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Military Aircraft: Training

Volume 487: debated on Thursday 12 February 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how much training Royal Air Force (a) navigators and (b) flight engineers receive for their performance of those roles each year. (254921)

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. The majority of flying training is achieved during routine flying hours and all flying tasks include an element of aircrew training; therefore it is not possible to show average flying training hours separately. All aircrew undertake regular periodic assessment by an appropriate examining body.

Multi-engine aircraft, Hercules C130K, VC10, Sentry, Sentinel R1, Nimrod R1, Nimrod MR2, have both Weapons System Officers (Navigator) (WSO(Nav)) and Flight Engineers as part of their crew. Tristar aircraft have only Flight Engineers. Figures for the average hours of flying for crews of the Sentinel R1 aircraft are not provided as the aircraft came into service only in November 2008. All figures in the table have been rounded to the nearest five.

Type of aircraft

Average hours of flying for crews in financial year 2007-08

Hercules C130K






Sentinel Rl


Nimrod Rl


Nimrod MR2




1 Not available.

Fast jet aircraft in the RAF fleet which have Navigators are shown in the following table. The allocated number of flying hours per crew flown in financial year 2007-08 is shown in the following table.

Type of aircraft

Allocated hours of flying for crews in financial year 2007-08

Tornado GR4


Tornado F3


To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many training sorties for the (a) Hercules C-130, (b) Tristar, (c) VC-10 and (d) C-17 Globemaster were cancelled in each of the last two years. (255627)

The information requested is not held centrally and could be provided only at disproportionate cost.