There’s a lot that a Trans States flight attendant has to learn before they’re released from training – and it goes beyond providing exceptional customer service. Flight attendants are there for our passengers’ safety, and the majority of their training centers around safety-related drills and exercises. Our flight attendants spend weeks practicing everything from inflight medical emergencies and emergency equipment operation, to emergency evacuation procedures.
However, some of this training simply can’t be done in a classroom – it has to be done on an actual aircraft so that the practice situation will be as close as possible to what a flight attendant will face in real life. “For example, flight attendants are responsible for evacuating passengers during an emergency situation,” explained Shonn Clark, Director of Inflight Services at Trans States. “Before they are ever allowed to fly with passengers, our flight attendants have to demonstrate that they can execute an emergency evacuation on an actual Trans States Airlines Embraer 145 aircraft.”
Until recently, the only option our flight attendants had for getting critical hands-on training was waiting for one of our aircraft to become available at our maintenance hangar. Since aircraft can only be used for training purposes after their scheduled flights are complete and after any scheduled maintenance has been performed, it was often the middle of the night before our flight attendants were able to start their drills. However, the recent installation of our new cabin trainer changed that.
Practically and functionally, the cabin trainer looks and performs exactly like a static aircraft. In fact, minus a few rows of seats, the interior perfectly mimics the interior of our Embraer 145 aircraft, which make it the ideal flight attendant training tool. “The attention to detail is amazing,” Shonn remarked. “It actually feels like you’re sitting in one of our aircraft.”
The cabin trainer has the exact same emergency equipment as our actual aircraft, and has been certified by the FAA for use in medical, firefighting, and emergency evacuation drills. It can even simulate smoke in the cabin, providing an unprecedented level of reality to training exercises. The cabin trainer can also be used for non-emergency training, such as the practicing the beverage service and learning to use the PA system to communicate with passengers and the flight deck.
In addition to providing a top-notch training environment, the cabin trainer has also expedited the training process. “Our overall training footprint has actually decreased, as the trainer is always at our disposal,” explained Shonn. “In the past, there would be times when we were ready to start our drills, but had to wait for an aircraft to come available at the hangar.”
As one of just a few regional airlines with an on-site cabin trainer, Trans States is now at the forefront of inflight training. “My team was excited when they first heard that we’d be getting a cabin trainer,” concludes Shonn, “and now that we have it, they couldn’t be happier.”
If you’d like to join our team of flight attendants, click here to learn more.