SOUTH AFRICAN AIR FORCE
In the late 1980s, the South African Air Force (SAAF) invited Keith Jackson, then Managing Director of Pilotwise, to visit South Africa to discuss their pilot training system. This was the start of a relationship that lasts to this day.
Pilotwise was asked to update the pilot training documents for the Harvard trainer, whose 50 years of SAAF service was celebrated in 1990 with a flypast of 50 SAAF Harvards in close formation. Significantly, on that first visit, Keith was invited to SAAF Training Headquarters to meet senior SAAF officers. Among other things, the SAAF’s future training aircraft requirements were discussed. Pilotwise recommended the Pilatus PC-9 and the BAE Systems Hawk; developments of both were to enter SAAF service over the next 17 years.
By 1994, the SAAF had agreed purchase of the Pilatus PC-7 MkII, designated the Astra in SAAF service. Pilatus asked Pilotwise to support the Astra by providing instructional advice and training materials.
During the course of several work sessions in South Africa, Pilotwise staff used their knowledge of the traditional Harvard training system, the Pilatus aircraft and developments in pilot training techniques to help the SAAF take full advantage of the opportunities presented by a new training aircraft. The outcome was a significant update in SAAF pilot training methods and a comprehensive suite of Astra pilot training manuals and briefings.
When the SAAF selected Hawk 120 and SAAB Gripen as their Lead-in Fighter Trainer (LIFT) and front-line fighter respectively, BAE Systems undertook syllabus design for Hawk training and asked Pilotwise to take part. The BAE/Pilotwise team worked with SAAF personnel to produce a syllabus that maximised the Hawk’s potential to train for Gripen operations while conforming to SAAF schedules and culture.
Pilotwise developed comprehensive training materials for the conversion of SAAF pilots to the Hawk and carried out a Training Needs Analysis (TNA) for technical training, the design and validation of computer-based training and a fidelity analysis for the Hawk simulator.
Pilotwise also assisted BAE/SAAB with a TNA for the SAAF Gripen and provided consultancy support for SAAB’s liaison with the SAAF.