THE FIRST Basic Flying Training (BFT) course using the new T-6C Texan T1 has begun at RAF Valley, Wales. The beginning of the syllabus was announced by the base on September 19, which said that it had started that week.
The BFT course is the second phase of RAF and Royal Navy fast jet training under the Military Flying Training System (MFTS), with students having previously passed Elementary Flying Training (EFT) on the Grob G 120TP Prefect T1 aircraft at RAF Cranwell, Lincolnshire.
The transfer of Basic Flying Training to RAF Valley from RAF Linton-on-Ouse in North Yorkshire has been planned around the retirement of the Tucano T1 aircraft, which was scheduled to be withdrawn from service in October.
Newly refurbished buildings, hangarage, classrooms and the fleet of ten Texans have been established at Valley over the past two years in preparation for the first student course. The final aircraft arrived at Valley on December 3 last year.
Wg Cdr Chris Ball, officer commanding the Texan Integration Squadron at RAF Valley, explained: “The Texan is the ideal lead-in trainer to the Hawk T2 advanced jet trainer that they will move on to here at Valley. We look forward to building up and developing our training system – this is the first course of many – and later in the year adopting the historic title 72 (Fighter) Squadron, which will transfer from RAF Linton-on- Ouse.”