“We practiced instrument landing, in which we had to land in severe weater”
The sortie took place in the skies of Romania, Bulgaria and Greece A long-distance flight of the new C-130J was completed successfully last week. This flight is important for the development of the squadron’s flight tactics and its ability to fly anywhere
Shani Poms | Translation: Eden Sharon
The C-130J “Shimshon” heavy transport aircraft completed one of its first long-distance flights last week. The sortie took place in the skies of Romania, Bulgaria and Greece.
“The ability to fly abroad is vital for us as a transport squadron”, says Major Roee, Commander of weapon systems operators department at the “Elephants” squadron whose in charge of developing its military tactics for long-distance flights. “The practice went very well and it gives us confidence towards our official operational activation”.
The transport squadrons of the IAF frequently operate outside the borders of Israel, sometimes in confidential operations and mostly for humanitarian aid all over the world. “We practiced instrument landing, in which we had to land in severe weather. Flying abroad allows us to become more familiar with international transportation and to land in foreign airports, while dealing with the European cold weather and high mountains on the way. Our aircraft can be required from the very moment of our operational activation”.
Highly Important Flight
Practicing flying abroad is highly complex and the technological capabilities of the C-130J is of great assistance to the aircrews.
“First of all, the C-130J is economical and long-distance flights are all about the fuel. The aircraft can fly in high altitudes, and the higher it gets, the less fuel is needed”, says Major Roee. “When flying abroad, the cockpit crew has to be very concentrated and the systems of the airplane help: The autopilot system controls the flight path, fuel control system indicates any deviation and other systems prevent close flight near other airplanes and ground”.
This is not the first long-distance flight for the squadron. The aircrews of the “Elephants” squadron flew the C-130J number 662 from the US to Israel themselves. Nonetheless, this flight is very important and involved meticulous planning. “This flight integrates our entire work since the transfer flight”, determines Major Roee. “We all flew dozens of times abroad, but we want to constitute the best flight tactics for the next C-130J pilots”.