Initial Training For Combat Readiness Turkish Air Force Pilot Training Program

Date: Issue 105 - April 2021

Well-trained personnel are an indispensable necessity for a strong Air Force as much as modern aircraft and munitions. The Turkish Air Force (TurAF) meets its personnel needs with the Pilot Training System, which is implemented according to NATO and U.S. Air Force standards. The first step of this system is the Air Force Academy (Hava Harp Okulu/HHO). During their education period, cadets of the Air Force Academy receive Applied Flight Training in addition to their academic and military lessons. With the help of this training, cadets improve their knowledge and skills about aviation. Flight Training, which is planned and controlled by the Wing Command, is conducted under the supervision of the *5th Squadron Command  and it is executed via highly experienced instructor pilots who have served in different bases of the Turkish Air Force for many years. While acquiring the principles and dynamics of basic flight within the content of light training, cadets enhance their knowledge in real flying conditions in T- 41D planes of the *5th Squadron, and they increase their skill levels intended for piloting training. In parallel to the recurrent flight training in every academic year, cadets also receive meteorology, flight physiology, radio communication, GPS, flight planning, and cartography courses as part of the ground training. Additionally, the Air Force Academy cadets are given glider courses by the flight instructors from the Turkish Aeronautical Association (THK) at Yalova airfield during the summer term.

Young Lieutenants who graduated from the Air Force Academy and Officers from different classes who meet the necessary conditions, to fill the need for pilots that emerged after July 15, receive flight training as Pilot Candidate Officers at the 2nd Main Jet Base in İzmir Çiğli. Training is given with five different aircraft/helicopter types at the Five Squadron Command located in Çiğli and Kaklıç. Training is divided into two classes, which are ground training and flight training. Ground training has four main subjects: Aircraft Technical Training, Squadron Ground Training, Simulator Training, and Academic Training. Pilot candidates receive technical information about the aircraft they will fly at the Technical Training Center. Here, they are given information on the technical characteristics of SF-260D, KT-1T, T-38M, and CN-235 aircraft and AS-532 Cougar helicopters in the inventory of the 2nd Main Jet Base Command. The academic training is 174 hours in total, and pilot candidates receive the courses along with flight training. These academic courses consist of 44 hours of the Initial Flight Training phase, 112 hours of Basic Flight Training phase, and 18 hours of Advanced Flight Training phase.