RECRUITMENT - AIRCREW - PILOT OR NAVIGATOR - PILOT TRAINING
The following subjects will be presented:
- Electronic warefare
Pupil pilots will be required to master a side-by-side trainer and the Pilatus PC-7 Mk II, including:
- Simulation exercises
- General flying
- Instrument flying
- Navigational flying
- Night flying
Ground School and Flying PhaseInitial basic flying training has been outsourced to an external service provider, which conducts side-by-side pilot training. On completion of this phase, successful pupil pilots will qualify for a Private Pilots Licence (PPL) and continue with their training at the entral Flying School at Air Force Base Langebaanweg.
It is during this second stage that the pupil pilot is introduced to the Pilatus PC-7 Mk II Astra. Ground training includes every aspect of flight instruction and makes extensive use of computer based training. A Cockpit Procedural Trainer (CPT) is also used in conjunction with the PC-7 Mk II. Although some 'pupes' may already have a private pilot's license, all are treated as if they have had no previous experience.
The course has been based upon that conducted by the RAF with the Shorts Tucano, adjusted to suite South African conditions. Pupil pilots will be required to master the Pilatus PC7 MkII trainer.
The course is designed to lead the student through all aspects of flight operations, with ten sections to be mastered. These include formation, high, low level and night flying. The student/instructor ratio is 2:1 during the flying phase. In spite of the demanding syllabus, approximately 75% of the students selected graduate.
Pupil pilots qualify after a period of approximately 2 years and 7 months of training, of which approximately 65 flying hours are spent on side-by-side trainer aircraft and 110 flying hours on the PC-7 Mk II. Both pilot and navigator courses are completed at the same time when the Pupil Pilots and Learner Navigators receive their wings at the same time with due pomp and ceremony.
On completion of the flying phase, a selection board will be convened to determine in which line function a pilot will be utilised, namely: Combat line, Rotorary Wing line or Transport line (including maritime).
Criteria used for the allocation of pilots to various line functions:
- Need of the Air Force
- Results and achievements on course
- Own preference
- Recommendation by flying instructor
- Fighter line - 85 Combat Flying School
- Transport line - 41 Sqn
- Helicopter line - Ab-initio training at a private contractor, then to 87 Helicopter Flying School.
Advanced Flying Training
After graduation, pilots selected for combat training are assigned
to 85 Combat Flying School, AFB Hoedspruit, for the basic jet conversion
Pilots destined to fly helicopters or transports receive instruction
with 87 Helicopter Flying School at AFB Bloemspruit (with basic helicopter
training performed at Starlite Aviation in Durban) and 41 Squadron
at AFB Waterkloof respectively.
The Fighter Orientation Course (FOC) lasts seven months during which the two-seat Hawk is used. Phase One and Two involves conversion to the Hawk, general, instrument, close formation, night flying and medium and low level navigation (three months and 38 hours).
Phase Three is the introduction to basic fighter flying and includes
a tactical phase (battle formation, low and medium level tactical
flying, pre-planned strike and photo reconnaissance), a weapons phase
(bombs, 30mm cannon) and an air warfare phase (fighter manoeuvres
and air-to-air firing) (three months and 35 hours).
On completion of this FOC, students will be re-assessed and then either be recommended for instructors course or to gain further experience and return for flight leaders course after 3 years as an instructor or to continue on the consolidation phase prior to the flight leaders course. After a period of 9 months, the selected candidates should be ready to start the next level of training.
Operational Training Course
The phase consists of a further 117 hours over a period of six months.
The phase consists of a further 200 hours over a period of twelve months.
Flight Leaders Course
During the three month (40 hour) flight leader's course, very little
theory training is done and it is expected of the student to give
lectures and briefings, on which leadership, squadron operation and
management is assessed.
During the Tactical Phase, all aspects of tactical flying and weapons
delivery are covered, concentrating on leadership aspects. All aspects
of single and multiple air combat and leadership aspects are specifically
emphasised and assessed during the Air Warfare Phase.
After this course, pilots are once again assessed for maturity and suitability and after another consolidation phase will be routed to a high speed fighter unit for further training or instructors course at the flying school.
Strike Leaders Course
This course consists of 20 hours over one month.
Instructor Qualified Pilots
These candidates follow the same route as above to the Flight Leaders
consolidation phase. On completion of this phase, these candidates
will do a basic fighter instructor course. This course runs in conjunction
with an FOC on which these candidates will give instruction and lectures.
The Instructos conversion course lasts 3 months and covers 38 hours.
After completion of this phase, the pilot will serve an instructional tour at 85 CFS of between 2 and 5 years.
Pilot Attack Instructors Course
This course consists of 25 hours over one month.