Viking Nears Completion of Vietnam Navy Group “A” Guardian 400 Flight & Maintenance Training Program
Viking Air Limited and affiliate Pacific Sky Aviation Inc. of Victoria, BC, Canada confirm flight training is nearing completion for the first contingent of Vietnam Navy pilot delegates as part of the Viking Guardian 400 multi-aircraft purchase contract announced in May 2010. The pilot trainees have traveled from Vietnam to Canada to receive English language, flight and technical training over the past twenty (20) months, and will be officially graduating from the program in early July.
The unique flight and maintenance training program provided by Viking’s sister organization, Pacific Sky Aviation, encompassed English Second Language (ESL), ab-initio, private and commercial pilot licensing, multi-engine, night, and amphibious float training. Other partners on the program included Camosun College (Victoria, BC) and FlightSafety International (Toronto, Ontario).
The Guardian 400 aircraft training was carried out on the Navy’s new aircraft over the course of four months, clocking approximately 500 flight hours and 350 cycles on runway, soft field, and water based operations, instructed by established Twin Otter pilots with over 15,000 hours of combined experience on the type.
The maintenance portion of the program included six (6) weeks of mechanical training for the technicians who will be responsible for maintaining the aircraft at the Navy’s base of operations in Vietnam. Further support will be provided by Viking Series 400 Twin Otter pilot and Field Service Representatives based in Vietnam to support the aircraft as they enter into service and to assist in developing on-going operational procedures.
“This program has been specially tailored to the requirements of the Vietnam Navy, and is quite unlike any other training program in the world,” commented Michael Coughlin, CEO at Pacific Sky Aviation. He clarified, “A significant amount of the Twin Otter training focused on seaplane operations with the students completing over 2100 landings on lakes and the rugged coastline of British Columbia; this will be instrumental to their success in operating the aircraft for maritime patrol operations in Vietnam.”
The Vietnam multi-aircraft purchase announced in May 2010 stages the Viking Twin Otter Series 400 as the first Western-based manufactured aircraft purchased by Vietnam’s Ministry of Defense, and the first ever fixed wing aircraft initiated by the Vietnamese Navy. The contract includes six new Guardian 400 Twin Otters to be utilized for transport, resupply, maritime surveillance and search and rescue operations throughout Vietnam’s coastal regions. The aircraft are being delivered in a variety of configurations, equipped for both land-based and amphibious operations with convertible interiors including VIP, commuter, and utility layouts.
Pacific Sky is a Transport Canada approved Flight Training Unit providing flight and maintenance training in support of the Viking Twin Otter Series 400 program, including engineering and production tests, ferry flights, and specialized training.
With Twin Otter Series 400 in operation in 16 countries and a backlog exceeding $400M, the Series 400 is now confirmed as the best-selling next generation turbo-prop aircraft in its class. Viking provides OEM support for the worldwide fleet of de Havilland legacy aircraft (DHC-1 through DHC-7) and forms part of Westerkirk Capital Inc, a Canadian private investment firm with substantial holdings in the hospitality, aviation, and real estate sectors.
|Tim Martin Photo|
|Tim Martin Photo|