Reviews

What pilots have to say.

Thanks to those who have previously posted reviews about Rick McGuire and AST in Burnet, Texas. As I frequently visit the Texas Hill Country, I read those favorable reviews with interest and elected to schedule my recurrent training this year with Rick at AST. I’m glad I did. It was the best two days of training I have received in 40+ years of flying; and after owning a C340A for 18 years and attending annual recurrent simulator training over 15 times at 3 other facilities across the country. Rick and Mike are both excellent instructors. I was very pleased with the motion simulator. I intend to return to AST for all of my future recurrent training.

Tim Frets
N674PC 1978 C340A RAM IV
KOJC and KDZB

I just returned from 2-day recurrent training with Rick and Mike at AST. I agree 100% with what has been said about the training. My first time in a simulator and it was humbling to learn what I didn’t really know about engine out performance and procedures. When I left AST
yesterday I was confident I could handle an engine out. If there are certain situations or airports you want to explore Rick will help teach you how to handle the plane in those situations. If you are a little rusty hand flying approaches, they will get you tuned up and have you flying single engine approaches with confidence. As Rick likes to say he will help eliminate the pucker factor. I am already looking forward to next year. I learned a lot and I highly recommend AST.

David
1982 Cessna 421C
2007 Cessna T206H

I just got back from C340 recurrent training at AST with Rick McGuire and I have to agree wholeheartedly with the comments everyone has made. Rick reads these comments and I think he is a little embarrassed with all the accolades that he receives but they are well deserved. It was clear to me that he isn’t doing this for money but rather he thoroughly enjoys making people better pilots. Here is what Rick brings to the table:

  1. Very current Twin Cessna Pilot– he truly loves flying, flies a lot, and always has since he was a kid
  2. Twin Cessna owner (has a 340 and 421) Knows both the pride and pain of owning these birds
  3. Aircraft Mechanic– has deep understanding of how all the systems work (I think I lost every argument)
  4. Attorney–Clearly not intimidated by the FAA or ATC and has a healthy perspective of how they should work for you
  5. Has a first class Twin Cessna Full Motion Simulator–He has invested a lot in this with plans to make it even better
  6. Instructor–Its hard to say enough about this. We have all worked hard to be the pilots we are and are proud of our accomplishments. But when we go for training we are vulnerable because our weak points become obvious. Any instructor can make you feel stupid or incompetent by making you repeat the same thing over as you attempt to get it right. A great instructor like Rick will have insight on why you are failing and offer suggestions to help you improve–and you do! Very patient too–in order to improve you must have a certain amount of latitude to deviate (off course, off glideslope, off speed, etc) or you’ll never learn. He has a sense of humor too–somehow he suckered me into believing I should bust the minimum on an approach and continue on down to the runway when I could never see it. I ‘m glad I could provide the entertainment.

Rick claims to be married to a woman named Staci whom I didn’t get to meet. She set up this class at the very last minute, made sure I had a hotel, lent me a Jeep, made sure we didn’t forget to eat lunch, made Rick to respond to my emails, and called to remind me (very tactfully) to close my flight plan. I think she is actually in charge.

Anyway, this was a great experience for me. I am sorry I ducked recurrent training in the past.

Just got back from initial training for the 340A with Rick McGuire at AST in Burnett as well. I agree with literally all the comments I read here. This is a first class operation. The sim is top notch – no squawks, literally everything works like it should in a real airplane and the X-Plane core flies exceptionally well. While I don’t have SimCom or RTC experience, I have flown the full motion RedBird quite a bit and found it incredibly frustrating having to work around the limitations of the RedBird simulation. So I really wanted to find the best sim out there. This unit is that sim, I’m sure of it. It just goes and you’re not spending a bunch of time trying to get “used to the sim”. It’s a very solid platform, so you can be assured your time won’t be spent working on glitches. Rick also has a nice G1000 simulator (non motion) which I found extremely helpful to put time in behind the glass if you’re transitioning into that from steam.

As has been said before, the class is taught by Rick personally and honestly that was the deciding factor. Rick is very much like all of us. He’s a business owner, an attorney, and has a 340 and a 421. He has flown many hours cross country for business and pleasure and dealt with all the same maintenance issues we all face. His experience is relatable to the mission of flying friends or family but his airline experience would resonate with corporate pilots as well. As an A&P he has an up close and personal take on the mechanics. He can really take a deep dive when you want to know the details behind something. When I looked around I did not find that same experience in any other program.

In addition to providing what I would consider your core curricula, Rick provides a wealth of collateral knowledge. You’ll talk about insurance, spares, ramp hacks, etc., just like you would with a pilot buddy.

I can’t wait to build some time in the 340 and get back there for a recurrent.

I promised I’d write a review on my return. Just landed back in Birmingham and couldn’t wait to get to my office to communicate with y’all.

I just returned from Rick McGuire’s amazing facility and believe that in nearly 25 years flying simulators there is no better training facility in the country. AST’s sim is state-of-art, Rick’s training technique is derived from decades experiences flying and teaching in a variety of twin Cessna airplanes. He trains in his own airplanes if you need that kind of experience from a glass cockpit 172 to a 421 (as well a 340 is part of his stable). Rick owns and operates these airplanes from his hanger in Burnet, Texas. Rick had me in situations I never imagined; and the “wow: factor of learning how to not only survive but have confidence in our airplanes and our ability is rewarding beyond the entrance fee (which is fairly priced…and don’t try to pay for lunch…Rick insists it is “part of the deal”.) I have flown as a King Air 350 captain in a Part 135 operation (along with and at the same time my 402-B) so I have the simulator experience to boast of AST’s exceptional course and Rick’s teaching technique. Further, the sim is the closest I’ve ever flown to that of a real airplane. It took no time to get acclimated….and because it is full motion…the reality is remarkable Hard to find a real full-motion sim for our airplanes anywhere especially at this price point. As an A&P, Rick’s textbook knowledge of these airplanes is like having Tony Saxon in the right seat, in the sim and during ground school. I lost count, but believe we did 40 engine failures in a multitude of configurations….heavy, high/hot, etc. He alternates the ground school and sim training so that neither becomes fatiguing. It is just the right mix over the two day recurrent course, though I left exhausted but exhilarated. We live in Birmingham, Alabama but made it a weekend adventure touring nearby Marble Falls, Austin and the wine country. Please give Rick every consideration; he is a treasure, a remarkable multi-talented professional who gives it his all. He is not trying to build time, has nothing to prove and that makes him an extraordinary instructor and pilot mentor.

This is the best training investment I’ve ever made. Any questions I can be P/M’d via Ericland402@aol.com or by cell: 904-874-0755.

I had an excellent experience flying with Rick and AST. Even though I’m an MEI, I was excited to try out the sim and was not disappointed. Rick is an excellent teacher and I would highly recommend spending time with him. I was out of twin flying for many years and this was what I needed. It was great to be able to put in the exact scenarios I felt I needed work in, in my type airplane, at the airports I regularly fly out of. If you are going to the convention in Marble Falls, I suggest stopping by AST in Burnet and checking it out.

I used AST as well in November. Rick is a great guy and did a nice job tailoring an initial check out program to fit my needs. Will definitely return to AST to do recurrent training.

I was privileged to spend two amazing days of learning with Rick McGuire, at Aircraft Simulator Training, in Burnet, Texas. I can confidently say that I learned more in those two days than in the last decade of flying with multiple instructors.

Rick has been flying twin Cessnas for decades. His tips, tricks, and suggestions come from personal experience, and real-life situations he has faced during these years. He is also an A&P, so when he teaches, he also covers the mechanical angle of a particular maneuver.

The simulator experience is second to none, based on X-Plane Pro. Rick masters any and all situations that you can face, and even some that you hope that apocalypse is near if they were ever to happen. How about hitting birds, on takeoff, at gross weight, on a single engine, with a busted airspeed indicator? Had that scenario happened in the early part of the first day of training, I would have certainly crashed the sim. On the second day, though, I was able to get back to the airport safely.

Rick tailors your training to the type of flying you actually do. I fly regularly in and out of Big Bear City (L35) in the mountains of south California. It is a very challenging little airport. Rick had me do approaches into Big Bear down to minimums. He failed an engine on takeoff several times, under different loads, wind conditions, density altitudes, etc.

You will be exhausted at the end of your days of training. But you will leave AST’s state-of-the-art facilities smiling from ear to ear.
If you are anywhere near Texas, the choice is completely clear. Heck! If you are anywhere in the world, book time with Rick. It’ll be the best training experience you’ll ever have.

During the aborted takeoff, the checklist fell somewhere and we couldn’t find it. Dan got pissed and was ready to taxi back to the FBO and shut down to find it. I told him that wasn’t necessary and to grab the piece of paper that was folded up on the dash; it was the Xerox copy that you made me. Not really sure why I put it in the plane, but he was impressed that I was prepared. The only other thing I thought I was messing up was the single engine approach. He told me to put the gear down. I said since we are single engine, we will not put any flaps or gear out until we were 1/2 mile out or we broke out and had the runway made. I said altitude and speed are our friends right now. He was glad that I didn’t drop it. Thank you so much for your help! It gave me the experience and confidence needed for this!

Randy

After a nine year absence from flying, due to family and work obligations, I decided if I was going to get back into flying multi engine aircraft, most notably 310, Seneca, or Aztec, I would seek out a facility that offers realistic flight simulator training with an experienced instructor. I contacted Aircraft Simulator Training’s Staci McGuire, who put me on the schedule and got me in contact with her husband, Rick McGuire, an instructor with over 50 years of flying experience. Upon arrival and after reviewing my experience, we got to work. We started on engine loss at take off, loss of directional control at take off, go/no-go decisions with various runway lengths, takeoffs with low ceilings, and engine failures. Upon completion of each simulation, Rick would debrief my flight. The next day the work got a lot busier, with engine fires, emergency descents, standard IMC single engine approaches, partial panel, dual engine failures (IMC, and partial panel due to vacuum failure), and high altitude airport engine out scenarios.

The experience acquired here is invaluable as there is no way a pilot can safely perform some of these maneuvers in a real airplane. This opportunity to work out the problems, in a simulator, gives one an advantage over a pilot who has not had this level of intense training. The main takeaway I got from this is how and when to use carefully and methodically placed inputs, and more importantly, what NOT to do to prevent the aircraft from getting on the ground safely.

I would like to say thanks for recommending Aircraft Simulator Training, and I fully endorse this facility. Rick, Pat, and Staci do a fabulous job there, and the experience gained was worth the relatively small investment.

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