LOM Praha Flight Training Centre (CLV) at Pardubice Air Base
LOM Praha is one of the world’s leading companies offering complex services for military helicopters and L-39 aircraft. Their experienced staff is able to provide a whole range of services starting from helicopter acquisition support, through ground and flight crews training to all levels of helicopter maintenance works including general overhauls and upgrades.
The Centrum Leteckého Výcviku (CLV), Flight Training Centre is based at Pardubice and provides comprehensive and modular training programs for both fixed wing and rotary wing aircraft, pilots, flight engineers, ground crews and maintenance personnel. The offered training and skill improvement programs are carried out with the use of modern interactive teaching methods, state of the art simulators and real flights with their helicopter and airplane fleet. All courses are thought and supervised by their professional employees, which are former Air Force veterans with valuable experiences.
In LOM Praha Flight Training Centre they go beyond teaching students how to fly; all the necessary skills and experiences their instructors have learned via their vast careers in aviation and even by an in-theatre deployment are passed on to the students during all phases of the training process. This is why students who graduate the Flight Training Centre are true professionals who are capable to efficiently operate aviation technology and successfully fulfil their missions.
On the first of November 1994 the 34. základna Skolního Letecktva (34. zSL) – 34. Training Air Base was established at Pardubice. In 2000 the base was redesinated as 34. základna Speciálniho Letectva (34. zSL) – 34. Special Air Base. On the first of April 2004 it became Centrum Leteckého Výcviku (CLV), Flight Training Centre. In the beginning the training squadrons where operating 18 L-29’s, 20 L-39’s, 8 Mi-2’s, 6 Mi-17’s, 2 Let-410’s and 8 newly acquired Zlin 142’s. Unfortunately in the late 90’s the total number of aircraft was gradually reduced.
THE FLEET AND THEIR TRAINING PROGRAMS
EV-97 Eurostar (1):Single-engine propeller-driven two seat trainer aircraft used for elementary and test training of student pilots. This aircraft is mainly used for improving instructor’s capabilities.
Zlin Z-142 (8): Single-engine propeller-driven two-seat trainer aircraft used for elementary and test training of student pilots. The flight screening program is a flying-based assessment of potential pilot candidates and is followed by elementary / basic flight training which is available for both fixed wing and rotary wing aircraft.
Let L-410 (2): Twin-engine, turboprop transport aircraft intended for training of pilots and personnel and cargo transport at short ranges. The flight training is divided to 3 parts: Elementary training, advanced training and tactical training.
L-39C Albatros (7): Light, single-engine training jet designed for basic and advanced training of pilots. For the L-39 Training Program CLV offers four courses:
– Flight Training Elementary: Familiarization with the aircraft, training under VFR, piloting technique and emergency procedures, navigation flights and cross-country flights, training under IFR conditions, night flights, training under VMC, training under IMC procedures, flights under the hood, missed approach procedures and navigation flights.
– Flight Training Advanced: Piloting technique at low altitudes, complex piloting technique/aerobatics, formation flights, training under minima day, training under minima night, navigation flights under VFR night, Reconnaissance (recce) flights and ground attacks using simple and complex manoeuvres.
– Flight Training Limited Combat: Air combat with pre-arranged manoeuvre and free manoeuvre, ground attacks and their combat in formation, search and destroy ground and air targets and flying in pairs (landing, flying in clouds and complex piloting technique / aerobatics).
– Refresher / Conditions maintenance Program: Ground attacks and air combat in formations, search and destroy ground and air targets and flying in pairs/groups.
Mi-2 (1): Twin-engine, light multi-role helicopter intended for elementary and advanced training of pilots and for personnel and cargo transport. These are going to be replaced by the Enstrom 480’s.
Mi-17 (6): Twin-engine, multi-role helicopter intended for advanced training of pilots and for personnel and cargo transport. The basic flight training consists of 30 flight hours and can be followed by the advanced training which consist of 100 flight hours or training which is focused on achieving professional flying skills like SAR, NVG or hosting. Complex and focused simulations which cannot be trained in the real helicopter are done in the Full Mission Simulator (FMS). Next to the flight training the CLV also gives basic and advanced ground crew training. The basic ground crew training is for operational flight line maintenance (O-Level) and the advanced ground crew training is for scheduled maintenance up to overhaul.
Enstrom 480 (4): Single-engine, light multi-role helicopter intended for elementary and advanced training of pilots and for personnel. The flight training consist of familiarization with the helicopter, piloting technique and emergency procedures, navigation flights, flights in groups, training under IFR conditions, flights in clouds, night flights, check flights, solo flights and landings and take-offs in terrain.
The CLV has two simulators at their disposal, L-39 / Mi-2 / Mi-17 Cockpit Procedures Trainer (CPT) and Mi-17/171 Full Mission Simulator (FMS). Flight simulation provides an economic advantage over training in a real aircraft. When servicing, maintenance, repair parts, flight hours consumption, insurance costs are taken into account, the operating costs of a simulator are substantially lower than the operating costs of a simulated aircraft.
L-39 / Mi-2 / Mi-17 Cockpit Procedures Trainer (CPT):
Part task trainers intended for procedural tasks familiarization, and to train particular tasks associated with the aircraft, basic flight characteristics and controls. Assists aircrews in learning the cockpit layout, locations of switches, controls, instruments and various aircraft functions. A cost-effective solution allowing familiarization with aircraft without having to use the full-mission simulator or even real aircraft.
Mi-17/171 Full Mission Simulator (MFS):
This FMS is a certified flight dynamic model for individual flight training, environmental training (including IFR/NVG) and underslung loads flying. It is also capable for practicing and testing of all emergency procedures and procedures that cannot be carried out in the real helicopter due to safety reasons.
Next to these simulators the CLV also has a Tactical Simulation Centre which offers tactical training of pilots and radar controllers with support of the Forward Air Controllers (FAC). There are three cockpit configurations possible, L39, L-159 and JAS-39 Gripen.
LOM Praha and AERO Vodochody are talking about modernization of the consisting L-39C fleet to L-39CW’s. These updates are MFD, HUD, NAV/COM but also new engines.
Aero Vodochody is also introducing the new L-39NG version, of which only two aircraft are flyable at the moment, and the CLV is the first customer and will get four of these L-39NG’s in the future. The CLV wants to give aircrew training on commercial base with these L-39NG. The Senegal Air Force has already ordered four L-39NG’s and also the Royal Thai Air Force is interested in buying the L-39NG. Training of the pilots and ground crews could take place at the CLV in the future. The CLV is hoping for more customers for the L-39NG and training.
The CLV trains up to 65 pilots of which 45% are helicopter pilots, 35% tactical pilots and 20% transport pilots. Training for helicopter and transport pilots roughly takes a year and two years for tactical pilots. The success rate is 98%, only a few pilots don’t pass their training course!
In the first five years the CLV has conducted 23.440 flight hours in 43.251 flights of which 19.659 flight hours and 39.963 flights were provided for the Czech Air Force which is 89% and 85% respectively.
Luckily their have been no accidents by a pilot error, all accidents were caused by a technical defect or a bird strike. In 2007 the most serious incident happened when a Zlin 142 had an engine failure in flight. The crew landed safely without injuries and the aircraft was repaired and back in service again.
The Authors of Lowpass Aviation.com would like to thank the personnel of the Czech Air Force and the Staff of the Ministry of Defence of the Czech Republic for their hospitality and their time and help during our visit to Pardubice Air Base.