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WWII Squadron Back in the Air

T-6C Texan II trainer in RNZAF colours
T-6C Texan II trainer in RNZAF colours 

13 March 2014

A Royal New Zealand Air Force Squadron formed in WWII is to be reincarnated with a new aircraft, the Beechcraft T-6C Texan II.

No. 14 Squadron flew Kittyhawks and Corsairs in action in the Solomon Islands during the war.
 
Air Component Commander, Air Commodore Mike Yardley said the introduction of the 11 Beechcraft T-6C Texan II aircraft gave the opportunity to review the RNZAF’s current flying training command structure.

“And this includes the re-establishment of No.14 Squadron.”

“No.14 Squadron will conduct all initial flying training. The current Pilot Training Squadron will be disbanded,” said AIRCDRE Yardley.

“Acquiring these new trainers is all part of an extremely exciting period for the RNZAF. Being able to deliver the highest standard of pilot training is the highest priority for the Air Force.”

The current No. 42 Squadron, flying the Beech 200PL, will no longer conduct the advanced phase of pilot training, but instead will function as a multi-engine conversion unit, preparing new pilots for the bigger Hercules C130H and Orion P-3K2 aircraft.

“The goal is to bring the new aircraft into service in time to begin our first initial pilot training course in January 2016.  A date for the reformation of No.14 Squadron has not yet been set, but is likely to be later in 2015.”

AIRCDRE Yardley said that while there was a lot of work to be done between now and the start of the first training course he expected the transition to be well managed.

“I am confident that our project team and Beechcraft will deliver this incredibly exciting phase in our history, safely and on time,” he said.

ENDS

For more information contact Defence Communications Group on 021 487 980

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