Zambia: The Zambia Air Force (ZAF) Commander, Lt Gen Colin Barry, Wednesday morning took time to visit the Flying Training School (FTS) in Livingstone and took part in a flight safety training exercise involving the SF260 TW pilot trainer aircraft.
The Air Force Commander, who led from the front, flew and performed intense gut-churning maneuvers on the SF260 trainer Aircraft, tearing the calm but parching hot Livingstone skies.
Speaking after the training exercise, Lt Gen Barry said it was important that these safety exercises are carried out regularly in order to ensure that the pilots are capable of safe recovery in the event of an emergency.
He mentioned that flight safety was a crucial element of aviation and must not be overlooked as it ensured safer skies.
Lt Gen Barry paid tribute to all the supporting Departments for ensuring that the Air Force conducted its core business, which is flying.
He pointed out that the improved incident free flying hours was proof of the hard work being implemented by FTS.
Gen Barry stressed that for an Air Force to continue to evolve and modernize, flight safety played a crucial role, and its standards could not be compromised.
He said the Air Force is supposed to be active in order to achieve combat readiness and capability, which is through training.
The Air Force Commander added, “Safety flight exercise subjects pilots to intense conditions as they are forced to endure as much as four times the gravitational pull during some of the manoeuvres performed. Therefore, the importance of such training can never be over-emphasized.”
Meanwhile, Air Officer Commanding Training Command, Brig Gen Kisho Moono, thanked the Air Force Commander for visiting FTS and taking a leading role in the exercise. He said the Commander’s visit showed the importance Command placed on the safety standards within the Air Force, which translated into improved professionalism by all personnel.
Speaking at the same event, ZAF Livingstone Station Commander, Col Like Like, said the exercise was part of efforts to continue improving the overall training of FTS pilots, saying the participation of the Commander was not only memorable but morale boosting to the School.
FTS Commanding Officer, Lt Col Paul Besa, said that exercises like the one undertaken today, as well as many others such as night flying ones, were a testament to the unprecedented high level of training taking place within the Air Force. He thanked Command for the unwavering support, which he said could be seen in the high competence and morale of the student pilots and personnel at FTS.
Zambia Air Force Commander is in Livingstone on a working visit to participate in the local activities such as safety flying exercises which the School is currently undertaking. Such exercises are part of Air Force training activities and instil a safety-centric mindset in trainees, equipping them with the skills and knowledge to avoid potential risks and prevent accidents.