15 February 2019
A new aircraft will be seen flying around New Zealand, with the Royal New Zealand Air Force (RNZAF) putting into service four Hawker Pacific King Air 350 (KA350) aircraft it is leasing to replace the Beechcraft 200s.
The KA350 mark a new era in training pilots to fly multi-engine planes and provide the RNZAF with a complete training package, because the aircraft will also be used for air warfare officer training.
Air Commodore Darryn Webb, Assistant Chief Capability NZDF, said the KA350, the first of which arrived last year, had been modified specifically for the RNZAF to provide a comprehensive training platform for aircrew, who would move on from them to the C-130 Hercules, P-3K2 Orion or Boeing 757.
“Having the KA350 aircraft at Ohakea means we no longer have to send our air warfare officers overseas to train,” Air Commodore Webb said. “We now have an aircraft that is fully equipped with training consoles and a mission management system that covers all aspects of training required to graduate air warfare officers.
“Our training is also multi-dimensional, because we can now provide multi-crew training for graduated KA350 pilots while concurrently training air warfare officers.
“The KA350 is a step up from the B200 in both capacity and capability. It’s a great aircraft that will serve the RNZAF well.”
The aircrew training capability contract with Hawker Pacific New Zealand includes the lease and performance-based support of the KA350 fleet, modified with customer tailored airborne and ground systems, including specialist systems supplied by MAROPS and Rockwell Collins.
The KA350 aircraft will be based at RNZAF Base Ohakea, as were the Beechcraft 200s.