Pilatus PC-21 Begins Flight Operations at General Air Academy
(Source: Spanish Air Force; issued Sept. 29, 2021)
(Unofficial translation by Defense-Aerospace.com)
Two weeks after receiving the first two Pilatus PC-21 it has ordered, the Spanish Air Force’s General Air Academy has complete acceptance procedures and has begun to operate them on pilot training flights. (Spanish AF photo)
On September 17, the General Air Academy (AGA) transferred the first two Pilatus PC-21 (E.27) aircraft to the Air Force, once the acceptance tests at destination had been passed. carried out by personnel from the Armament and Experimentation Logistics Center (CLAEX) and the company Pilatus Ltd.

On September 28 at 12:00 hours the first training flight of the integrated training system (ITS) took off from the San Javier Air Base, piloted by a crew made up exclusively of Air Force pilots, since all flights previously carried out had been attended by an instructor from the Swiss company.

At the controls of the E-27-02 with callsign ‘Arpón-01’, Captains David González and Marcos Delgado, belonging to the 792 Squadron, were flying a little over an hour. The mission consisted of a visual flight to one of the sectors of the R-63, where various acrobatic maneuvers, losses, spins and visual traffic were carried out.

The purpose of these initial flights is for the pilots who have completed the flight course in Switzerland to gain experience and confidence in the new weapons system, and to begin the development of the final operations manuals and instruction and training plans. These will be applied during the transition of flight teachers from E.25 (CASA C.101) to E.27 and to students in the basic flight course 2022-23.

The colonel director of the AGA, together with the deputy director of studies and chief of air forces, dismissed the plane from the platform in what constitutes a new milestone in the process of implementing this new training system.

In order to combine the air activity in the AGA, while the elementary flight course in the E.26 (Sieve) and the last basic flight course in the E.25 are being developed, the 792 Squadron has been temporarily activated, to which A new radio callsign, 'Harpoon', has been assigned to differentiate it from the rest of the teaching missions. When the E.27 definitively replaces the E.25 in summer 2022, the 792 Squadron will be deactivated, passing the E.27 fleet to equip the 793, in order to continue with the important mission assigned to the AGA of forming the future Air Force pilots. At that time, the Pilatus PC-21s will fly using the traditional and well-known callsign 'Mirlo'.

Although there is a long way to go until the ITS is at full capacity, this first flight represents the first step in a project that, without a doubt, will mean a before and after in the Army's aeronautical training. from air.

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