IAF begins Pilatus PC-7 Mk II basic flight training course
Pilatus Aircraft Ltd has recently announced that the first Indian Air Force basic flight training course using the PC-7 Mk II aircraft commenced, as planned, on July 8, 2013, at the Indian Air Force Academy at Dundigal, Hyderabad.
The Indian Air Force, the Indian Ministry of Defence and Pilatus have achieved this long-awaited and significant milestone as promised and on time.
More than 80 cadets will participate in this first training course. The resumption in basic flight training was achieved following delivery of the 14th PC-7 Mk II trainer aircraft in June 2013, within 14 months after contract was signed.
In parallel, Pilatus has also provided training to Indian Air Force maintenance personnel and instruc- tor pilots and has delivered a complete logistics support package.
The PC-7 Mk II aircraft would be used for basic training of all pilots of the Indian Air Force, in addition to the pilots of the Indian Navy and the Coast Guard. Till now this role was performed by the reliable but ageing workhorse, the HJT-16 Kiran aircraft. Ready to receive the new basic trainer that will bring in a much awaited augmentation of IAF’s training capacity, a comprehensive infrastructure upgrade is already underway at the Air Force Academy.
A total of 75 aircraft have been contracted from Pilatus, Switzerland. The procurement of PC-7 Mk II was approved by the government in May 2012 and the first batch of PC-7 Mk II arrived at the Academy in February this year as part of an accelerated induction plan. The first batch of flight cadets would start their training on PC-7 Mk II from July onwards.