Up, Up and Away for Prefect – The 1st Student Goes Solo
Another first for UKMFTS Elementary Flying Training (EFT) occurred this week at RAF Barkston Heath. On 15 May 18 the first solo in the Prefect, the Tutor replacement under the updated Military Flying Training System, took place. The first of his course, which is also the first student course in Prefect EFT, safely landed after 1 circuit of the airfield. Significantly more powerful than Tutor, and with retractable undercarriage, the Prefect is a step change in the ability to train student pilots; in spite of this he coped well with the demands of flying this high-performance aircraft on his own for the first time.
After safely landing his first solo sortie the student said “Flying the Prefect solo for the first time is a very exciting moment in my flying career. The learning curve for everybody on the course has been steep, but the excellent quality of instruction and ground-based training equipment has been invaluable in enabling us to meet the high standards expected in the air. I am very much looking forward to the additional solo sorties approaching in the more advanced elements of the course”
The Ascent General Manager for Cranwell said “The first solo flight of Elementary Flying Training students in the Prefect at RAF Barkston Heath is a momentous occasion for UKMFTS. It marks a significant milestone for Ascent and the MOD and is the result of an exceptional amount of hard work by all the UKMFTS partners. Ascent and military personnel, including QFIs, training, operations and business support staff, have worked tirelessly since the start of Prefect operations last August to get to this point, and can be justifiably proud of the part they have all played in enabling the UK military pilots of the future to succeed within the new flying training system.”