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Fri, Jul 30, 2004

From Ground Level to Flight Level in One Year

CAPT/Diamond Program at Embry-Riddle Marks Successful First Year

The CAPT (Commercial Airline Pilot Training) Program at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University has had a successful first year, with more than 50 students enrolled heading toward jobs, and Diamond Aircraft's innovative new DA42 Twin Star due to join the CAPT fleet.

"CAPT's first two graduates received their Boeing MD-90 EFD captain's type ratings and finished the program in May of this year," says Paul Woessner, executive director of the CAPT Program. "Both of them are interviewing with the same airline and are likely to be hired soon. We should have six more graduates this fall."

Developed in cooperation with domestic airlines, CAPT is a unique fast-track airline-specific training program that blends proficiency-based flight training, aeronautical academics, and advanced simulation for individuals who want to become regional airline pilots. For students with zero flight time, the program can take as little as one year.

The CAPT program is geared toward degreed individuals (about 10 percent are female). Entry requirements are strict, prospective students fill out a lengthy questionnaire. A background check, including criminal, credit and driving is done. Finally a personal interview is done.

CAPT will become the first US customer of the DA42 Twin Star when it adds three of them to its fleet in late 2004.

"We are delighted that Embry-Riddle will be our first US customer because its reputation sends a message to other potential customers," says Peter Maurer, president of Diamond Aircraft.

Maurer added "Embry-Riddle's demand for safety and excellence tells the aviation world that while the Twin Star is new and revolutionary, its design and engines are solid and trustworthy."

A twin-engine propeller aircraft with four seats, the Twin Star is the world's first airplane to feature a diesel engine that burns jet fuel, full-authority digital engine control (FADEC), and the Garmin G1000 all-glass instrument panel. A Twin Star and a Diamond Star, both painted in CAPT's markings, will be displayed at Diamond's booth at EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2004 for the remainder of the airshow

"CAPT cadets will find that using the Twin Star's advanced all-glass avionics and FADEC engine controls quickly and thoroughly prepares them for the Boeing MD-90 EFD jetliner, which uses similar systems," says Woessner. "This process will really smooth the way for CAPT cadets to earn the captain's type rating in that jetliner, which is required for graduation. The whole package makes each CAPT cadet a perfect new-hire for an airline."

The Twin Star's diesel engines burn jet fuel instead of the aviation gas used by piston-engine aircraft, thereby saving money and acclimating students to managing engines that burn jet fuel.

With the FADEC system, the pilot moves only one lever to control each engine. The computer automatically adjusts the pitch of the propeller, the fuel mixture, and other elements the pilot would have to control manually in a conventional piston-engine aircraft. The sophisticated FADEC system has previously been available only in advanced jet aircraft.

The Twin Star's completely computerized Garmin G1000 instrument panel uses two large flat-panel screens to present all navigation, instrument, and aircraft information to the pilot, replacing old-style analog instruments.

We are pleased to continue to strengthen our relationship with Embry-Riddle. Embry Riddle, who already operates 28 of our DA20-C1's at the US Air Force Academy and 10 of our conventional DA40's in their CAPT program, is a perfect partner. With ERAU's reputation for safety, excellence and innovation, the selection of Diamond Aircraft for their CAPT program is particularly gratifying," said Peter Maurer of Diamond Aircraft.

CAPT is also the U.S. launch customer of Diamond's DA40FP Diamond Star, equipped with the Garmin G1000 flat-panel system. CAPT will take delivery of 10 Diamond Stars in early 2005.

Besides Diamond aircraft and a Boeing MD-90 EFD Level-D full-flight simulator, the CAPT Program also uses Frasca 142 and Mechtronix King Air flight-training devices.

In late 2004 CAPT will move to a new airline-style facility built to its specifications at Flagler County Airport, 30 miles north of Daytona Beach.



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