BANGALORE: Graduation certificates were awarded to production test pilots at IAF’s Aircraft System Testing Establishment (ASTE) here recently.
The officers earned the distinction after undergoing a gruelling 10-week training in the 15th Production Test Pilots Course at the Air Force Test Pilots School in the city.
Air Marshal SRK Nair, Senior Air Staff Officer, Headquarters Training Command awarded the best all-round student trophy to Sqn Ldr Ankit Agarwal. He also presented the ASTE memento to Group Captain Kapil Bhargava V M (Retd) for his lifetime Distinguished Services as Test Crew, stated to a press release.
A Production Test Pilot is a vital link between manufacturer, overhaul agency and the operational pilot. With new generation aircraft being inducted into the armed forces and existing aircraft being upgraded to the latest technologies, a Production Test Pilot is required to have a clear understanding of technologies and design philosophies of the aviation industry.
They are involved in process of testing and clearing the aircraft post-production and overhaul, prior to its release to the operator.
These pilots are trained at Air Force Test Pilots School (AFTPS), which is part of the ASTE.
The school, established in 1973, has been training Production Test Pilots (PTP), Experimental Test Pilots (ETP) and Flight Test Engineers (FTE) in Fixed Wing and Rotary Wing manned aircraft.