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Cessna endorses OpenAirplane’s universal checkout program


A new company that wants to make renting aircraft as easy as renting a car got a big endorsement recently when Cessna signed on with its Cessna Pilot Center training program. The partnership means that once OpenAirplane gets off the ground, pilots should be able to conduct a single Cessna Pilot Center checkout regimen, and then be qualified to rent Cessnas from any number of FBOs and flight schools nationwide. Details of the partnership haven’t been announced yet, such as whether pilots would have to do separate checkouts to fly Skyhawks with steam gauges and glass cockpits. In theory, once an OpenAirplane member completes a checkout in a particular make and model of aircraft, then he or she would only have to do an online course on local procedures for a particular flight school. Pilots would still have to do another checkout for each aircraft model; OpenAirplane would then keep track of each pilot’s credentials and checkouts for FBOs to verify. That could save pilots hundreds of dollars in required ground training sessions and trips around the pattern for each FBO from which they wanted to rent a plane.