|Pilatus PC-Mk-II at Aero India 2013. Photo Credit: Vijainder K Thakur|
The first Pilots' course to be trained on the Pilatus PC-7 MkII commenced at the Air Force Academy at Dundigal, Hyderabad on July 8, 2013 with 14 PC-7 Mk IIs. Additional aircraft are being flown in every month under the accelerated delivery schedule.
The course is ahead of schedule, with the fleet, which now comprises 18 aircraft, having logged 3000 flight hours and nearly 5600 landings by the end of August.
Usually, because of the monsoons, the course that starts in July is behind schedule during the initial 2-3 months.
All 75 aircraft expected to be delivered by mid-2015.
Since the grounding of the HPT-32 following a crash on July 28, 2009, basic flying training was being imparted using the jet engined Kiran Mk-1 basic trainers. Pilatus PC-7 MkII is powered by a turboprop engine.
The course started with more than 80 cadets, only some of whom are being trained using the Pilatus PC-7.
The Pilatus was formally inducted into the IAF on May 31, 2013, at a ceremony at the Air Force Academy (AFA) at Dundigal, Hyderabad by the Raksha Rajya Mantri.
The first batch of PC-7 Mk II arrived at the Academy in February 2013 as a part of accelerated induction plan.
By the end of 2014, all elementary flying training will be done on the PC-7 Mk-II and Kiran aircraft would be used exclusively for Stage II training of cadets.
For additional details on the IAF's Pilatus acquisition please visit the link below.
Pilatus PC-7 Mk II Basic Trainer for IAF - IDP Sentinel