Flying training commences at JMAS

Standing (L-R): Lieutenant Chevon Smith (Instructor), Captain Brian Creary (Commandant), Captain Ravei Nunez (Instructor, Belize Defence Force),

Kneeling (L-R): Lieutenant Jermaine Burns (Student, Belize Defence Force), Lieutenant Osmar Fiddler (Student, JDF), Lieutenant Melecia Sinclair (Student, JDF) and Lieutenant Victor Dawkins (Student, JDF).

Background: The Diamond DA40FP single engine training aircraft

Jamaica Defence Force and the nation of Jamaica achieved another milestone with the first set of military student pilots commencing pilot training at the Jamaica Military Aviation School (JMAS) on  02 July 2007,    The school, the result of collaboration between Jamaica and Canada, had been officially opened by the country’s Minster of National Security, Dr. the Hon Peter Phillips, on 07 December 2006.  

Training at JMAS commenced with four students, three Jamaica Defence Force officers, and one Belize Defence Force officer.   Among the JDF candidates is one female officer, the first in over 17 years.  

The students will undergo eleven months of flight training in three phases.   Phase one which began on Monday, takes place on the Diamond DA40FP single engine aircraft, as does phase two which commences immediately afterwards.   Phase three follows on in January 2008 on either the Bell Jet Ranger helicopter or the Diamond DA42 twin engine aircraft.   The JMAS courseware includes basic and advanced aircraft manoeuvring, navigation, night, instrument and formation flying.

Prior to the start of pilot training at JMAS, a team from the Canadian Forces, Central Flying School, the organization responsible for the monitoring and standardization of flight training in the Canadian Forces, visited Jamaica in early June 2007 and after two intense weeks of evaluation, confirmed that the JMAS program conforms to Canadian Air Force standards.

“JMAS represents the dawn of an important era in the history of the JDF Air Wing, which will ultimately lead to the sustained generation of critically needed, highly skilled military pilots for Jamaica and the region,” said Lieutenant Colonel Geoffrey Roper, Commanding Officer of the JDF Air Wing.

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