20 Februari 2016
FA-50PH role of escorting the President (photo : Katropa DWDD)
Pilot training for aircrews tasked to man the country’s brand-new FA-50PH “Fighting Eagle” light interim fighter aircraft has been going smoothly. This was stressed by Philippine Air Force (PAF) spokesperson Col. Enrico Canaya in an interview Wednesday.
“Our pilots [undergoing FA-50PH training] are now gaining proficiency [with the aircraft] as they are now regularly flying it,” he added.
Canaya expects the training phase to accelerate once two more FA-50PHs are delivered within the latter part of 2016. Remaining eight jets are scheduled to be delivered on staggered basis within eight months after delivery of third and fourth units.
“Once the additional aircraft arrives, we will train more pilots,” he added.
Prior the delivery of the first two FA-50PH jet aircraft last Nov. 28, four PAF fighter pilots, with high jet time, were sent to South Korea to undergo training in the Korea Aerospace Industries (KAI)-made aircraft.
Two of these are test pilots while the other two operational or squadron pilots.
The PAF has a 12-plane FA-50PH order with KAI worth PHP18.9 billion. This is a full squadron by Philippine standards.