By Li Yun and Ci Shanyu
GUANGZHOU, Oct. 9 — China has preliminarily possessed the capability of full-time training of carrier-borne fighter pilots, said Wang Yong, the 23rd carrier-borne fighter pilot of the Chinese Navy and head of a training group under the PLA Naval Aviation University,at the 13th China International Aviation & Aerospace Exhibition (Airshow China).
According to him, China has completed the certifications of day-and-night deck-landing qualification for carrier-borne fighter pilots, realized multiple fighter sorties in batches, and successfully established a dual-track pilots development mode combining the training of trained pilots and high school recruits.
Wang said that the training of carrier-borne fighter pilots has been regarded as an important matter of advancing the transformation and construction of the Chinese Navy. As he recalled, China’s second aircraft carrier completed its first maritime test mission on April 12, 2018, which marked the construction and development of the aircraft carrier entered an acceleration period, and the need to train the carrier-borne fighter pilots on a large scale thus became imminent.
However, the training work at that time encountered the lack of instructors, training materials, standards and experience, as well as the urgent need for a complete set of professional and standardized training systems.
Wang and the flight instructor team under the PLA Naval Aviation University explored while practicing, and gradually found the clear training program for carrier-borne fighter flight talents. Thus, China’s first batch of carrier-borne fighter pilots independently trained by Chinese academies successfully obtained the flight qualification within a year.
It is learnt that China has begun to train the carrier-borne fighter pilots directly recruited from high schools since 2019. “This kind of training mode can greatly shorten the talents training cycle, and effectively increase the pilots’ carrier-based flight work life,” Wang said. But this is also fresh new for them, since the pilot cadets are all novices without any flight experience.
To this end, with the instructor team of the PLA Naval Aviation University comprehensively adjusting and optimizing the training elements, a dual-track pilot development mode combining the training of trained pilots and high school recruits gradually came into being in over a year. The first batch of carrier-borne fighter pilots trained from these novices obtained the deck-landing qualification certifications in November 2020.
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