The Flying Training School (FTS) is the squadron within the Air Corps responsible for the training and education of all Air Corps cadets. The school’s primary role is to conduct initial flying and officer training for cadets, its secondary role is to meet all operational tasks as requested by the General Officer Commanding (GOC) the Air Corps, including the development of its armed response capability in both the Air-to-Air and Air-to-Ground role. Along with the Cadet Wings Course, the school also conducts instructor training, weapons training and air tactics training.
What We Fly
The Pilatus PC-9M aircraft, manufactured in Switzerland, is used for all flying training and operational tasks. The PC-9M is a modern tandem seat turbo-prop trainer with impressive performance figures including a top speed of 590km/hr and the ability to sustain 7'g.
Military Pilot Wings Course
The objective of the Wings Course is to train a student with zero flying experience to the standard required for the award of military pilot wings. The duration of a wings course is 15 months, and incorporates an intensive ground and flying training program.
The Wings Course ground training covers a variety of aviation related subjects and ensures students theoretical knowledge levels are at the standard required for recognition by the Irish Aviation Authority (IAA) of Airline Transport Pilots Licence (ATPL) knowledge.
What You Will Learn:
- Principles of Flight
- Human Performance and Limitations
- General Navigation
- Air Law
- Airframes and Aircraft Systems
- Electrics and Electronics
- Mass and Balance
- Aircraft Performance
- Flight Planning and Monitoring
- Operational Procedures
In tandem with this ground school syllabus, cadets are also instructed in a variety of other subjects relating to their training as officers and future leaders within the Defence Forces.
Flying Training. The Wings Course flying program is broken down into three separate phases each culminating with a flight test to ensure required standards are being achieved and exceeded.
The Elementary Phase
Before students are ready to learn to fly they must first complete a computer based training program covering all technical and operational aspects of the PC-9M aircraft. Once the computer based training is completed, the cadets progress to conducting flying sorties on the PC-9M simulator before flying the actual aircraft. The elementary phase starts with the very basics of flying and builds from here to culminate with the Elementary Handling Test (EHT) where students will demonstrate their newly acquired skills by performing a series of exercises including an aerobatic display.
The Basic Phase
Students move from the elementary phase to the basic phase where flying skills are further developed and new disciplines are introduced, such as instrument flying, visual navigation and night flying. This stage culminates with the Instrument Rating Test (IRT) where students demonstrate their proficiency at flying the aircraft solely by reference to the instruments within the cockpit.
The Advanced Phase
The advanced phase builds on disciplines previously learned and also, introduces and combines a tactical element to all disciplines. During this phase students are introduced to formation flying, where not only do they learn how to fly in close formation as a member of a team; they also learn how to act as leader of a formation. The advanced phase incorporates a Basic Handling Test (BHT) and Final Navigation Test (FNT), which entitles the student to a basic aircraft rating. In order to receive military pilot wings the students must pass the Final Handling Test (FHT); this test requires students to assume command of a tactical formation as part of a military training exercise.