More on the Legacy 500 Delivery
The delivery of the first Legacy 500 from the United states at the Melbourne plant went without a hitch. The aircraft had been freshly painted even though it had less than 300 flight hours on the aircraft and was less that one year old. This particular aircraft had gone through the assembly line in Sao Jose dos Campos in Brazil. It had been used as a demonstrator aircraft to introduce it to all the potential buyers. At the present time, Embraer has a new plant under construction in Melbourne, Florida that will start producing the new legacy 450 and Legacy 500 aircraft. The Phenom 100 and Phenom 300 are currently being manufactured in the Melbourne plant so its very exciting to see the construction of the new Legacy assembly facility.
The first week with the chief pilot of the new owner was a very gratifying week. The chief pilot and I worked together during the first week of the delivery and I, along with the highly trained Embraer team, introduced not only all of the capabilities and features for the new Legacy 500 but introduced all of the support teams from different companies that are ready to support all phases of the aircraft. After the delivery was complete, the chief pilot and I flew the aircraft to the new owner. He was extremely pleased! We immediately left for the next two weeks flying to places that they had scheduled.
Today marks the second week that I have been with the new owner and have worked with the chief pilot to teach and learn the things that the Flight safety team doesn’t have time to teach while the pilots are going through the original training in the ground school and in the simulator. For instance, How does the CPDLC (Controller-Pilot Data Link Communications ) work? What other datalink capabilities are offered for real time weather on board the aircraft. How does the Sirus XM radio and weather work? How do you update the databases from the Honeywell Fusion system and upload the other databases that reveal the terrain, obstacles, airport runways and taxiways, FBO (Fixed Base Operations) and other information. What is the best screen set up to show the pilot the most information in a timely and logical manner? How do you lean the seat back? How do you operate the emergency exit door? For that matter how do you open and close the main cabin door? All of these questions have to be experienced and answered at the aircraft. The Embraer support team that are located in Brazil and Melbourne are readily available and an Embraer field service representative is assigned to the new owner. The value, however, of having someone with you flying the aircraft and understanding the makeup of the system is invaluable. STOP, I am not insinuating that I know it all. I don’t, its a new aircraft and there are still many techniques and questions that arise that I don’t know the answer. When there is a question that needs to be answered by someone smarter than I, I understand who to go to and how to explain the system problem in order to come up with an answer in a timely manner.
I have approximately one more week with this client. The second pilot will be returning from Flight safety school and will start flying with the chief pilot. For him, the transition into the aircraft as a new pilot will be a challenge. All of the questions for him will have to be answered. I truly feel however that the chief pilot has built a foundation of knowledge about the new Legacy 500 that he will be able to introduce and teach the new pilot all of the things that he didn’t learn in school. At that time, hopefully I will be used as a third pilot on the aircraft. It takes two people to fly it so if the two full time guys want a day off, they will need another pilot to take their place. Embraer never fails to amaze me as to the high standards that they hold for their products.
And by the way, I am a proud grandparent and I wanted to share my grandkids with you!