Since September 2016, Inzpire has provided three Civilian Qualified Helicopter Instructors (CQHI) with unrivalled pedigree to the British Army Air Corps (AAC) WILDCAT AH Mk 1 Reconnaissance Helicopter (RH) Conversion to Type (CTT) and Conversion to Role (CTR) programmes.
In the last seven years, our CQHIs have contributed to the training of over 100 pilots and 40 rear crew while supporting the worldwide deployment of the WILDCAT AH Mk 1. Our team is fully integrated into the Operational Conversion Squadron’s (OCS) instructional staff and conducts ground, synthetic and live aircrew Conversion to Type (CTT) and Role training (CTR).
While the CTT training covers: daytime flying, instrument flying, night aircraft handling and navigation plus day and night tactical formation to ground level training, CTR includes day and night multi-aircraft; mission-focused training in low level and medium level; ISTAR; control of joint fires; limited movement of personnel and material; offensive action; and operation in an electronic warfare threat environment. Our CQHIs deliver all of this while contributing to wider training administration and duties, acting as duty instructor and flight authoriser, and assisting with training development including production and amendment of training documentation.
Dougal (left) and Tony (right) are two of our CQHIs
Tony, Dougal, and David are Inzpire CQHIs on the Army WILDCAT OCS. All were previously full-time members of the armed forces, and, between them, they have over 90 years of service, 17,000 flying hours and flown five different types of battlefield helicopter in all roles and environments with extensive operational experience in most recent theatres.
Each has been flying the WILDCAT for ten years or more and they were all intimately involved in its introduction into service and worldwide deployment.
Individually, Tony, Dougal, and David have conducted test and evaluation, training delivery and development (including the production of associated documentation), and single service aviation standards assurance.
Inzpire is an enthusiastic supporter of military reserve activity and David is a Royal Naval Reserve pilot with the Commando Helicopter Force Wildcat Squadron. He deploys for up to four weeks a year, providing instructional expertise in embarked, mountain, and cold weather operations, retaining service links and currency with operational squadron roles and procedures.
As fully integrated members of the OCS, we CQHIs can be called upon to deliver any of the CTT and CTR ground training in parallel with the service counterparts and specifics. Continue reading to find out more about our day-to-day ground instruction roles.
This is me - David - your blog author and the third member of Inzpire's CQHI team
Inzpire CQHIs deliver CTT and CTR mass briefs and often lead the more complex subjects including discussions around electro-optical designator systems and advanced communications incorporating secure frequency hopping and Improved Data Modem. We also cover other CTT subjects including maintenance procedures, formation flying, low flying and obstruction awareness, and underslung load operations.
CTR mass briefs cover several topics including low level and medium level ISTAR, limited movement of personnel and material incorporating mutual support, deploying weapons, and defensive aid suite architecture and faults. We deliver all of these briefs using multimedia presentations and can deliver them collectively or individually if required.
Conducted at key stages during CTT and CTR, pilots’ notes quizzes cover basic aircraft limitations, malfunctions, immediate actions, and instrument flying regulations and procedures. As part of our role, we might be required to invigilate, assess, and debrief these quizzes.
This is linked to the role of duty instructor and conducted as part of the Squadron morning brief covering all key aircraft system malfunction. Students will be assessed on their knowledge of the immediate actions, broader system functions and implications with associated captaincy and decision making in relation to a chosen emergency.
We use our extensive experience to generate discussion and highlight previous examples to develop student knowledge and understanding. An excellent opportunity for us to share our “I learnt about flying…” stories and anecdotes!
Not only do we give ground-based instruction centred around theory, but we also ensure all of the students are aware of every element of the aircraft
This is an increasingly complex area in the digital age and requires longer and longer periods of instruction. Currently, we spend up to an hour per day with each student flight planning using MoD Intranet and the Wildcat Mission Support System to conduct all facets of mission planning and briefing.
This starts with the instructor providing a full demonstration of all process and procedures; then the student takes an incremental responsibility for the process. This requires continuous supervision and debriefing, and, if necessary, re-demonstration.
Principle responsibility for synthetic training rests with dedicated civilian simulator instructors; OCS instructors including our CQHIs are responsible for delivering specific training sorties. These include ground and airborne maintenance procedures in the full motion simulator and all communication, navigation and weapons system operations in the cockpit procedural trainer, where we take the student incrementally through all the system.
While serving, Tony, Dougal, and David were all intimately involved in Wildcat training development and the production of associated training documentation including training policies, course training plans, mass briefs, student and instructor guides, instructor notes, and individual sortie profiles.
As CQHIs, we continue to support our service counterparts by providing subject matter expertise input to the amendment and production of all aspects of Wildcat training documentation.
We encourage students to be inquisitive and to actively expand their knowledge on any aspect of Wildcat CTT and CTR, plus wider aviation subjects.
We’re eager to impart our extensive experience and knowledge, so when a student query arises, we try to answer the query immediately then prepare a more formal response or direct the student to where they might find the answer. To help students build their knowledge we’ll use all aviation related documents, multimedia presentation or even take part in a walk-round an aircraft in the hangar.
Inzpire has an exceptional track record and is a highly trusted military and MoD partner. 80% of the business’s workforce is veterans - Inzpire attracts experienced, high-calibre, forward-leaning customer-and-output- focused personnel - there is an exceptional work/life balance and, overall, the company has an established reputation within the UK rotary domain.
We - Inzpire’s CQHIs - routinely deliver the largest amount of live flying instruction on the OCS, providing unrivalled aircrew training expertise and continuity and increased productivity. We’re seamlessly integrated into the OCS and available to support the wider Army Air Corps and Commando Helicopter Force WILDCAT in any way, and we take great pride in giving back all of the experience we have built up in our own careers.
We've provided three CQHIs with unrivalled pedigree to the British Army Air Corps flying programmes since 2016 - and we feel really priviliged to be able to give back some of the experience we built up in our own careers.
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