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Aerobatic biplane combines adventure and safety at CTI Professional Flight Training

Star Staff Reports

CTI Biplane side sm CTI Biplane tail smallCrew Training International Professional Flight Training has just acquired its first fully aerobatic training aircraft, a WACO Great Lakes 2T-1A-2.
This 180 horsepower aircraft is equipped with an inverted fuel and oil system, making it capable of upside down flight and a performance range of +5.40 to -4.00 Gs. Handmade in the USA, the Great Lakes is based on a classic design dating back to 1929, but boasts modern safety and comfort improvements such as a stronger engine, bigger windscreens, and more legroom. But this aircraft is not just another pretty face—instead, it will be used to train pilots to avoid and prevent one of the leading causes of fatal aircraft incidents, loss of control in flight. Loss of control occurs when the plane exits its normal envelope of operation (excess bank, pitch, or speed).  To help combat these problems, CTI Professional Flight Training students will use the Great Lakes to conduct Upset Prevention and Recovery Training.
CTI Professional Flight Training is the first domestic flight school to use the Great Lakes aircraft to perform this type of training.  “Loss of control in flight is one of the greatest threats in aviation, and an open cockpit aerobatic plane is one of the greatest joys.  When you can combine a big adventure with something that makes every pilot safer and more confident, it’s a no-brainier,” says Alan Mullen, the President and CEO of CTI Professional Flight Training.
Using an aerobatic aircraft to learn stalls and spins makes the pilot more familiar with these situations—and how to fix them—when the plane loses control unexpectedly.  “In the past, upset training was conducted in a flight simulator on the ground, if at all. When you encounter these things in a real plane, you learn a lot more.  You get the real adrenaline, the real G forces. Those lessons really stick with you throughout your career—you don’t want your first spin in an aircraft to be an accidental one,” says Mullen.
CTI Professional Flight Training has locations at Millington Regional Jetport (KNQA), near Memphis, Tennessee, and Fort Lauderdale Executive Airport (KFXE) in Florida. CTI PFT offers programs to US and international students who want to learn to fly, whether just starting out at the private level or aiming for a commercial pilot’s license. The full Professional Pilot Program takes as little as six months to complete and can include the Upset Prevention and Recovery Course as part of the FAA-required hours. For more information, visit or contact
WACO Aircraft Corporation is the United States’ only producer of new FAA-certified classic biplanes.  For more information on the Great Lakes 2T-1A-2, visit
For more information about CTI Professional Flight Training, visit or contact Sarah Bryan, CTI Professional Flight Training, LLC, at 844-9224 or

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