I just wanted to take a minute to write y’all. I completed your training course a month ago, and today the unthinkable happened! I lost my right engine in my 421b at 6000 feet after taking off from Panama City Florida. After an immediate initial shock, the training that y’all taught immediately kicked in! I shut down the engine! The idler gear support pin came off in flight causing oil and smoke coming out the vents of the right engine. From the initial problem to landing at Defuniak Springs Airport was 10 minutes. Y’all’s course was very beneficial and prepared me hands down for that emergency landing on one engine. Again thanks and hopefully this review will help anyone with the decision to do the course!
My grandfather had a motto, “FIND A NEED AND FILL IT”.
Rick McGuire has accomplished that with AST. He found There was a significant need for good full motion simulator training in sims that “really work” with excellent instructors.
I have been to flight Safety four times, SimCom 10 times with various other programs in between.
I have been flying for 59 years, Twin Cessna’s for 50 years. I owned a 340 before my 421C that I have been flying since 2005.
If you are a Twin Cessna pilot that might be concerned about your flying skills then I would encourage you to go see Rick’s excellent instructors at AST and get some sim training. If you have just purchased a Twin Cessna then you should absolutely go to AST and fly their Sims.
Rick has used his “extensive knowledge” of instructing in and maintaining these planes to hire great Sim instructors. They have a different technique for handling engine outs that really works and provides an extra margin of safety.
If AST was closer to home I would go every 3 months just to fly their great sims. Rick and Staci McGuire have created an excellent training facility for Twin Cessna flyers.
My favorite AST employee is Jake, you will have to go there to find out who he is.
I finished my first recurrent with AST yesterday. Previous did an initial last year.
Man. These guys are so much fun to work with! There’s no BS silly games learning how to work every switch and button in the sim. It’s not in your airplane. It doesn’t matter. It’s right to flying. They throw every scenario I could think of at you. Even got to try a VMC roll. Bird strikes. Split flaps. Blown tires. Microbursts. Single engine night, day, heavy, light, high DA, you name it. And they’ll even let you really screw yourself and give you a failure at the worst possible time.
I mostly worked with Jim and he’s a great guy. Let’s you try it your way, and then the AST way. See what works better. There’s no pressure to do it their way. I have to say, there wasn’t a time where my way was better. Theirs won every time.
I’m a low time pilot. Around 980 TT, just hit 200 hours ME. With their training, I feel like my family behind me is safe. You can’t plan for everything, but I feel like I left AST a better ME pilot.
Thanks again Rick, Chuck, Jim, and Jess (and tell Staci she’s amazing!) and I can’t wait to do it again!
I just spent two days training with AST and I must say it was the best two day SIM course I have ever taken comparing to both SIMCOM and Flight Safety. I fly a Piper Navajo with similar characteristics of the twin Cessna and the characteristics of the Precision AATD simulator was amazing. One scenario that was a game changer was the the take off of a high elevation airport with a high density altitude. Losing an engine after takeoff at gross weight really gets your attention. Chuck was able to assist in making the correct decisions. We practiced this scenario several times.
I could not believe when they threw a bird strike at me. Extremely realistic.
If you are interested in safety then I highly recommend AST. They will show you some short cuts what will make you a much better pilot.
AST, INCREDIBLE! So accommodating. Did not arrive until 4 in the afternoon on a Wed. And was met by Chuck waving me to the hanger. Was told to be there by 3:30 however had 40+ kt headwinds which slowed us a bit. Thank you Chuck for getting my bird inside as we had thunderstorms and hail that night.
If you want recurrent training, go somewhere else. If you want advanced trading and challenges, this is the place. Rick is very knowledgeable and passionate about flying and teaching. He is a little “ornery” and so am I so we got along well. Ground school and systems review was an eye opener. Thanks Rick.
I did find out about the emergency brake on my plane, never knew it was there. I would have never tried it before this course. I was able to work out an engine failure which Chuck so graciously gave me at 75 feet during departure and safely returned to the airport no worse for the ware. Thank you Chuck for pushing me and for all the work, especially the black holes with loss of engines. Thanks for getting me in the office.
Now Andrew introduced me to Big Bear and accomplished what no one has ever accomplished before. He tied me up with terrain, high density altitude, gross weight and distractions and just when I thought I made it back safely, I bellied the plane in with a greaser. How embarrassing. The sim is the place for that to happen. Thank you Andrew for helping me realize I need to really pay more attention especially in high stress conditions. They give us landing gear for a reason.
No question I will be back and I am committed to a six month return. I want more. This place is great and I sincerely appreciate Stacy, Rick’s wife who helped arrange the loaner car, hanger and scheduling. It just doesn’t get any better.
BackgroundATP, F/E, A&P, B-727, B-737, B-747-4, B-757, B-767, DC-8. Flown the Piper twins including Aerostars and Chieftains, Cessna singles, Super D, Citabria, Maule M-7 235, Extra, Pitts S-2C, T-6, P-51, G-II, G-IV and others. All this and 25 cents might get me a cup of coffee, big deal. I’m NOT impressing anyone and don’t expect to considering the qualifications of those on this forum. My background means nothing when I climb into a C-340 for the first time. That’s why I went to TRAINING first. Years spent researching Cessna twins, never flown one, ever. Didn’t know a thing about the airplane. The spread sheet said the C-340 was the airplane to buy. Rather than buy the airplane, thought it best to get TRAINING in the airplane FIRST. Made the decision to visit Rick McGuire at AST in Burnet Texas and get the ground school, simulator and time in the airplane needed, BEFORE buying the airplane. The short story is this; AST has to be the finest group of instructors I’ve met in over 30 years in this industry. It’s not worth questioning or considering another group of instructors in my opinion. Best to give AST a call, set your schedule, attend their training and be overly impressed with the greeting, training, recommendations, one on one help, support and guidance they will provide you. Can’t express how impressed I was with the instruction received from Rick and his impressive staff of Instructors.
SpecificsI thought I knew a lot about oil pressure and temperature… I knew much about alternators and the definition of Volts and Amps only to find out I knew nothing. I knew it all concerning turbo chargers and waste gates until I sat through Rick’s ground school. I had the electrical system wrong. Thought I knew about tires, brakes, fuel valves and prop governors – I knew nothing. I received Rick’s hand out after Day 1 in class. Returned to hotel, read through it and had to ask myself if I knew much of anything concerning piston twins. An absolute eye opener.
This isn’t your usual classroom teachingThis is real world experience being taught to you – one on one. This is personal instruction. Rick sits with you as he explains the airplane and its system. Take notes, asks questions. Rick’s knowledge base is simply amazing. I’m convinced the man has forgotten more about airplanes than I’ve learned in 30 years. Superb instructor.
The simulator training is simply outstandingIt would take pages to write all I’ve been shown and learned. Remember all you were taught concerning that engine failure? What Rick and his instructors teach you is not what you think it will be. The techniques and procedures are simply eye opening. Did you know your Twin Cessna has an emergency brake? Have you lost an engine at 200 feet and tried to land on the remaining runway – I did and it was NOT what I expected. How about an emergency descent? Engine failures in IMC, at high altitude airports or when birds strike the windshield? How about a takeoff in Aspen or a drift down single engine? I worked with Chuck and Jim in the simulator and what they taught me is a ‘must have’ for every Twin Cessna pilot.
The airplaneEveryday after ground school and simulator I flew the 340 with Rick McGuire. Rick flew with me every day, for three days. There is no way I can thank Rick enough for all he taught me. Rick’s attitude, presentation and explanations are perfect. His command of the airplane as the Instructor is exceptional. Rick briefed me on the flight, we flew the flight, we accomplished exactly what Rick wanted to cover while I flew the airplane and had fun. Rick is the Instructor you want to fly with. Can’t over emphasize how much you’ll learn flying with rick.
ConclusionPlease, call AST and schedule your Twin Cessna training. Find out for yourself how exceptional Rick and his Instructors are first hand. Guarantee you will not be disappointed. If you have any questions about my time at AST please email me and I’ll reply as soon as possible. Respectfully, Jim
My recent 2-day Recurrent Training at AST was, unquestionably, the most profitable training time I’ve ever spent in my 45 years of flying. My plan will be to engage the training at Aircraft Simulator Training regularly – as long as I am continuing to fly a complex twin. There was a surprising amount of “new” and specific information I received on my 421C. It was obviously based on their extensive rare and excellent personal knowledge of the airplane. The entire simulator time was spent on the productive repetition of multiple critical phases of flight. There was no time wasted on common activities that had been successfully learned to my satisfaction in the earlier years of my flying. Through the simulator time, I was exposed to some previously untaught, logical, dynamic techniques. Once I can break some of the old habits and integrate some better new ones into my response mechanism, I am totally confident that my flights will be very much improved from a safety and emergency survivability standpoint. There were several questions that came to me as I flew home and as I thought through all I wanted to learn more and more thoroughly. I emailed them the next day and, by the next day… or sooner… had several responses to my questions. They also went above and beyond by their follow-through in contacting experts they know regarding questions out of their area of expertise (i.e. some new Garmin Avionics questions). I cannot recommend AST highly enough but I will be encouraging any pilot I associate with to give them a try.
Note: This was one of the most beautiful 421C aircraft that we have been involved with. We kept it in our hanger and drooled over the outside and inside of the airplane. As instructors we had a great time working with the pilot.
I just finished a 3 day initial training program for the C414. All I can say is this is the type of simulator based training I have been looking for over the past several years. It is simply invaluable training. Great systems knowledge and practical maintenance advice. But the highlight is the simulator training. Simply stated, you are exposed to emergency situations you simply can not accomplish in the aircraft. The training is tailored to your experience and background and you get to really become proficient at handling engine failures. I flew in the military and I currently fly with a major airlines. This training is in that league. I definitely will go back. As a final bonus, it is a far better value than offered by the big firms. Train with these guys; you will not be disappointed.
I just finished up the two day course offered by AST and I have to say it was the best simulator training I’ve ever had. First of all, the equipment was the best I have trained on, it’s a new, full motion sim that’s clean, comfortable and more realistic than the others I’ve used and I’ve been to the big schools, the small schools and everything in between. The big plus really is Rick McGuire with not just the ability to teach, but his unique and varied aviation experiences that gives him so many different points of views that he conveys to his students so effectively to help keep us all out of trouble. Those different points of views I’m talking about are from private, corporate, charter and some airline pilot experiences. Also from the maintenance perspectives of an A & P, IA, aviation attorney and most importantly, from a consumer of maintenance services as the current owner of FOUR airplanes! Rick does possess the gift of teaching and I found myself enjoying the experience and dare I say it, having fun learning once again! I was learning so many helpful things that I had never heard before even having been a pilot for 25 years. Whether you’re a low time pilot or an airline captain you will benefit from your AST training as this is so much more the the typical show up and “check the box” experience. Rick, Staci, Trisha and the entire staff are so professional and helpful that I am already looking forward to going back to AST in six months to learn more and experience some more of that Central Texas hospitality.
Just wrapped up a 3 day initial for the 310.
I learned more than I thought I needed to know. They definitely cater to you, it’s not a canned course. There isn’t a syllabus, per se. They just talk to you, and fly with you. They can tell what you need.
I’m pretty sure they were both expecting a pretty difficult student when I walked in the door. I might be the first guy to do so with absolutely zero multi time in my logbook. I mean zero. I’ve ridden in a twin exactly twice. 😯
They were patient, and let me make mistakes, and then showed me why I made them. By the end of the third day (today!) I feel extremely confident I can handle any emergency my new plane can throw at me.
Thanks Rick & Mike! I’ll be back soon!