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Piper lands a $36 million order from flight school for 90 Archer TX planes

STORY BY RAY MCNULTY (Week of November 30, 2023)

AeroGuard Flight Training, a flight school that focuses on fast-tracking its students to careers as professional pilots, has ordered 90 new Archer TX single-engine airplanes from Piper Aircraft, the latest in a series of contracts the Vero Beach-based manufacturer has received for its trainer aircraft this year.

Neither Piper nor AeroGuard representatives provided the cost of the purchase, but reported list prices put the value of the deal at more than $36 million. Delivery of the aircraft is scheduled to begin next year and continue through 2029.

AeroGuard has four campuses – two in Arizona, one in Texas and one in Saudi Arabia – and plans to increase its student-pilot enrollment from the current 800 to 2,000 and double its fleet to more than 200 aircraft.

The flight school has established partnerships with SkyWest and other airlines and universities across the Middle East, India and Asia, but most of the newly purchased aircraft will be stationed at AeroGuard’s campuses in the U.S.

“It is an honor to expand our fleet partnership with well-known Piper Flight School Alliance member, AeroGuard,” Piper President and Chief Executive Officer John Calcagno said last week.

“We pride ourselves in the relationships we build with schools such as AeroGuard and on the training aircraft we provide them – known for their reliability and ease of use – to train the next generation of pilots.”

AeroGuard CEO Joel Davidson said his school was “thrilled to sign this agreement with Piper,” adding, “This investment represents our commitment to providing our airline partners’ student pilots with every resource they need to succeed, while experiencing the highest-quality flight training in the world.

“With these additional aircraft, AeroGuard has the capacity to welcome hundreds of new airline cadets to our pilot training programs.”