King Air Planes
Tactical navigation at low altitudes is used mostly by the Heavy Transport Division
“The exercises that include more challenging and extreme scenarios also improve the ability to perform routine flights”
Tracing the flight path based on the geographic features
Two-way radio navigation—out. Maps and compasses— in. Intelligence squadrons operating out of Sde-Dov airbase, practiced low-altitude tactical flights above the sandy landscape of Ouvda without advanced navigation two-way radios. How did they do it?
Aircrews from the “First” and the “Kings of the Air” squadrons from Sde-Dov airbase are already quite familiar with the Israeli landscape: their main missions are patrolling and collecting intelligence and they take part in many flights all over Israel in order to provide intelligence. But this time, the aircrews took off to Ouvda airbase, as part of slightly different workshop: they were required to operate in the air without their sophisticated navigation devices.
As such, the aircrews found themselves relying on maps, compasses, and landmarks such as roads and rivers. When they took to the air, they tried to utilize all these means and to determine the flight path using geographic features located far beneath them.
“The goal of the training exercise is to reinforce the basics such as flying formations, navigation and landing on short landing airstrips. The exercises that include more challenging and extreme scenarios also improve the ability to perform routine flights”, explains First Lieutenant Uri, an aircrew officer in the “First” squadron, who led the training exercise together with First Lieutenant Ophir.
Tactical navigation at low altitudes is used mostly by the heavy transport squadrons and does not constitute part of the missions regularly performed by the “King Air” type which the two squadrons from Sde- Dov airbase operate.
“The missions we practiced are more typical of Hercules and Boeing 707 planes and so another goal of the training exercise is to prepare the aircrews for the possibility that they will go on to fly these planes one day”, adds First Lieutenant Uri.