The 41st School Aviation Base in Dęblin has received a certificate from the U.S. Air Force, which confirms that the Polish F-16 pilot training system on the M-346 Bielik is equivalent to the American training on the T-38 up to the IFF (Introduction for Fighter Fundamentals) level.
The Americans also recognized that it met the requirements to direct pilots for training on the F-35. The certification took place at the end of last year in Dęblin and lasted a week. “A team of several U.S. Air Force pilots representing both combat and school aviation came to us and very meticulously checked how we train,” says Maj. pil. Mariusz Fischer, instructor M-346 Bielik.
American pilots began to check the Polish training system with theoretical classes, which are carried out with future F-16 pilots. They assessed m.in didactic skills of instructors responsible for this part of the training. Then they observed training on the M-346 flight simulator and all stages of training in the air – mission planning, briefing, task in the air and debriefing.
“The Americans also assessed our infrastructure in terms of its functionality, the number of available aircraft and simulators. The training documentation and the flight safety system were also analyzed,” explains Major Fischer. – Each element was assessed in great detail – adds the instructor.
The conclusions of the Americans’ analyses were positive. “We have met the requirements set by the United States for the training of pilots of the fourth and fifth generation aircraft. This is a huge success of our staff – admits the M-346 instructor. The Americans also rated the M-346 aircraft very highly. “Our allies also gave us high marks for training documentation and instructor skills.
The element that needs improvement is the number of simulators. These are very modern devices, but an inadequate number of them to the fleet of aircraft acquired under the contract may have an impact on maintaining the planned rhythm of training. Acquiring an additional simulator seems necessary in order to achieve the required system bandwidth – adds Major Fischer.
Certification of the training system on Bieliki is a milestone in the construction of a system for educating pilots of combat aircraft, because at least some of the future pilots will be able to train in Poland, and not as before – overseas. It is also a chance for Dęblin – i.e. the 41st School Aviation Base and the Military Aviation Academy – to become a training center for pilots from countries from our part of Europe, such as Slovakia, Bulgaria, Romania, and perhaps Ukraine.
Thanks to the certificate, countries that do not plan to expand their own training infrastructure will be able to train pilots in Poland. – We have something to boast about. M-346 is one of those flight training systems that are characterized by high efficiency, reliability and safety. We are able to effectively and comprehensively prepare pilots to perform tasks on modern combat platforms – says Major Mariusz Fischer. “Of course, our priority is to develop and secure our own training needs. But I am sure that in the near future we will use our infrastructure and skills to train pilots from other countries – adds the instructor.