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NAF trains 145 student pilots, procures 15 platforms to facilitate training – Chief of Air Staff

Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar on Thursday said that the Nigerian Air Force (NAF) 401 Flying School has trained  145 student pilots from 2015 to date.

Speaking at the graduation of student pilots course 46 at the school located at the NAF base in Kaduna, Air Marshal Abubakar said that  the students of SP46 had  successfully conducted their flying training on both the Diamond 40 and Super Mushak aircraft types, which was  a positive deviation from what was obtainable in the past.

“At the inception of this administration in 2015, this flying school had only 3 Diamond 40 platforms for the conduct of flying training. That was grossly inadequate number, and the unsuitability of the platform for aerobatics and other unusual manoeuvres significantly diminished the ability of the Nigerian Air Force to conduct military flying training.”

But he explained that as of today, there were 15 platforms with a wide range of capabilities that are enabling quality training.

“This has enabled 401 Flying Training School to train a total of 145 Student Pilots from the end of 2015 to date.  Additionally, 24 Instructor Pilots and 15 UAV pilots have also been trained within the same period.

“These numbers represent the attainment of a remarkable feat that had previously eluded the Nigerian Air Force,” he said.

Abubakar noted that the addition of 114 fully trained pilots, who had done well, led to a vibrant application of air power in combating  security challenges facing the country.

According to him, the multiplier effect has been a boost especially in the Counter Terrorism and Counter Insurgency efforts in the Northeast as well as the fight against banditry in the Northwest and Northcentral regions of our country.

“I therefore use this opportunity to reiterate our total loyalty and commitment to the restoration of peace and stability to all parts of Nigeria,” he said.

The Air Chief lauded President Muhammadu Buhari  for his continuous support and belief in the ability of the Nigerian Air Force.

“Indeed, the timely provision of the much needed air assets as well as the resources to buy spares, aviation fuel and other consumables by the federal government is the most important factor that has translated into the commendable achievements recorded at this flying school,” Abubakar said.

Earlier,  Commandant of the School, Air Commodore Ahmad Idris, said the graduation of Student Pilot Course 46 on both Daimon A-40 and Super Mushk aircraft is a milestone.

“We graduated 29 student pilots of Regular Course 67 who commenced their training as Flight cadets of the Nigerian Defence Academy on 7th January, 2019. The training began with the ground academic phase which lasted for a period of 16 weeks, followed by the various stages of the flying phase.

“The flying phases include, General Handling, Circuit, Instrument Flying and Navigation on the SMK, Spins and Aerobatics were also accomplished,” he said.

Air Commodore Idris said that the whole situation would be better appreciated when one realised that the unit had to contend with other demanding tasks to accomplish this feat.

“Alongside the training of student pilots, the unit is also actively involved in airlift/VIP flights and ISR missions in support of Operation THUNDER STRIKE and Opere HADARIN DAJI against armed bandits in parts of North-West and North-Central regions,” the Commandant said.(NAN)

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