in Eastern Europe, two in North America, two in Africa and one in Australia). DAHER will exceed a €930 million turnover in 2009.