IAF changes helicopter pilot training programmes
The Israeli Air Force (IAF) Flight Academy has united its training programmes for transport and combat helicopter pilots, the IAF announced on 8 February.
The change will see the classification of helicopter pilots to the transport and combat divisions performed upon graduation from the IAF Flight Academy, rather than at the beginning of the advanced stage of their training as was previously the case.
Until now, the transport division cadets have trained on the 'Yanshuf' (Black Hawk) while the combat helicopter division's training programme was performed on the 'Sayfan' (Bell 206). Now all helicopter pilots in the advanced stage of training will fly the Yanshuf until the integration of a new instruction helicopter.
The IAF expects the new system to graduate pilots at a higher level. Training on the Yanshuf will also help deal with the transition of combat pilots between the Sayfan and the AH-64 Apache and AH-64D Apache Longbow – cadets were training on an outdated platform and moving onto very complex helicopters with advanced operational systems.
Lt Col Matan, Commander of the Helicopter Division at the academy, said: 'The first stage of training checks who can be a helicopter pilot and in the advanced stage we teach the cadets how to become helicopter pilots.
'When the cadets will complete their training and arrive at the operational combat helicopter squadrons, they will have better foundations, because among other things, the Yanshuf and Apache helicopter have similar characteristics.'The advanced combat helicopter training squadron will be re-opened in about three years upon the arrival of a new instruction helicopter in 2020. This will be followed by the establishment of a designated simulator and the development of an instruction concept for helicopter pilots.
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