25 Mei 2009

Navy Gets New Training Helicopter

18 Maret 2008

Robinson R22 for training (photo : pdff)

SANGLEY POINT, Cavite City – The Philippine Navy commissioned yesterday (08/10/07) a brand-new training helicopter from the United States (US) to train new pilots.

The addition of the P12.3-million R22 (Robinson) Beta II light trainer helicopter with tail number PNH 421 brought to 16 the total number of fixed wing and rotary air assets of the Naval Aviation Group (NAG).

Two Navy pilots conducted a demonstration flight of the single-engine four-cylinder PNH 421, the first of its kind in the inventory of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP).

Flag Officer in Command (FOIC) Vice Admiral Rogelio Calunsag said the light trainer helicopter was delivered direct from California to the NAG headquarters here by its supplier, Manila Aerospace Products (MAPTRA) last Sept. 21.

Calunsag said the new chopper would be used to train Navy pilots instead of the more expensive twin-engine BO-105-C helicopters with the same desired results.

“Utilizing a light helicopter as basic trainer is cost-effective. The operating cost of the twin-turbine engine helicopter is six times more than the cost on the single piston-engine helicopter, yet the same basic skills of helicopter flying can be learned. Because of its simplicty, a light helicopter is an ideal trainer for both student pilot and operator,” said Calunsag.

The idea of acquiring a basic helicopter trainer was an off-shoot of the Navy leadership’s thrust on enhancing the training capability of its units. “This will be realized through the conduct of quality training and the sustenance of training requirements,” NAG commander Capt. Jesus Millan also said.

The commissioning of PNH 421 helicopter also coincided with the NAG’s 60th Foundation Day held here, with Calunsag as guest and keynote speaker.

NAG plays a support role to the Navy’s anti-terrorism and anti-smuggling operations as well as search and rescue disaster operations by way of conducting air surveillance using its fixed wing aircraft.

The unit also conducts the Naval Aviation Officers (NAOC), a series of training activities that comprise the Navy Pilot Procurement Program to sustain a pool of readily deployable fixed wing and rotary wing pilots to address operational requirements in pursuit of its military objectives.

NAG has six helicopters and 10 BN Islander light planes.


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