Founded in 1979 by John Greif III with just a single airplane and two employees, Tropic has steadily grown to become the largest and most experienced airline in Belize. Tropic Air operates fourteen Cessna Grand Caravans (208B) – Glass Cockpit, one Gippsland Airvan (GA8), and two Cessna T182T’s – Glass Cockpit. These aircraft are configured for three to fourteen passengers.
Before partnering with Redbird, Tropic Air trained its staff of 70 pilots exclusively in airplanes. With the high costs of aircraft fuel and maintenance, it was difficult for the airline to streamline training beyond the minimum legal requirements. Tropic Air also planned to add international routes to its flight schedule, which meant that its pilot program would need to increase IFR training. The airline recognized that it would need more cost control without compromising on safety.
Tropic Air worked with Redbird’s CEO to develop an Aircraft Model Specific (AMS) simulator for a Cessna Grand Caravan. Using the simulator, the airline was able to increase total training hours for pilots while decreasing fuel costs. After five years of operating the simulator, the quality of training offered is unmatched, resulting in safer pilots at a much reduced fuel and maintenance cost.
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