Pune: The air wing cadets of the city-based National Cadet Corps (NCC) unit will resume flying training after a gap of five years as a microlight aircraft will be made available soon.
Later, one more aircraft will be added to the unit. A total of six aircraft have been sanctioned for the Pune, Mumbai and Nagpur units in Maharashtra. The NCC has bought 110 'Virus SW80' aircraft, made by Pipistrel from Slovenia, at the national level, which will be known as 'Garud'.
The NCC Group Headquarters, Pune, has a special air squadron that imparts theoretical and practical flying training to cadets. However, since 2012, the cadets were not getting exposure to flying due to unavailability of aircraft.
According to officials, the squadron gets about 1,300 air cadets, a majority of whom are standard VIII to IX students from the junior division. The remaining are from the senior division, that is undergraduate students.
Officials said a microlight is a small twin-seater propeller aircraft that requires short runways. It can also operate from regular airstrips.
The NCC is giving 110 'Virus SW80' microlight aircraft for its air wing squadrons across the country. Some units have already got the aircraft while others are in the process.
The State NCC directorates have been asked to plan the smooth induction of new microlights, along with development of associated infrastructure. “Air Wing units must ensure optimal utilisation of microlights to ensure flying exposure to maximum cadets. Balance cadets must be exposed to simulated start-up procedures, taxiing and shut down procedures and other flight checks. A maximum number of cadets must be trained in aeromodelling,” states the annual training directive 2017-18.
Features of 110 'Virus SW80' aircraft
The NCC is giving 110 'Virus SW80' to its units across the country. Ballistic parachute is the biggest advantage of this aircraft. In case of any technical fault in the aircraft, the ballistic parachute helps it land smoothly. This means that it does not crash. The pilot need not jump out of this microlight aircraft.