PAF expects 4 new trainer aircraft this month
Air Force officers who have yet to take actual flying courses may have their chance soon with the expected delivery of four new aircraft to the Philippine Air Force (PAF) this month.
The four SF-260F Marchetti will be a boost to the training capability of the Air Force, which has only about 20 trainer aircraft in its inventory at present, said PAF spokesman Lt. Col. Miguel Ernesto Okol on Sunday.
“Hopefully this month, four will be delivered …We are still waiting for the final word on when this will be received,” Okol said.
The four aircraft is part of the 18 propeller-type aircraft that PAF is acquiring from Italy through the military’s modernization program. The 14 other units, Okol said, will be delivered in the coming months.
Lack in trainer aircraft has caused at least 150 to 170 Air Force officers to line up for an actual flying course. Prior to their formal commissioning into PAF, these officers are only exposed to simulators and given education on aerodynamics and other flight-related lessons.
After entering the Air Force, Okol said these officers wait their turn for the actual flying course. While waiting, they take up courses on various fields, including aircraft maintenance and logistics while some enroll in intelligence course.
“Some are into intelligence, some already have in-depth skills on computers, radars, maintenance. Some become logistics officers and they become well-rounded. So their time while waiting (for flying course) is not wasted,” Okol said.
Okol said the arrival of the four aircraft “would start the phasing in of officers and this will speed up the process, this would definitely speed up the process.”