The U.S. Air Force plans to reinstate substantial formation flight training for Bell Boeing CV-22 Osprey pilots that it eliminated four years ago, AOL Defense learned yesterday. Reinstatement of the training four years after the service ended it is an implicit admission, V-22 aviators said, that better training might have prevented the June 13 crash of a CV-22B in Florida.
From now on, Air Force pilots going through initial Osprey flight training with Marine Medium Tiltrotor Training Squadron 204 (VMMT-204) at Marine Corps Air Station New River, N.C., will take a classroom course in formation flight, fly two formation flights of two hours each in a V-22 simulator, and fly one actual two-hour formation flight in the tiltrotor troop transport.
The decision to increase formation flight training for Air Force pilots at VMMT-204 is “an acknowledgement that our V-22 formation training was lacking,” said an AFSOC member who spoke without authorization. “Obviously, in hindsight, the decision removing it is questionable at best.”
For the complete story by AOL Defense’s Richard Whittle, click here.