PSA started out as a group of flight instructors re-training G.I.s after World War II. Hence, the focus on flight training was understandable after the airline was formed.
By the 1960's, PSA was starting to train other airline's pilots - Lufthansa and JAL being prime examples. PSA started their own training school to transition pilots from Electras to 727s, and just happened to start training other airlines. This school utilized various general aviation aircraft to start students, with 727 instumentation in the school's Aztecs. Cherokees and Bonanzas were also used. The training school started working at Lindbergh, then moved to Brown Field in San Diego, before finally moving to Litchfield Park in 1970 (near Phoenix.) The school was later renamed the Airline Training Center, and sold by PS Group to Lufthansa in 1992.
Meanwhile, PSA's own crew training used out of (revenue) service aircraft (as was the custom at the time.) Between 1972 and 1974, a single YS-11 was used for training ANA pilots under contract (and never painted in PS colors.) Boeing 727 and 737 simulators wer purchased, with the 737 sold off in 1976 (with PSA's disposal of the aircraft.)
During the 1970's, PSA steadily outgrew their hangar complex. First to move was Airmotive in 1973, then Reservations in February 1979. The new Scripps Ranch res center was built on 9 acres off US 395 (now I-15) at Carroll Canyon Road, just off the freeway, at a cost of $1.5 million.
Flight training opened their new $3.4 million facility (across the parking lot from Reservations, in Scripps Ranch) in 1981. The simulator bays were in the back of the building, visible behind the sign in the picture below.
The new 44,000 square foot center (shown behind the sign in the picture) housed bays for 4 simulators (Super 80, 727, and later the -146.) Other offices and classrooms were built into the building. The flight simulator bays were built on a sloping part of the site, facing Carroll Canyon Road, as the business park has a height limit of two stories.
The exterior and interior of the MD-80 simulator. Captain Larry Scrivener sits at the training console while Captains Roger Crim and Derral Wiggins are in the cockpit. In the background of the exterior shot is a Boeing 727 simulator.
Meanwhile, cabin crew training was being split between Scripps Ranch and Lindbergh. PSA had to pull aircraft out of service to train flight attendants. This was remedied in 1982 with new cabin training devices at Scripps Ranch. This included a Super 80 tailcone trainer, the first of it's kind to be built.
Left: Super 80 tailcone trainer
(Photographed: Larry Werhan and Guy Greco at the bottom, Joan Miszak sliding down the chute.)
Above: Boeing 727 door trainer, depicted by Bob Johnson, PSA's manager of flight operations engineering. The door can be set to simulate any kind of failure.