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PostPosted: 26 May 2012, 19:27 
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Joined: 26 May 2012, 18:50
Posts: 1
Hi, Im in the process of joining the SAAF *URTP unit (just completed psychometric evaluation), and I was wondering what the different musterings for the helicopter-specific area's of the SAAF are, as well as the role/job of each of these positions? I would very much like to be a helicopter crew-member (navigator or flight-engineer) although I have no idea if flight-engineers they're still utilized today, so any info concerning crew or technical support musterings specifically for helicopters would be greatly appreciated.

*The URTP unit is a part-time reserve unit made up exclusively of engineering students with the idea of boosting the SAAF's technical capabilities and officer core to eventually replace the "elderly" officers as they retire.


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PostPosted: 31 May 2012, 08:10 
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Joined: 03 Aug 2006, 18:21
Posts: 155
Location: Pretoria
Air Crew on the various SAAF helis are:

A109: Pilot, Flight Engineer
BK117: Pilot, Flight Engineer
Lynx: Pilot, Tactical Officer
Rooivalk: Pilot, Weapons Systems Officer
Oryx: Pilot, Co-Pilot, Flight Engineer

These are your basic options for helicopter aircrew. Pilots and co-pilots are trained at Langebaan with a helicopter operational conversion at Bloemfontein as per the many other threads on this forum. Flight Engineers are technical members, usually Aircraft Fitters or Avionics, who after a few years of technical experience get selected as FE. Tactical Officers and Weapons Systems Officers can be pilots or navigators who are trained by the respective squadron to fullfill the role of TO or WSO in the cockpit.

Other less known options for helicopter crew are:
Test Flight Engineer - Holds an Engineering degree (usually Elec or Mech) and completes 1 year Test Flight Engineers (same as Test Pilots) course, usually in America. Based at Bredasdorp and acts as aircrew in various aircraft cockpits for test flights as required.
Aerial Photographer - SAAF trained photographer that flies with on various aircraft from time to time for photography purposes.
MSAR (Mountain Search and Rescue) - Civilian members volunteering. Training is done by Mountain Club of South Africa and when you reach a certain level of competency, you are allowed on the heli-rescue team. Trains about once a month with the SAAF chopper squadron in their area and responds to rescues when needed. Although not technically classified as aircrew, they work very closely with the aircrew in and out of the heli and are highly professional.

Although I did not directly answer your question, perhaps you will find some useful info in this post.


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