News: Afghanistan: Taking Off
Lt. Faiz Ramaki is the Afghan National Army Air Corps newest pilot. He completed his check ride, Feb. 23, making him the first Afghan pilot qualified to fly their newest aircraft, the C-27.
"He's very sharp. He's very intelligent, a quick learner and he has good hands. Being able to coordinate the power controls and flight controls together on single engine patterns is very challenging and he did very well" said, Lt. Col. Paul Bedesem, of the 538th Air Expeditionary Advisory Squadron, Combined Air Power Transition Force, his assigned instructor pilot.
The C-27 initial qualification takes approximately 90 calendar days to complete, includes three weeks of academic classes covering ground training, 12 flights, and a final check ride. The 12 flights, six day and six night, totaling approximately 50 flying hours, which consists of flying visual flight rules and instrument flight rules on takeoffs and landings with different flap configurations. Ramaki was also trained on the more advanced procedures of simulated single engine emergency landings and tactical and instrument approaches.
Ramaki began his Aviation Leadership Program in May 2008 at Columbus Air Force Base, Mississippi. In ALP student pilots learn VFR, IFR, patterns and night flying in the T-6 Texan II trainer aircraft. Before ALP Ramaki attended the Defense Language Institute in San Antonio, Texas, for nine months of English proficiency training.
"I want to appreciate my instructors and I want to appreciate anybody who is involved in our training. I really appreciate my aircrew buddies and all they do helps Afghanistan and the Air Corps" said Ramaki after completing his check ride.
The next step for Ramaki is Mission Qualification. He will begin flying operational missions in the C-27 all over Afghanistan. The C-27 is an all weather, twin turboprop, GPS-equipped troop and cargo transport aircraft. A C-27 crew consists of two pilots and one Loadmaster. There are currently three pilots in the C-27 Initial Qualification process. Combined with the four Loadmasters in qualification the Air Corps' should produce its first ever qualified C-27 crew this spring.