Advanced Instrument TrainingInstrument Recurrent TrainingFull Motion Simulator Training
Cessna 210 P210 T210 Training
We are two recent owners a Cessna
P210 who travelled all the way from Norway to Pennsylvania to attend 2
days of simulator training at Flight level Aviation.
This was really an extraordinary experience; we learned more in these
two days than we could learn in a week or two elsewhere. The topics
were targeted at our request towards the P210 and Garmin GNS430, and
the focus on safety and special knowlegde of the systems which will
hopefully help us a lot.
We liked Richard's teaching style
and feel that the way the material was presented was very effective.
He is obviously a very good instructor and teacher and a very learned
Overall this was a great experience which we think all P210 pilots
should do at least once.
Torkel Hasle and Torgrim Fredagsvik
Cessna P210 Owners
I truly believe that even the Garmin engineers do not know how
versatile their box is. I would suggest that you contact them for a
training session at Flight Level Aviation. After many visits over
the years for my annual proficiency checks at a famous Florida
school, I finally found the training genius. I fully intend to
recommend sending their instructors to you.
It was not only the depth of your knowledge regarding the
capability of the Garmin that you imparted to me, but it was
also your skill as a teacher that made it understandable and useful
in the real world. Then there were the emergencies that we hope we
will never encounter that were practiced, discussed, and made a part
of my daily thinking as a pilot. I am now trying to figure out how
to make periodic visits for reinforcement of everything I have
Thanks also to John Lovingood who beat me up in the multi engine
training portion of the session.
White Plains, NY
The training was awesome. My
ability to handle higher workloads in an IFR environment has
improved substantially. Consequently, my ability to keep a clear
head and think in the event of an emergency in an IFR environment
has improved substantially as well.
Cessna P210 Owner
am still basking in the glow of my training with you -- certainly
the best I have ever experienced -- and I am anxious to return for
another session, hopefully in the Spring.
Look forward to seeing you next year.
Cessna P210 Owner
I would like to thank you for the
excellent training I received at Flight Level Aviation. I have been
flying for 14 years and while I have been lucky to have some excellent
instructors, you are by far the most knowledgeable and best instrument
instructor I have flown with. I have always been a big believer in
simulators for flight training, and your full-motion FTD is both
unique and a great training resource. We were able to pack more
challenging and educational instrument approaches into one day than I
would have thought possible.
Thanks again - I'll be back!
I just returned from a day flying
Richard's full-motion simulator. Among other things, we
practiced some deadstick IFR approaches using the GPS to establish the
appropriate descent profile. It works really well and could come
in very handy in the event of an engine failure in IMC.
For what it's worth, I felt that the recurrent sim training at Flight
Level Aviation was among the best I've ever experienced at any price
-- and I did my initial 210 training at FlightSafety in their Wichita
210 sim. The training in Richard's sim was not only better than that
at FlightSafety, but cost a lot less as well.
Cessna T210 Owner
I had a great time
with Dr. Kaplan crashing into mountains and flying deadstick landings
with 500 overcast! Sometimes Dr. Richard can be quite evil "but all in
good fun" as he says.
Seriously. I needed lots of IFR refresher training and I got arm
loads. I wrote down at least 40 items that I either was never trained
on, or learned once and forgot.
Dr. Kaplan is laid back, flexible, informative and extremely
knowledgable! He really can make the Garmin 530 sing. It was also
quite fun flying a "full motion" simulator for a 210, or as he
configured it for me a "Twin Centurion".
I believe it was a great value and I highly recommend it to any one
who wants to learn more and stretch their learning envelope.
Cessna T210 Centurion / Cessna 337 Skymaster Owner
I have been attending OSH since 1975. I
typically blow into town early Saturday, take in 5-6 forums/day over
the weekend, then get back into St. Louis in my 182 late Sunday. Over
the years I have listened to a LOT of forums, and I gotta tell you,
you took me by surprise with your 'Engine Out
IMC Instrument Approach' lecture on Sunday. My attitude was "Yeah,
right, maybe I'll pick up one pearl to make the whole hour and fifteen
worth it". I was very impressed. Now, I am not exactly looking
forward to an engine failure in IMC, but I will definitely be
rehearsing some of your
scenarios. If there were ever a situation where most of us would go
tits up, this would be it, and now you have given us much, much food
Again, thanx Rich. You are an excellent public speaker with some very
good, very helpful information that I've never heard anyone tackle in
Chris Erkmann MD
(Anesthesiology, St. Johns Mercy Med Center in St. Louis)
attended a Bonanza Recurrency Program at Flight Level Aviaitionmthat I
found particularly useful, so I wanted to make my fellow ABS members
aware of the program.
I have normally attended
recurrency programs every other year for more than 20 years: they have
consisted of all simulator flying, a mix of airplane and classroom
activities and, finally, the above program which consisted of
simulator, classroom and airplane work. Clearly, at different times
we each have differing requirements. Most frequently, however, we
know our airplanes quite well and mainly need to brush up on our
skills, emergency procedures and FAA requirements. For these
purposes, this program was far and away the best that I have
The program I
am describing was conducted by Flight Level Aviation, Inc. at the
Waynesburg, PA, airport The program is the brainchild of Dr. Richard
Kaplan, President of FLA -- a medical doctor who is also an AME and
CFII. Dr. Kaplan served as a very capable simulator instructor. The
Bonanza classroom and flight instruction was conducted by Lee Elson,
also a CFII and a fellow Bonanza owner.
I felt the mix of basic
skills/refresher training and emergency procedures was just about
ideal. Both instructors set a tasking, but doable pace -- too often I
have found that in the interest of getting everything done in a very
short time, pilots are too rushed to get the maximum benefit from
attending training programs. The inflight and simulator emergency
efforts turned out to be very complementary and useful; something I
value highly. The simulator permitted a much wider range of emergency
procedures than could be performed safely in the airplane; for
example, before the day was over we had safely done a night approach
to a departure airport under IFR conditions with full electrical
failure using a simulated handheld GPS for navigation. An unintended,
but real world addition, was the actual failure of the flashlight I
was using for instrument lighting. A good workout, lots of sweat, but
also both satisfying and enjoyable.
The in-flight portion went
equally well. Having gotten a good work out on basic skills in the
simulator, it was possible to work on more advanced items in the
airplane. I was very impressed with Lee's ability to offer help with
both the relatively new GNS 480 system that I have and the Garmin 530
system my training partner has. We covered a complete range of flight
planning and instrument approach procedures, plus went through a range
of emergency conditions. This was the first time I have ever gone
through a simulated inflight fire resulting in a descent to a landing
-- on an airport, of course. It's amazing how fast one can get a
Bonanza down once you put the wheels out and push the nose down!
Again, I want to reiterate my
earlier comment that this was the best balanced recurrency program I
have attended. Dr. Kaplan is to be congratulated for doing such a fine
job of putting it together. I'm certain that there must be many other
members who also would enjoy and benefit from this program as a
complement to the BPPP or other programs they have been using for
Beechcraft Bonanza Owner
It was nice to get to know you and
I enjoyed flying your sim and your P210. Thank you for the
instruction in flying the Garmain 530 -- it helped me a lot and it
made our 430 and 295 easy and simple to use. I was very
impressed with your knowledge of these GPS units. It is our hope
in the short future to start working with you to train our other
pilots as well who fly missions in Africa in our P210N and P210N.
I would recommend your training to anyone seeking Cessna 210 or other
high performance aircraft training or advanced avionics training.
Rukang D. Chikomb
Cessna T210 Pilot
Southern Congo Wings of The Morning
United Methodist Chrurch
Aviation Ministry in the Congo
I want to thank you SO much for the most educational
and rewarding aviation weekend I have spent in many years. I had
high expectations and many things that I wanted to get accomplished
in coming to Flight Level Aviation. Well, my expectations were more
than exceeded and everything I wanted to get accomplished, paled in
comparison to what was actually accomplished. I found your
knowledge of the Garmin 530/430 and the IFR "system" to be truly
remarkable. I had already had a pretty good working knowledge of my
430 but have since learned from you how the 430 can truly add a much
higher degree of safety to every flight. I found the simulator to
be an excellent way to practice many of the situations that cannot
be done in an aircraft. The ability to create situations instantly,
fly them and then discuss them was a wonderful feature. I found
both you and Mark to be as helpful as could be. It seemed your only
goal was to be sure that the weekend supplied exactly what I was
looking for. Even at 5 PM on the second day, after being in the sim
since 8 AM, Mark asked me if there was ANYTHING ELSE at all, that I
would like to try. That is customer service at its best. I cannot
wait until my next visit to Flight Level Aviation. Thanks so much
for making me a more competent and confident instrument pilot.
Larry Levin, DMD
Trinidad TB20 Owner
Pawtucket, Rhode Island
The 1-day refresher training course was excellent
-- exceeded my expectations. Unlike the [competitor's]
course I took in 2000, the training was customized to what would
most useful to me, rather than just
following a cook-book one-size-fits-all. Mark Blackwell was an
excellent instructor, and he used the features of the AST-300 sim
to assure that I got the most out of the day. For example, he
configured it to match the performance of my Saratoga, let me pick
the airports and approaches, and froze the action at various times
so we could
discuss a point.
Furthermore, Mark had no problem with my using my Jeppesen
charts - unlike my experience at [a
competitor] where they required U.S. Govt. NOCA charts.
I left [the competitor]
feeling "why go back? - it's the same tired routine every time."
I left Flight Level Aviation feeling "I will learn something new
and valuable every time."
I was also impressed that you [Dr. Kaplan] solved a subtle problem
with my Garmin GNS-480 -- and explained it by email at 2:11 AM the
morning after my lesson.
We did find a couple of new
approaches not yet in the sim database, so I'll be looking for
those on my next training session at Flight Level Aviation!
Thanks again to you and Mark for a worthwhile and fun experience.
Piper Saratoga PA-32R-301 Owner
Worthington, Ohio [KOSU]
I thought that the day in the
simulator with you was the most valuable day of flying education
that I have ever experienced. Every instrument rated pilot flying
high performance singles should spend at least a day with you to
experience the thinking process that is necessary to handle
in-flight emergencies. You have clearly spent a lot of time and
effort developing realistic scenarios for the sim and your
teaching style is superb. I have already told our third plane
partner about the experience and strongly recommended that he
consider a day or two with you in the future. I know I will be
back next year for more fun in the box. Although I am more
confident now in my ability to handle an emergency situation, I
also have a much greater appreciation for the difficulty of
assessing an in-flight emergency, formulating a plan of action,
and continuing to fly the plane competently at the same time.
Thank you for the outstanding
learning experience. Ray
Ray James, M.D.
Bonanza F33 Owner
You may remember
when I called you to ask about the instructor I was going to have for
my first experience with your course. Iím an older guy whoís been
flying for sixteen years, and Iíve had my share of flight instructors
who are not good educators. I didnít want another, no matter how well
equipped and how full motion was your simulator. If I had to choose
between the two, Iíd go for the instructor any day.
At your place I
got both. Your passion for the skills and even the arts of instrument
flying is contagious and translated into excellent communication with
me. I could tell that you were having fun teaching me and challenging
me. I really liked that.
else thatís vital Ö knowing just the right amount of challenge to give
someone. Certainly I didnít come there to impress you with my
abilities, but I didnít want to be discouraged either. You
insightfully caught the right balance I needed to keep me learning and
to help me to depart with not only better skills and strategies but a
more realistic self-appraisal of my abilities as a pilot. I thoroughly
expect this will greatly enhance my decision making in the forthcoming
flights I have planned.
I look forward
to my next recurrent session with you. Best wishes and thanks.
Piper Saratoga Owner
New Milford, NY
Thank you again for a first class, professional 210 recurrent training
session. The combination of a full motion simulator (that includes up
to date GPS/avionics) plus your emphasis on real world training
scenarios offers 210 pilots the same quality and depth of training
that business jet and airline pilots enjoy. Full motion simulation of
departure out of my home field in low IFR on one of my typical trips,
followed by various system failures and then having to think through
the problem and fly the solution back to a landing -- that's good
training. And, of course, the deadstick instrument approach procedure
that you teach is a darned handy trick to have up your sleeve. In my
20+ years of flying, your program was as good as any I've attended. I
look forward to seeing you again next year for another session.
ATP, CFI, CFII, MEI
Cessna T210 Owner
I enjoyed the
training. Since leaving the airlines, I need regular recurrent
training to keep up with the airspace world. This was a good checkup
and proficiency training. Well worth the trip out...
Your sim experience was great for thinking through problems and
finding solutions. Normally in sims, the instructor seldom freezes
the sim and discusses the situation. That worked well for the
training and exploration that we did in your sim. I gained a lot from
working with you. I appreciate the depth you have gone to find your
scenarios and the way you present them..
Thanks for a great course.
Cessna P210 Owner
Iíd like to
take a few minutes and give you my feedback regarding my experience at
Flight Level Training.
As you know I
fly a Beech B36TC and wanted to do some specialized training geared to
the type of flying that I do.
A good bit of
my flying is in the Rockies both summer and winter. The winter offers
some unique challenges that make training in the airplane difficult
because of flight restitutions at the airports that I fly in and out
of. Your program offered me the opportunity to do exactly what I
wanted to in an environment that made improving my proficiency much
easier. My comments regarding your associate Joe Ziegler are top
notch. He is very knowledgeable and does a great job instructing both
in my airplane and in the simulator. Iíd also like to thank you for
making yourself available to me during the evening because of
scheduling constraints. Having the opportunity to do simulator work
with you was the best of both worlds. Needless to say Iíll be coming
back to Flight Level on a regular basis. Iíd also like to add that the
type of training that we did is much more practically done in your
simulator than in my airplane. Also your electronics and knowledge of
their operation makes learning in the 21 century much easier.
I look forward
to training with you again.
Bonanza B36TCP Owner
Unbelievable...this [referring to
an accident report regarding static port blockage] is the exact
scenario I encountered on the sim. Prior to my training I would
have not recognized the failure quickly enough to divert disaster
had the same situation happened to me in my plane at such a low
altitude in IMC. I now know what the instruments can look like and
feel confident that I could identify the problem and open the
alternate static air valve to normalize the situation. If I hadn't
done this on your simulator I would have never known what a static
system problem looked like in the "real world". I've looked back on
all the emergencies we practiced and can't thank you enough for
getting me into thinking a lot deeper and more specific about my
flying. Flying is serious business! Can't wait to get back and do
it all over again! Thank you for pairing me up with a great flying
partner and for making this level of training available!
Bonanza V35 Owner
South Bend, Indiana
I just got back today from my
IFR workout. Richard, let me tell you: many thanks. The
experience was simply exhilarating. I don't know exactly how
many approaches I flew with you (after a while I forgot that I was in
a Sim) or how many hours. But I will never forget the feeling
when you started failing things on me, and basically left me with a
flashlight, a compass and one VOR doing an ILS approach to minimums
into ORH at night and in turbulence. I enjoyed
spending those hours with you, learning from your experience and
listening to your recommendations. Would I recommend the
course? Absolutely YES!!! I believe that this is the kind
of training that each of us who wants to fly in the soup should have.
So many, many thanks.
I also would like to take the opportunity to thank you for your
suggestion to combine the Sim time with a taildragger checkout.
I can assure you that it was simply a blast! I believe that it
was the perfect combination: sim time and then a fly by the pants
experience. See you again in the fall!
Mooney M 20C N9341V (Based KGAI)
returned from a 2 day training session with Richard Kaplan at Flight
Level Aviation in Waynesburg, PA. If you fly IFR, you should seriously
consider this training. It is an extraordinary experience, especially
for 210 pilots. It met and exceeded my already optimistic
interested in gaining several things from this training. First, I
wanted an objective evaluation of my ability to safely fly in IMC. I
have had my rating for a while, but rarely used it because of
trepidation about my skill level and lack of IMC experience. I also
wanted to gain experience with emergency procedures. I felt my
training to date was weak in this regard. Lastly, I wanted to see how
the newer avionics, especially the Garmin 530, would fit into my
flying. All of these objectives were met.
we flew about 3 hours in Richard's (de-iced) P210 so that he could see
where I was at. He was able to quickly assess my strengths and
weaknesses. We flew some instrument procedures, and I wanted to
experience icing, and he was most accommodating in trying to find an
icy altitude. We had some success, but mother nature wasn't in an
angry enough mood to give us lots of ice.
that, we spent time in the sim. The sim is well set up to fly like a
210. While it took a little while to get used to it, the fact that it
isn't a real plane is quickly forgotten once the training scenarios
start popping up. The great thing about this training is that it is
customized to each individual pilot*s abilities and skill level,
strengths and weaknesses. Rich has a knack for setting up scenarios to
help you reinforce what you're strong in, and learn a lot about what
you're weak in. But it isn't at all intimidating, just challenging.
The workload builds up to a point where your hands are full enough to
give you experience at problem solving while under the stress and
distraction of keeping the plane flying. I think this is much like a
real emergency would be.
agree with the others that training with another pilot is very
educational. I was fortunate enough to be paired with another pilot
with different skills than myself, and we were able to learn from each
found rich to be an excellent instructor, a terrific teacher, and very
knowledgeable (especially with regard to the 210). Despite his ability
to set up difficult and challenging scenarios, he is not at all
intimidating and is in fact very easy going.
came away from this session with much more confidence to fly in
actual, as well as my ability to handle emergencies. Rich and I are
still debating what the next upgrade to my plane should be, however!
questions, just ask.
Ocean View, New Jersey
I had a
great time. I find the program you offer invaluable. Being
stuck in the air with no engine in a simulator is intimidating
enough. If it were to happen for real I believe the advanced
pratice will definitely be beneficial... I would like to sign up
as I mentioned to come out twice a year. If I
can ever help with a reference please donít hesitate to give out
my name. Thanks again for the great time.
Cessna 182 Owner
University Park, Pennsylvania
Thanks again for the training
session. As a pilot with 520 hours of P210 time, I wasn't sure
how much I would get out of recurrent training. Well, after a day
in your simulator, I cannot imagine having logged as much P210
time as I have, without first going through your course. It is
impossible to practice partial panel instrument approaches, engine
out, down to minimums, in the real world. Not to mention the
variety of other scenarios you threw at me.
Additionally, your knowledge of
the Garmin 530 and its capabilities could have been a course in
and of itself. It is a tremendous tool with far more capability
than I knew existed. Since leaving two weeks ago, I've made a
couple of approaches down to minimums as if they were a walk in
the park. Thanks again, count on seeing me again within the next
Javelin Cessna P210 Owner
I want to tell you how very
much I enjoyed my two days with you last week. I have been to
Simcom 5 times and thought no simulator experience could be better.
Boy, was I wrong. Your full motion AST simulator was amazing.
I knew I was in for an extremely realistic ride when I ducked as a
747, which ATC vectored across my path, passed 300 feet over my
altitude. I thought your approach to complex single engine IFR
training was perfect for my desire to be as proficient as
possible in my piloting skills. You thoroughly covered every
conceivable scenario where pilots get into trouble and gave me the
confidence to handle any emergency. Additionally, you taught me
to call upon every possible source of help to make the best decisions.
The training you gave me was well organized and flexible for my
situation. I enjoyed our discussions about unusual approaches, ATC errors, and even the time of
useful consciousness in depressurization situations.
Additionally, I felt that the ride in my own aircraft was very effective.
You encouraged me to get the most out of my avionics and made
suggestions which will make me utilize all of the powers in my
navigation and communication
radios. Thanks again for a terrific experience. I will
look forward to scheduling with you again.
David S. Lennon, M.D.
Piper Turbo Saratoga PA-32RT N181KC
The [multi-engine] training [with Joe
Ziegler MEII] went fine. We spent most of the time working on the
GX50 which is what I wanted... On the way home I had two hours of
real practice for what we had done in the sim. In fact I shot my
first ever GPS approach to mins with great success in the dark at
6:30m last nite. So I guess the training was effective. Also, I
was prepared to have a high level of stress as Joe ate me alive and
spit me out. Instead, it was a totally relaxed environment which
helped me feel confident and able to ask more questions and more
actively participate in what I learned. Good job. Feel free to
quote me any time. The advantages of your operation for me was it
was within striking distance, the price was right, we convinced my
insurance company to accept it and you had the GPS in the sim that I
have in my airplane and an EHSI. Already I was able to do many
things on the way home that I've never done before.
Just informationally, I am an instrument
rated Commercial pilot with about 750 hours in six years of flying
and currently fly a 1976 Piper Navajo PA31-310. About 40% of my
flying is IFR and about 75% of my flying is work or charity related.
Eagle Bridge, NY
Piper Navajo PA31-310 Owner
CEO, Nightly Notes
As far as Joe Zieglar MEII went...he's
great...we only wish that we could have ridden in the Cub with
him. He is extremely knowledgeable, very patient and
stresses learning instead of "testing." Only good things to
report. We were very pleased to meet and train with him.
We will be back to Flight Level Aviation.
My husband and I had a wonderful experience at Flight Level
Aviation. As multiengine, instrument, commercial pilots, we
were taught conscientiously with no attempts at harrassment.
The experience included both simulator training and IFR approaches
in our own twin engine Cessna Crusader. The experience was
fun, educational, and satisfying.
for the great P210 Sim experience!
I was blessed
with a most unusual and exciting way to start the new year of 2004; I
logged 6.2 hours of time in a Cessna P210, that is to say a full
motion simulator of the P210 which is owned and operated by Dr.
Richard Kaplan of Flight Level Aviation, Inc.
Dr. Kaplan was
willing and able to allow me to log more hours; but to tell the truth,
my exhausted adrenaline glands and my overall fatigue was telling me
that I had come to the end of my learning curve, and what a ride it
In the course
of these 6.2 hours there were many simulations of engine out at
altitude in IMC and in the exhilarating process of doing all of the
calculations to ensure the most probable successful landing at the
nearest airport, with local weather reported as 500í ceilings and
visibility 1-mile, I learned something very important for any serious
pilot to consider. All of the situations that Dr. Kaplan gave me, no
matter how challenging, were all survivable, but only with
experience. This meant that during the training process, learning to
recognize and to have the necessary recorded skills stored in my mind
for ready recall, to deal with each of these life and death aviation
situations, I first had to die. I died at least twice for each series
of recognitions and skill-sets to be able to make a survivable
The reality of
each scenario presented in this full-motion Sim, designed especially
for high performance single engine aircraft, such as the Cessna P210
series and the Piper Malibu series, is extraordinary.
At the end of
one session, after I had gained enough experience to make a successful
engine out landing down through IMC and into the nearest airport with
local conditions at minimum IMC weather, Dr. Kaplan said: ďLetís check
your pulse.Ē My pulse came in at 110, and this is without moving any
of my extremities more than an inch or more at a time. This might not
seem like a very ďhighĒ pulse to some of you, but I am a person whose
resting pulse is 55. To get my pulse up to 110 I have to be on the
treadmill where I work out, at medium to strong jogging speed.
It is amazing
how the human brain interfaces with the flight simulator and you
become one with the total experience.
learned with Dr. Kaplan could not have been learned in the real
airplane under real conditions unless a pilot experienced in these
situations had been with me. Alone with no specific training to equip
myself, my first such experience would have been my last. If in my
first experience, I could come down in VFR conditions, that would be
altogether different. That I can do. But, to do it to minimums, from
altitude in IMC conditions, not hardly.
What makes this
simulator and Dr. Kaplanís many emergency scenarios so valuable is the
fact that you can die many times in real world like situations and
live, not only to tell about it, but also much more importantly for a
pilot, you can learn to overcome the challenge and be ready for those
moments you hope you never have to live in the real world.
Once is not
enough; I will reschedule for this experience at least twice a year,
more if possible.
Thank you, Dr.
Kaplan, for a life-saving experience.
Lafayette Hill, Pennsylvania
Cessna 182/172 Pilot
is a CFII who has been flying over 30 years and has 2,700 hours of
flying accumulated in many different single engine types and models.
Herb flies out of Teterboro, New Jersey on a regular basis.
Being a Cessna P210 owner and pilot from Germany, I always wanted to
attend Richard's ďAdvanced IMC Experience." The introduction of the
full motion simulator seemed another reason to do it now, so I
extended a business trip to NY for another two days in Waynesburg,
My expectations, which were already high, were fully surpassed. I
decided to take the combined simulator and aircraft training and
this turned out to be exactly the right choice. Flying the airplane
with Richard is already very interesting, because he has a lot of
in-depth knowledge specific to the Cessna 210 and its systems. But
the full-motion simulator is a jewel. With it, you have the chance
to train in all the emergency situations you can think of in your
worst nightmares in very realistic conditions for a fraction of the
price that comparable full-motion simulator training costs for jets,
twins, turboprops etc. There is a correct response to any
situation and you learn it, as well as the use of the incredible and
often unknown possibilities of the installed avionics.
My favorite was the deadstick instrument approach. Engine failure in
IMC or at night is a nightmare for every single engine aircraft
pilot. Many fly twins just because of this risk. With
Richard's ďapproachĒ to this problem I consistently flew deadstick
instrument approaches at minimum conditions right to the threshold.
You just need one of the new GPS systems, enough altitude (one more
reason to use the altitude capabilities of turbocharged and
pressurized airplanes), and an airport in gliding range.
The flight model of the sim is similar to the turbocharged Cessna
210, but this training makes sense for pilots of any complex single
engine airplane, be it a Beechcraft Bonanza or a Piper Malibu.
Cessna P210N D-EDRM
I am a CFI with 1,500 hours. I hadn't been flying for almost two
years when I showed up in Waynesburg, PA in my newly acquired Cessna
P210 with my friend Jeff (the former owner). After such a big break
from flying I knew I needed some serious proficiency training to be
safe, competent and confident in a relatively sophisticated high
altitude single. I needed a BFR, an IPC, and a P210 checkout for
insurance as well as plain vanilla proficiency training. The two days
of training I spent with Dr. Richard Kaplan was everything I needed
and wanted. Not only is Richard enthusiastic with a great sense of
humor, but also he is an excellent and knowledgeable CFII, genuinely
and seriously interested in teaching.
Dr. Kaplan's syllabus is extremely
complete and thorough, although he is flexible in its content to
tailor his instruction to the individual needs of his student. In
addition, he is able to change his plans as circumstances arise so as
to maximize the student's experience.
I would recommend Dr. Kaplan for
anyone interested in simulator training, complex aircraft training and
high altitude flight. Richard is extremely knowledgeable in C-210
systems; however he is quite knowledgeable about GA aircraft and I
think anyone could benefit from his experience.
My friend Jeff, who had owned my
210 for the previous 20 years has attended Flight Safety and the
Cessna Pilots Association courses on the C-210 and said to me that his
next training would be with Richard (Jeff bought a Silver Eagle, a
turbine powered C-210). He thought Richard's approach was more
relevant and practical than his other experiences. I know I'll be
Glen E. Doyon, DMD
Cessna P210N N4796K
I know that
there have been other posts regarding Flight Level Aviation's sim
training but I felt that I had to add my own endorsement and
applause. [Another pilot] and I spent two days with Rich
Kaplan in Southwest Pennsylvania and left the training sessions better
pilots. Rich tailored the training specifically to our ability/needs
and panel configurations. Approaches to minimum, dead stick IMC,
CFIT procedures, ATC/pilot responsibilities, Garmin 196 uses, etc,
etc. My gray matter was jello by the end of each day. Rich
Having previously attended Flight Safety, the bang for the buck at
Rich's sim was significantly better. FSI lacked trainers who
knew Cessnas. Rich knows Cessnas and personalizes training to
simulator session is clearly one of the best, most hands-on,
practical, educational airplane related experiences that I have had.
I'm not exagerating. Rich knows this business, he knows Cessnas and
potential problems with Cessnas - he knows IFR procedures and
problems. He will test you on ALL those problems. My gray matter was
jello by the end of each day. I left a better pilot.
If you are looking for great sim training at a reasonable cost, set up
a one or two day session. You will become a better pilot.
Old Bridge, NJ
Cessna 210 Owner
Richard, I would like to thank you for a wonderful training
experience. As you know, I have been flying for 43 years.
Most of my flight time has been in medium and small twins.
Frankly I feel the Cessna T210 with the modern avionics is more of a
challenge. As you know, I did my initial training in the Flight
Safety 210 simulators. Flight Safety is unquestionably the gold
standard of flight training. Your full motion 210 simulator
offers more up to date avionics and visual displays. Your
simulator instruction is certainly on par with the best. Your
"in aircraft" instruction was also excellent. I look forward to
training with you in the near future. I also feel the approaches
in [nearby] Morgantown WV offer a "big airport" experience.
Irwin S. Freedman, M.D.
Cessna T210N N1226M
I just completed a
personalized three day "IFR refresher" course with Richard and could
not be happier. We began with a series of local approaches in my
C210 but soon transitioned to the full-motion simulator. After a
short familiarization period, I found the simulator to be an extremely
effective training tool, particularly with Richard behind the curtain.
The motion base, visual and sound effects, communications with "Kaplan
approach," and fully loaded avionics provide a very realistic training
environment where any number of emergency situations can occur -- and
with Richard they do. We practiced a variety of partial panel
situations and mechanical failures (asymmetric flaps, runaway trim,
etc.), under all kinds of weather, wind, and turbulence. The
simulator can take you to any airport where you can fly any approach,
hold, or departure procedure. You might even have a runway
incursion or near miss at LaGuardia! I particularly appreciated
being able to use my own model GPS -- one of three panel mounted GPS
receivers in the sim.
On day two I had the opportunity to learn by looking over another
pilot's shoulder flying through some of the same emergencies. I
found this type of training, which I am told is used by Flight Safety
and other sim schools, highly effective -- particularly in Richard's
Needless to say, I am already scheduling another training session with
Richard and will make Flight Level a semi-annual stop.
New York City, New York
Cessna 210 N9056M
I just spent a spectacular day visiting
with Rich Kaplan. Rich has
provided my P210 recurrency training in the past and I have always
found his approach to be a great combination of knowledge and personal
experience. I had therefore been interested in whether the
approach that he was going to use would be a significant step up from
We started in as soon as I arrived and, with two breaks, spent almost
hours together on learning the simulator, setting it up to parallel my
airplane (more later) and finally running through approach after
approach and failure after failure, including starkly realistic
instrument and engine failures. We talked about problems as they
and then flew them again until I got it right.
I spend a fair amount of time each year on keeping current (a day
two months with a CFI) and fly 250 hrs per year in some fairly hard
in the Northeast. The time spent on the simulator has truly
my confidence and at the same time increased my respect for how
difficult it is to actually fly the airplane in trying circumstances.
was the hands down winner for use of my time in training this year and
truly enjoyed and gained from the experience.
Caveat - I hope Rich can convince the simulator people to make one
minor software change. Each airplane has a different control
feel. I did
spend a bit of time adjusting to the feel of the Kaplan 210. It
be nice if the feel can be dialed in for each pilot. With that
nit - a great way to spend a training session.
Seth Rudnick, M.D.
Chapel Hill, North Carolina
Javelin P210N / N42WB
Wow, what a seriously fun and important machine. Thank you so
very much for the opportunity to work with it. "I now believe
Full-Motion AST-300 single engine flight simulator ... is a
potential life saver for the [average single engine piston] GA pilot
and others... For the most part, instrument simulation in a single
engine piston powered aircraft has been rather unsophisticated until
now with the advent of the full motion sim.
I flew Dr. Kaplan's simulator for three hours about a week ago.
We departed LaGuardia, got in an upset, and went inverted because of
some airliner induced wake turbulence. I got into a spin
somewhere over LAX and recovered in some nasty weather....
We were not flying [in an airplane] but I was working, sweating, and
most importantly learning in a safe environment.
$500 a day to use this realistic and sophisticated machine is a
bargain. [Pilots are] coming in to his office in Waynesburg,
PA from half way across the U.S. to get aeronautically beat up the
same as I did. Getting slapped around in the clouds with
Richard can save your proverbial airplane and passengers though.
What's that worth?
Freelance Aviation Writer
Piper PA28 N6421J
I just returned from a 2
day P210 training session (partnering with [another pilot]) that
included flight training in [another pilot's] plane (I acted as
ballast) and the balance of the time was spent in Rich Kaplan's new
I'll let [the other pilot] speak for himself, but I couldn't be
happier. I have had concerns about wingtip vortices rolls and wanted
to experience dead stick approaches. I wanted to do zero-zero
landings, and other things no one would do in a plane.
The sim requires some tweaking in control sensitivity just to shorten
the time it takes to get comfortable, but unlike RTC and Flight Safety
this sim flies like a 210 and it is an outstanding way to practice
dangerous conditions so they become routine.
I was exhausted after the two days because the training is intense and
you do get caught up in the emergencies Rich sets up. I came away
learning as much watching [the other pilot] (a very capable pilot) as
when I had my turn in the barrel.
I recommend Rich Kaplan's course to not only new owners, but seasoned
pilots who want to really practice their techniques in real emergency
Cessna P210 N732JB
My first orientation to
the 210 was the Flight Safety course last January . I found the
systems overview very educational as I had never had my rump in a 210
before. At the time I thought the IFR training and flight sim
they had was top notch. I can tell you that the experience I
just received and the realism of Rich Kaplan's flight training device
(FTD) was orders of magnitude better than the Flight Safety program.
One of the significant benefits beyond full motion was Rich having a
wide variety of current GPS and other technologies in his FTD. I
was able to emulate pretty much my exact navigational setup so the
learnings were directly transferable to my plane.
I would also highly recommend partnering with someone. It is
amazing what one can learn when you throw a mix of relatively new and
seasoned IFR pilots together.
In summary I will probably be doing rolls or engine outs in the
mountains at night for weeks in my sleep but I have a good feeling
that what I learned will save my bacon when my nightmares become
reality some day.
Cessna P210 N4925K
I am a P210 owner / pilot whose
search for a meaningful BFR / IPC experience led me to Richard Kaplan.
I have used every type of flight instruction from the independent at
the local uncontrolled field to Flight Safety's 210 simulator program.
I found Richard on the web and knew nothing of his program, teaching
skills, or knowledge. But there was enough there that I felt compelled
to call. I liked the sound of the personalized training in my own
airplane. So I spoke with Richard and got a very strong sense that
this guy was different than other flight instructors I'd worked with.
His knowledge was impressive and he comes across as having a genuine
desire to teach. Convinced enough to ask Richard for some references,
I followed-up with the them and became more and more impressed. Many
people will say, "go ahead and use me as a reference", but these
people genuinely wanted to help Richard. I was amazed at how quickly
they called me back. I was shocked by how much time they were willing
to spend with me. I was convinced by the long list of seriously
thrilled students and their consistent experiences with Richard's
outstanding teaching ability, knowledge, patience, and enthusiam. So I
called Richard and scheduled time with him.
I was not dissapointed. Richard
flew with me, figured out my weaknesses and strengths, and worked hard
to fill the gaps. He quickly determined that one of my strengths was
aircraft systems knowledge so he focused elsewhere. He also quickly
realized that most of the time, I'm flying out of a large airport with
an ILS. So we did lots of "landings on the numbers", brushing up on
short field landing techniques. I performed emergency procedures that
I had never even considered actually practicing (ever done an IMC
dead-stick instrument approach?). He taught using real-world
scenarios. He showed me where the system can easily fail us as pilots
and how to avoid the potential catastrophy. All in all, I left feeling
more confident, competent, and safe.
I can say with confidence, this
was the best flight training experience I've had. I'm sure to become a
Cessna P210N N6444W
Hi Richard, Sir!
Thank you very much for offering this one-on-one training opportunity
and, in comparison to what I have seen outside, a
remarkably capable and well equipped simulator...
It was a pure pleasure working with Joe Zieglar, an absolute aviation
enthusiast, he has given me another perspective
recounting his own experiences on an autogyro, his vast tailwheel
airplane experience, and his considerable interest
in the industry. He has also affirmed that, although currently idle,
my previous commercial experience, procedures, and
decision making have not been lost. I feel confident to take a
checkride in Germany, knowing full well that I had
experienced some tarnish of my skills and am nowhere near perfection,
but generally "safe". This will definitely reduce
my level of anxiety in a situation that I may be confronted with.
My attitude is that we never finish learning, although I continue
dreaming of one day owning a utility airplane, I am a strong believer
in continuous training, and I will certainly consider recurrent and
refresher training with Joe and your simulator...
Christopher Scheziat - Warner
Bridgeport, CT (U.S. and German pilot licenses)
As a relatively low time pilot (480 hrs) who rarely flies in actual
IMC (I live in FL) I thought that this course would be a good brush up
on my Instrument skills. It was that but much much more. Starting with
my preflight of his well equipped P210 Richard proved to be a wealth
of practical 210 knowledge that most flight instructors just don't
know. I think by concentrating on the 210 he has gathered a wealth of
pearls that are invaluable for safe and enjoyable flying. I would
recommend this course to anyone who has or is planning to fly the 210.
Cessna T210N N2247U
Richard -- With twelve approaches
to ILS and localizer minimums the first day in the mountains with rain
and [forecast icing conditions], it was a challenging start. However,
your coaching and attention to detail (and TKS) made the flight safe
and doable with our planned alternatives. I took home 25 specific
points to review monthly on procedures, weather planning, regulations,
operations, and maintenance which I feel were not only fresh ideas,
but also important to anyone flying under IFR conditions. I cannot
imagine a course where I could have learned more practical useable
knowledge in such a short period of time. I hope you can expand the
course so that more people can take advantage of it. Many thanks.
Robert W. Dunne
Commander 112TC 4565W
I first contacted Richard Kaplan
at the recommendation of my insurance agent when I was kicking around
the idea of a P210 or Malibu.
From the very outset, Richard was an
enthusiastic source of information and encouragement. When I purchased
my P210, he was the obvious choice of instructor. He is an
accomplished pilot, with a detailed knowledge of the FARs, weather
complexities, and other factors necessary for flight at high altitude
in a highly complex (and slightly daunting) airplane. This is enhanced
by his medical background, which adds all the more credibility to his
tuition about hypoxia. His knowledge of the intricacies of the P210 is
outstanding. In the cockpit and during debriefs, his style is one of
The learning experience continues
after the course is over - Richard keeps in touch with most of his
students. I, for one, have no hesitation about emailing him about
something that has cropped up. A reply is usually forthcoming within
hours. Sometimes, I swear, he must be up in the small hours of the
morning answering his email! I intend to continue my training with
Richard, to maintain and enhance my instrument skills and complex
single piloting, and I would encourage other P210 pilots to do the
Cessna P210N N3YL
Icy clouds, low ceilings, DME arc
approaches into Central Pennsylvania airports surrounded by snow
obscured mountains -- Rich Kaplan makes it fun. Well almost. He does
make it safe and with his experience and TKS equipped P210,very
valuable and effective training -- and a medical at the same time.
Even with 700 hours in my own I
learned much about safety, power management, maintenance, and flying
the P210 in real conditions.
Rich, my wife Sue and I enjoyed
both the beautiful Southwestern Pennsylvania setting (Uniontown) and
especially your cheerful hospitality.
Thanks for a very "Rich" experience.
Cessna P210 N6084P
I have owned my P210 for more than
15 years and flown it over 2000 hours. During those years I went to
recurrent training regularly. I alternated between such companies as
American Flyers, PIC, Flight Safety, and Recurrent Training Center.
What sets Rich Kaplan's recurrent training apart from all others is
that he is P210 specific. The others provided generic recurrent
training which was helpful, but it was typically the same regardless
of the type of aircraft flown or hours of experience.
In my case Rich assessed my
capabilities and then proceeded to provide training and scenarios
which were both challenging and appropriate. While doing so he was
also providing advice based on his own experiences owning and flying a
P210, thus going far beyond what was provided by others.
Cessna P210 N732JB
I am a pilot and A&P Mechanic
without great familiarity with Cessna 210s. As a prospective 210
owner, I really appreciated Dr. Kaplan's real world advice from his
experiences as a seasoned P210 owner on how to properly manage the
powerplant. What I had read, prior to meeting Dr. Kaplan, was that
210's like to wear out cylinders. What I really found was that pilots
who do not really understand proper power and temperature(s)
management can really accelerate early cylinder/engine demise in 210s.
Dr. Kaplan knows these #s , reasons and implications. The day with him
was truly a learning experience. Hint. Buy him coffee or lunch after
you fly with him and pick the 210 maintenance and Medical Examiner
side of his brain and your day will be made. Shame on you if you
180 HP 172N partner
I thought the [P210 recurrency]
training time was very productive. We covered a number of items that
had been incompletely introduced as I was first familiarized with the
plane. The issues of what is operating properly in a specific type are
always best addressed by someone familiar with the type. You were very
helpful in that regard...
[Flying partial panel] is an
important skill and I believe that you did an excellent job in
brushing up my skills. I will [also] look into the best version of an
electric AI that is fully self-contained and figure out how to move
the other instruments around as you suggested...
The engine out approach is really
All in all, it was a very
productive session and I feel that I gained a lot from it. Thanks
Chapel Hill, North Carolina
Javelin P210N / N42WB
I was excited to discover Dr.
Kaplan's Flight Level Aviation training program. After obtaining my
instrument rating, although a certification widely respected, I felt
that I still had a lot to learn. My three days with Dr. Kaplan added
immeasurably to my knowledge, both theoretical and practical.
It is rare to a find well-trained
CFII who is willing to teach in real IMC with live-encounter
situations. His airplane and equipment are first rate. I was
particularly pleased that Dr. Kaplan shared his extensive aviation
medical knowledge with me.
In three days with Flight Level
Aviation, I accumulated more crucial IFR experience (IMC, high
altitude-flight level flying, Class B landing/take off, mountain
flying, hypoxia recognition) and was exposed to more equipment
(pressurized aircraft, in-flight Weather, TKS-de-icing, radar,
turbocharging, Loran, GPS VNAV) than many high time pilots have
It has been a year since I flew
with Dr. Kaplan, but he gave me a lifetime of knowledge.
New York City, New York
Thanks Richard, Joe, and John,
I have been a pilot since around 1980. For the most part owning a
business, 4 children & priorities put the brakes on my flying around
1992 after around 600 hours.
I began flying again late in 2002 and after 50 hours flying again I
received an Instrument Proficiency Check. I however did not feel
very comfortable and I have always wanted to try some simulator
I thoroughly enjoyed the 7-1/2 hours spread over a day and a half in
your simulator. Not only did I get a chance to have a
realistic no gyro approach to minimums, but also I flew from airport
to airport using approaches at airports I generally fly in to.
Joe had the ceilings and visibility set near minimums at each stop.
It seemed very realistic to break out (most of the times) at 250
feet with 3/4 of a mile visibility. It was a great confidence
I plan on some how making this an annual trek for 1/2 a day of sim
time. If you want to have any prospective customers call me for
questions please feel free to do so at ANY TIME.
Money Hard earned but Well spent.
Royal Oak, Michigan
Cherokee Six Owner
"Suffice it to say for now that I'm
grateful to have had the opportunity to take your course. You are an
excellent pilot and instructor, and I do intend to walk through the
door you opened for me. I still feel a bit of a glow remembering the
flying we did. Many thanks."
Robert O. Tyler
(Cessna 170 Owner and Retired Navy Carrier Pilot)
Great Falls, Virginia