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US pilots training IAF rookies

Indo-US cooperation in defence has reached a stage beyond joint exercises and now pilots of the US Air Force are instructing trainee pilots of the Indian Air Force.

india Updated: Mar 26, 2006 03:18 IST

Indo-US cooperation in defence has reached a stage beyond joint exercises and now pilots of the US Air Force are instructing trainee pilots of the Indian Air Force at Air Force Academy and vice versa.

Air Marshal A.K. Singh, Air Officer Commanding-in-Chief, Western Air Command, confirmed to HT on Saturday that US Air Force officers were indeed training Indian pilots. He also revealed that IAF instructors also go to US to train US pilots on a similar basis. “The US pilots first do a conversion training on Indian aircraft used to train flight cadets and this conversion is done at Tambaram air base,” Air Marshal Singh said.

According to information available with HT, there is at least one US Air Force pilot in the Air Force Academy imparting flying training to cadets.

Earlier, interacting with the media before an air show, Air Marshal Singh said he wasn’t averse to inquiry reports into various crashes of IAF aircraft being made public as long as there was no sensitive information involved.

On the proposed induction of Advanced Jet Trainers into the service, he said there would certainly be a quantum jump in the aulity of training imparted to pilots. On whether there would be a reduction in the number of accidents after the induction of new trainers, the AOC-in-C said he certainly hoped so.

First Published: Mar 26, 2006 03:18 IST