Stabroek News’ report on Y 12 pilots inaccurate

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The Guyana Defence Force wishes to correct an inaccuracy that appeared in the Stabroek News article of Wednesday, August 29 headlined “Army Appoints Captains for Chinese Y12 Plane.”
In that article it was stated that the only command pilot of the Y12 refused to work with four of the five recently trained Y12 pilots to improve their proficiency as they were required to complete 20 flight hours under his supervision before “they could be checked out to operate the aircraft solo.” The article asserted that this situation was rectified after it was brought to the attention of the “army’s high command.”

The foregoing claims are patently false and are far from the truth. The command pilot never refused to fly with the pilots; they all were not required to fly 20 hours before being checked out; and the GDF hierarchy was not required to intervene to remedy any situation.

The facts are that, on completion of the Chinese training programme, the GDF hierarchy, in consultation with the command pilot and another consultant, mandated that all the pilots must acquire varying periods of flight hours under supervision. The periods differed based on several factors including pilot proficiency level, experience, and currency in flying.

This process resulted in the first two pilots being appointed as captains on Tuesday, August 28. Elevation for others will be done when they have satisfactorily met the stipulated requirements.

The GDF wishes to reassure that in an effort to ensure its pilots attain optimum levels of operational capability and proficiency, the process embarked on is one that is meticulous and carefully thought out.