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AIFA takes seven Seminoles for twin engine training
South African AVIC International Flight Training Academy (AIFA) has acquired seven Piper PA44-180 Seminoles with glass cockpit configuration, which it will use to enhance its multi-engine flight training programme.
Read this story in our March 2015 printed issue.

South African AVIC International Flight Training Academy (AIFA) has acquired seven Piper PA44-180 Seminoles with glass cockpit configuration, which it will use to enhance its multi-engine flight training programme. The first four are equipped with Garmin 500 cockpits, and the remainder with Garmin 1000.

“We consider the Seminole to be the only dedicated ME trainer; we decided against the smaller types such as the Diamond,” says director Willem Marais. “The Seminole comes with a long history and excellent track record, and the 180hp engines make it a dynamic machine that needs to be well mastered.”

The company operates at sea level and lower temperatures from its base at George. “The aircraft gives us an excellent service,” Marais continues. “At our Oudtshoorn base we operate at about 1,000 feet above sea level and temperatures are often in the high thirties. It can at times be a little under-powered, but that makes it an ideal trainer.”

AIFA was formed after the acquisition of the former Cape Flying Services in April 2011 by AVIC International Holding Corporation, a large scale Chinese state-owned conglom-erate with aviation products and technology import and export as its core business. The academy is equipped with a fleet of factory-new aircraft and simulators, including the single engine Piper Warrior and Cessna Skyhawk. The first two Seminoles were delivered during July 2012. Each base will be equipped with 20 single engine and five multi-engine aircraft as the business continues to expand. AIFA also has three King Air C90 aircraft used for high performance training, as well as six Elite flight simulators.

Continues Marais: “Our philosophy is to train future leaders by providing high quality training using a modern fleet, airline-based standard operating procedures and a team of highly qualified instructors with worldwide experience.”