The Nigerian Air Force (NAF) on 2 March 2018 graduated the first set of in-house trained pilots for its Remotely Piloted Aircraft (RPA), as part of the human capacity development initiatives of the current NAF leadership.
The 5 newly trained RPA pilots were decorated with their ‘wings’ by the Chief of the Air Staff, Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar, at the Nigerian Air Force (NAF) Base at Maiduguri. The training of the new Pilots commenced in 2016 at the 401 Flying Training School, Kaduna, following which they later converted on the CH-3A RPA. The CH-3A RPA conversion training, which started in May 2017, covered areas such as Ground Academics, General Airmanship, Instruments, Situational Awareness, Radiotelephony, Boldface exercises as well as handling of simulated and real emergencies.
The entire programme lasted about 2 years while the CH-3A RPA specifics phase lasted for 10 months, culminating in check rides for each of the 5 new RPA pilots. At the moment, the new pilots each have nearly a hundred hours each on the CH-3A RPA.