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Philippine Navy pleased with support of AW-109 suppliers

The Philippine Navy has expressed its appreciation to AgustaWestland, the manufacturer and supplier of its three brand-new AW-109 "Power" helicopters, for providing its pilots and flight crews with the necessary training to properly handle the aircraft.

Lt. Cmdr. Gregory Fabic, Navy spokesperson, said the aircraft manufacturer has pledged to provide three months' more worth of training to Filipino pilots and crewmen who will be manning the AW-109s.

"They (AgustaWestland technical representatives) will stay here until the end of March to ensure that all Filipino flight crews will be proficient in the handling of the AW-109s," he added.

Trainings on how to fly and maintain the aircraft have been ongoing since the helicopters were delivered to the PN last Dec. 8.

"The PN leadership is very pleased with the support being provided by AgustaWestland," Fabic said.
Also, the maintenance crews are also being taught to properly service the aircraft once aboard the frigates.

Fabic said there are seven pilots assigned per helicopter.

He added that an equivalent number of AW-109 trained co-pilots and crewmen are also available.
"More (pilots and crewmen) are now undergoing training to ensure that the aircraft can be manned at all times," the PN spokesperson earlier said.

At the moment, the Naval Air Group (NAG), the unit tasked to operate and maintain the PN's aerial assets, has more than 50 pilots at its roster.

Prior to the arrival of the AW-109s last Dec. 8, the inventory of the NAG consists of one Robinson R-22 helicopter, Blohm B0-105 helicopter, two Islander aircraft and four Cessna light utility planes.

With the arrival of the three AW-109s, the number of flyable assets of the NAG has increased to 11.
NAG pilots, who were trained to fly the AW-109s in Cesto Calende, Italy, said the AgustaWestland aircraft is very much for a rotary wing machine.

They added that the AW-109s is very maneuverable and very ideal for shipboard deployment. 

Article Source: PNA


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