The Australian Defence Force Basic Flying Training has celebrated 250,000 flying hours in the Pacific Aerospace CT-4B Airtrainer aircraft, a significant milestone for both the unit and the aircraft.
Operated by BAE Systems Australia, under contract to provide tri-service training at Tamworth since 1999, CT-4B aircraft average approximately 15,500 hours flying time per annum.
The 250,000 hour milestone considers all CT-4B flying since the Australian Defence Force Basic Flying Training School contract commenced in 1999.
Executive Officer of Australian Defence Force Basic Flying Training School, Squadron Leader Michael Del Mastro, said that pilot training typically consists of 62.8 flying hours focussing on basic General, Instrument, Night and Navigation flying and follows the Flight Screening Program which is also conducted on the CT-4B.
“The Flight Screening Program is a flying-based assessment of Australian Defence Force pilot candidates encompassing roughly 10 hours of flight time and is two weeks in duration,” he said.
Thirty percent of Air Force’s flying hours are conducted by Air Training Wing within Air Force Training Group.
Commander Air Force Training Group, Air Commodore Geoff Harland, said the milestone is part of a team effort between BAE Systems, AirFlite and Australian Defence Force Basic Flying Training School at Tamworth.
“This co-operation, spaning nearly 20 years, has ensured excellence in training of our pilots as they launch their careers and as we transform Air Force under Plan Jericho.
“Air Force Training Group will continue to work with its partners in all aspects of training to deliver air power for Australia through the required technical mastery to support and operate our advanced air power systems and the professional mastery to ensure that our systems are utilised to best joint effect.”
BAE Systems Aerospace Director, Steve Drury, said this achievement was a credit to everyone involved.
“Working alongside the ADF and our other partners, we are proud of our role in preparing Australia’s next military pilots; an essential stepping stone for the future capability of the country’s air power.”
The CT-4B is a two side-by-side seater, single engine, low wing, all metal monoplane with fixed tricycle undercarriage that is able to operate using Visual Flight Rules and Instrumental Flight Rules conditions. Known for its light, well balanced and responsive handling characteristics, the CT-4 is an ideal platform for basic military training.