The PNG Defence Force (PNGDF) will soon have a new aircraft operating to boost its air capability and also to provide further training for new young pilots who have recently completed training in both New Zealand and Australia.
The new aircraft, the PAC 750, was acquired by the Papua New Guinea (PNG) Government in 2018 and has been sitting at the Air Transport Wing (ATW) since its’ arrival.
Major Darius Kaule, the Acting Commanding Officer of the Training Squadron, said since 2018 up till now the aircraft has not been airborne because the defence force had to comply with civil aviation regulations in order to allow the aircraft to safely operate in the airspace.
The single engine aircraft was taken up into the skies for the first time this morning from Port Moresby for its’ test flight before it is given the all clear to go into service in the PNGDF.
“The flight that we see happening this morning is part of the maintenance check flight and this flight has been approved by the Commander of the Papua New Guinea Defence Force after it has fully complied with civil aviation regulations,” said Major Kaule.
“This maintenance check flight is basically to check the aircraft and make sure that all the parameters of the aircraft are fully safe and operational. This flight has to happen before the PAC 750 will be used for further flights the PNG Defece Force wants it to be used for.”
Major Kaule added that the new aircraft was bought purposely to boost the PNGDF air capability.
Back in 2018 the defence force had only one aircraft operational but unfortunately, today it has no other aircraft operational except for this new one, and with the assistance of the Australian Defence Force (ADF), it is hoped that the air capability is further improved.
“The Papua New Guinea Defence Force in liaison with the Australian Defence Force and the defence operation program has established a relationship with the thirty two squadron of the Royal Australian Airforce and they are here now to help us achieve the air capability the PNG Defence Force needs,” added Major Kaule.
Once the new PAC 750 aircraft is operational, it will initially be used for training of pilots.
Major Kaule said about six new pilots from the PNGDF will use the aircraft for their further flight trainings in country.