The Royal Navy Jetstream T2 has been flown by 750 Naval Air Squadron (in the Observer training role since 1978) and its final sortie was completed on 14 Mar 2011 with a visit to Cobham Aviation at Bournemouth. The Jetstream was positioned alongside its successor, the King Air 350ER Avenger, to mark not only the change of aircraft type, but also the introduction of Rear Crew Training (RCT) delivered by Ascent under UKMFTS.
Whilst the Avenger will have a similar role as the Jetstream, the equipment on board is fully up to date and represents a leap in technology from its predecessor. The aircraft avionics incorporate modern “glass cockpit” technology, but more importantly the computerised training suite for RCT students includes a touch screen and cursor controlled system, the Tactical Mission Trainer, linked to a modern radar. This advancement fills the previous technology gap between the Jetstream’s Observer station and that on operational helicopters such as the Merlin.
Lt Cdr Nick Armstrong, Commanding Officer 750 NAS, led his crew in commemorating the Jetstream and welcoming both the new aircraft and new training system. He was joined by his Senior Observer Instructor, Lt Cdr Danny Daniell, and Senior Pilot, Lt Cdr Si Kirkham. Through the partnership principle of UKMFTS the role of Senior Pilot will be taken up by Ascent’s King Air Chief Pilot, Graham Weedon.
The Avenger fleet of 4 aircraft is due to arrive at RNAS Culdrose in Cornwall in June 2011, with flying activities to follow in July. With staff training complete the first RCT course will begin on 4 Oct 2011. RCT will be delivered by Ascent staff working alongside their Royal Navy counterparts, within the framework of 750 NAS.
Posted on: 14/03/11