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The Chief takes command on the Pilatus PC-12

By Lt Col Francois Smith, 41 Squadron

It is slower, not as maneuverable and aerobatics is not allowed, BUT you can have some filter coffee and eat something whilst you are flying. Even a jettie can adapt to this kind of flying.

Lt Gen Gagiano obtained his Air Transport Command on the Pilatus PC-XII of 41 Squadron on 14 October 2008. He started his conversion officially on 27 December 2007 and accumulated 103 hours on type.

His conversion covered all the required general, instrument, night, route and formation flying. The operational aspects, low-level handling, short field operations and assault landings were done at Middelburg Airfield. Operational night flying was done on the grass runway at the Swartkop Airfield which included the use of vehicle lights for landing.


Lt Gen Gagiano will continue with advanced training on the PC-XII in order to upgrade to instructor status on type. Time permitting, he will be utilized as a line commander at 41 Squadron. Take note, next time you fly, the Chief may be your commander - Donít be late!


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