Conversion for Aermacchi M-346 Instructors

Photo by: Gui Ashash

Conversion for Aermacchi M-346 Instructors

Photo by: Gui Ashash

The fourth conversion workshop for the new Aermacchi M-346 instructors began earlier this week. During three intensive weeks, the experienced instructors return to school to learn all about the new IAF Jet trainer

Noa Fenigstein | Translation: Liran Ackerman

The “Mandatory Checkups” document is a well-known paper. Each pilot, weapon systems operator and flight engineer must know it backwards and forwards.

Last week, experienced fighter pilots, including reservists, returned to the classrooms of the IAF Flight School and studied once again all about the “Mandatory Checkups”. The lesson is a part of a conversion workshop aimed to turn “Skyhawk A-4” instructors into Aermacchi M-346 (“Lavi”) instructors.
“Leaving their families and work behind, experienced instructors are suddenly pushed back in time for three weeks of intensive conversion process, during which they sleep and eat in the airbase. This is not an easy process”, Explained Captain K, Commander of the “Lavi” training center. “The conversion workshop is the gateway for those who wish to join the ‘Lavi’ enterprise and everybody is highly motivated”.

It’s all about that Jet
The workshop is divided into three parts: During the first week, they study the structure of the jet, the second week is dedicated for studying the avionic systems of the jet and during the third week, the pilots conducts full sorties, focusing on emergencies including the “Mandatory Checkups”.
The process takes place almost entirely in the “Lavi” training center at Hatzerim Airbase, which is equipped with advanced simulators, instructional programs and smaller simulators.

The more complicated lessons are taught by the “Lavi” simulator instructors, who learnt all there is to know about the jet before it arrived in Israel.
“When it comes to instructing, it is much more challenging to teach an instructor then a pilot cadet – the learning material are much different and we have to deal with criticizing and experienced people”, said Sergeant Stav Pinto, a simulator instructor in the center. “We must know the material inside and out”.

The first M-346 aircrafts landed in Hatzerim Airbase last July and brought a new training approach intended to dramatically change the training course of fighter jets pilots and weapon systems operators and even shorten it.

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