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.
J. Floyd Andrews instructs a student in the Link Trainer. PSA photo, 1949.
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.
Left: Opening of the Scripps Ranch Res Center. PSA photo, 1979. Right: PSA sign at Scripps Ranch Res. PSA photo, 1979.
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.
PSA Flight Training building at Scripps Ranch. PSA photo, 1981.
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.
PSA Simulators at Scripps Ranch. PSA photo, 1981.
PSA MD-80 simulator at Scripps Ranch. PSA photo.
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. (PSA Photo)
MD-80 cabin trainer with non-toxic smoke at Scripps Ranch. PSA photo.
The training department also was used by other airlines, generating more revenue for PSA. The simulators were sent to Charlotte with the USAir merger, and have subsequently been sold by US Airways.
US Airways closed the SAN res center in October 2001, leaving the complex vacant. The following pictures were taken on June 6, 2002, from the then-deserted center. Today, the complex is owned by Horizon Christian Fellowship and planned for redevelopment.
The final airline logo to appear on the sign at 9850 Carroll Canyon Road. In the background is the long-closed Flight Training building. 2002 photo by Kevin Trinkle.
Entering the complex off the driveway, you turn to the parking lot and pass this guard shack... (My old truck is in the background). 2002 photo by Kevin Trinkle.
Which features this sign! 2002 photo by Kevin Trinkle.
A panoramic view of the Flight Training building. The main entrance is in the center of the shot, obscured by a Eucalyptus tree. The whole complex is densely forested by Eucalyptus trees. 2002 photo by Kevin Trinkle.
The back of the Flight Training building (composite), facing Carroll Canyon Rd. 2002 photo by Kevin Trinkle.
A shot of the rest of the back of the building. This shows how they used the hills of the site and clever design to get around the two story height limit, as well as showing the driveway for trucking the simulators in (and out). 2002 photo by Kevin Trinkle.
The first building at the Scripps complex, the reservations center. This is looking at the southeast side of the building (the res building was built at an angle to Carroll Canyon Road). On the left corner of both this side and the southwest side were lighted PSA logos - one was visible from I-15, passing below. 2002 photo by Kevin Trinkle.
The southwest side of the res center, facing I-15. 2002 photo by Kevin Trinkle.
The south side of the building, taken from the same panorama as the shot above in 1979. The trees have grown in very nicely. 2002 photo by Kevin Trinkle.
The southeast side, with the darker stain under the old PSA logo still intact. 2002 photo by Kevin Trinkle.