NZDF Texans Are on Their Way Down South

NZDF T-6C Texan II pilot training aircraft
NZDF T-6C Texan II pilot training aircraft

26 May 2016

Future Royal New Zealand Air Force (RNZAF) instructors will be flying the new T-6C Texans II into Christchurch and Invercargill airports over the next week as they complete the Flying Instructor Course (FIC).

FIC student Flight Lieutenant (FLTLT) Matthew Hansen said the T-6C Texan is a very capable aircraft and will give the Wings Course students a solid foundation to progress to other aircrafts in the RNZAF fleet.

“All the aircraft in the RNZAF fleet have a glass cockpit layout, which means students will be familiar with the aircraft instruments when they progress onto other aircraft.

“Students will also be taught close formation flying 15 feet away from another aircraft, which takes demanding concentration from each pilot. The enhanced performance of the Texan aircraft will help us to push the Wings Course students so we can teach them to a high standard,” said FLTLT Hansen.

Flying in the South Island gives pilots the unique opportunity to fly in mountainous terrain which is very different to North Island flying. The main focus whilst in the South Island will be low level navigation flown at 250 feet above the ground using pre-drawn maps to arrive at their destination at a specified time to the second.

“Pilots will also practise their low level navigation skills and will be faced with ever changing weather conditions, which will add another level to the training.

“Conducting a week of navigating around the South Island takes pilots out of the comforts of operating in their own backyard and helps to push them further and develop their piloting abilities,” said FLTLT Hansen.

FLTLT Hansen spent almost seven years flying the C-130H(NZ) Hercules in a multi-crewed environment, which is operated in a different way to flying the T-6C Texan as a single pilot.

“What I like most about flying the T-6C is conducting aerobatics and flying in close formation, things I was unable to do in the Hercules,” he said.

The T-6C aircraft, which was delivered mid-2015, will see 15-20 trained pilots annually. 

The aircraft are purpose built for military training and have the latest technology, including ejection seats, collision avoidance and ground awareness warning systems, a pressurised cockpit, and personal locator beacons for each pilot.

For further information, please contact Defence Public Affairs on 021 487 980

This page was last reviewed on 27 May 2016.