A Lebanese pilot trainee has flown an A-29 Super Tucano light-attack aircraft for the first time, as part of a training programme conducted by the US Air Force (USAF).
The first ‘in seat’ training sortie was conducted at Moody Air Force Base, Georgia, on 22 March this year.
The training programme is being conducted to ensure that the Lebanese Air Force receives the support and training needed to safely and effectively employ the A-29 aircraft, the USAF stated.
USAF 81st Fighter Squadron instructor pilot said: “It was his first flight in the aircraft so it was a great (opportunity) for him to get oriented in the A-29 and how it flies.
“[Since training began] this was the first opportunity that we’ve had to get the first Lebanese airborne.
"They’ve been doing ground training, learning the procedures, patterns, simulator and emergency procedures.”
Upon completion of the programme, 12 pilots and approximately 20 maintainers will be able to stand up their own fully functional A-29 squadron and be able to continue operations on their own in Lebanon, according to the statement.
The 12 Lebanese pilots will be fully-trained operational combat pilots in the A-29 aircraft and will be able to fight ISIS on their eastern border.
Built by Embraer, the Super Tucano light-attack aircraft is equipped with mission and display processors that receive and process data from sensors, navigation and attack variables and manage a multitude of other tasks such as hands-on throttle and stick (HOTAS) operations.
Image: A Lebanese A-29 Super Tucano student pilot from the 81st Fighter Squadron, conducts the first 'in-seat' training sortie. Photo: courtesy of US Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Zachary Wolf.