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Air Force: Training

Volume 476: debated on Monday 2 June 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many hours of training were required for those flying (a) fast jets, (b) transport aircraft and (c) helicopters in the RAF in each year since 2003. (199451)

I will write to the hon. Member with the information requested and place a copy of my letter in the Library of the House.

Substantive answer from Bob Ainsworth to Liam Fox:

I undertook to write to you in answer to your Parliamentary Question on 21 April 2008, (Official Report, column 1638W) about the number of hours training required for those flying fast jets, transport aircraft and helicopters in each year since 2003.

Aircrew are monitored for competency levels throughout their flying career and training continues for Front Line aircrew after the initial award of Combat Ready status. Aircrew undertake regular flying practice and undergo periodic assessment by an appropriate examining body. The average hours of pilot training each year are shown in the table below.

There has been no significant variation in these figures over the period in question. All figures in the table are approximate and are rounded to the nearest five.

Type of aircraft/helicopter

Average hours of pilot flying training allocated each year

Fast Jets

210

Transport aircraft

290

Puma, Merlin and Chinook helicopters

240

Sea King helicopters

90

The hours for Hawk training aircraft and contracted helicopters such as the Squirrel and Griffin have not been included.