Aviation Regiment eyes drills

FORT MAGSAYSAY, Nueva Ecija — The Army Aviation Regiment is eyeing to train six soldiers from various units of the Philippine army as pilots for the branch of the Armed Forces of the Philippines.

AFP Chief of Staff Lieutenant General Bartolome Vicente Bacarro said that the Philippine Army opened the Rotary Wing Aviator Qualification Course in Fort Magsaysay, which will provide the necessary training for the six soldiers to become full-fledged pilots.

Bacarro said that the course would help in further improving the capacity of the regiment and the AFP — particularly in providing logistical support in operations such as medical, light attack capability, aerial inspection and others.

This is the first time that aspiring aviators take the Rotary Wing course directly without the need to undertake the Fixed Wing Course.

According to Aviation School Center Commandant Major Jonathan Ramirez, a total of 17 soldiers have already applied and wished to become pilots, but only six passed the rigorous examination, medical and deliberation.

He added that the course will take five to six months of training for the aspiring aviators before they could pilot the Robinsons R44 Clipper II helicopter as their primary aircraft.

The six aspiring aviators need to pass the two segments of the course wherein one is the ground phase or the lecture regarding the piloting of the aircraft before they could go to the flight phase or the application of the training thru flying, including solo flight.

Ramirez said that the training of new pilots, mechanics, and personnel are all part of the preparations for the probability of procuring more aircraft for the Philippine Army.

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