Air Wing

INTRODUCTION

1.        The Air Wing has been exclusively manned by Nigerian Air Force (NAF) personnel since the inception of the Wing in 2004 and subsequent commissioning of the Mi-17 helicopter. This is in terms of pilots, engineers, cabin crews and few administration personnel. From 2004 to 2010, the Wing was able to creditably perform its assigned responsibilities of Search and Rescue (SAR) and airlift operations. Additionally, the Wing performed airlift operations for the State House, INEC and the National Boundary 

Commission, among others.  However, in August 2010, the helicopter was grounded due to time-specific Periodic Depot Maintenance (PDM), which in this instance, is the first major maintenance on the helicopter.

2.        The Wing has a total staff strength of 32, comprising 4 pilots, 11 engineers (including one civilian engineer), 9 cabin crews, 2 confidential secretaries, one accountant, 2 drivers, one chief clerical officer and 2 auxiliary staff. 

3.        Since the Wing conducted no operational activities in 2013, the main thrust of this report will be to articulate the major challenges, which when addressed will engender qualitative operational activities for 2014.  Accordingly, the report will deal with pilots, engineers, cabin crews, confidential secretaries, aircraft maintenance, engineering materials, infrastructure, renewal of Certificate of Airworthiness and renewal of insurance.  Others are general training, residential accommodation, office accommodation and additional    crew bus. 

AIM

4. The aim of this report is to highlight the critical challenges that should be addressed to engender qualitative operations in 2014.        

 

PILOTS

5. Mi -17 Helicopter. At the moment there are no pilots in the Wing for the Mi-17 aircraft. There is need to train pilots for the helicopter.

6. Bell 429 Helicopters. Two pilots have undergone the initial type-rating course on the Bell 429 Helicopter.  However, they are on posting in 2013 in order to acquire flying hours for their proficiency.

7. Cessna Citation Aircraft.  The Cessna citation aircraft has 4 pilots that is ; 2 Air Force pilots and 2 civilians.

 

ENGINEERS

8.        The Wing has 5 licensed aircraft engineers and 6 technicians as explained in the table below:

 

S/No

Name

Present Endorsement

Requires

(a)

(b)

(c)

(d)

1.

MWO   Ipogah   P

Rated on Citation II, Bravo Excel (A/C)

Initial Training

2.

MWO   Inyang   NO

8.1 and 9.1 Avionics

1.  9.2 Avionics

2.  Initial Training

3.

WO      Ogory   SL

1.  Flight Engr License

2.  Basic A/C License

1.  Basic Helicopter License

2.  Initial Training

4.

WO      Aliyu      S

8.1 Avionics

1  9.1 & 9.2 Avionics

5.

Engr   Blessing  AN

Rated on Citation Sovereign

Engine Training

 

Presently, 5 technicians have gone to the Nigerian Air Force Institute of Technology, Kaduna to attend License Preparatory Course.  This will enable them sit for their examinations with NCAA and if successful will obtain the basic license on their various fields.  This course will last for a period of 6 months. One of the technicians yet to gain admission to attend the License Preparatory Course.

 

MANPOWER DISPOSITION

9.        There are 5 engineers with different degree of license.  Out of this  number 2 are already type-rated on the Cessna Citation, both of them are equally type-rated on the Bell 429 helicopter.  The remaining 3 engineers are waiting for type-rating on the Bell 429 helicopter and Cessna Citation sovereign.  The Air wing is planning to train 9 cabin crews with the Presidential Air Fleet to be able to carry out mission with ease. 

 

AIRCRAFT MAINTENANCE

10.      The Mi-17-IV helicopter is still grounded awaiting Periodic Depot Maintenance.  The Mi-17 helicopter blades have been removed and prepared ready for ferry for the Periodic Depot Maintenance.

 

ENGINEERING MATERIALS  

11.      The following engineering materials will be required for the smooth operations of the Wing:

a. Ultrasonic Machine.   The ultrasonic machine is used for the washing of the aircraft filters, which include air, oil and fuel filters. Hitherto, the exercise of cleaning the filters was conducted at NAF Special Operations Group in Port Harcourt.

b. Industrial Air Compressor.     The industrial air compressor is used for cleaning both aircraft equipments such as engines, engine deck and aircraft ground equipments.

c. Aircraft Washing Machine.     The aircraft washing machine is used for steam washing of both hot and cold sections of the aircraft.

d. Battery Workshop.     A standard battery workshop will be used for storage of aircraft batteries and accessories.

e. Battery Charger.    The battery charger will be used to conduct capacity test on the battery. Presently, these exercises are carried out at the Presidential Air Fleet.

f. Lubricants.       The Wing needs, at least, a minimum stock holding of lubricants, such as engine oils, hydraulic oil, gear box oil, transmission oil and grease.

 

INFRASTRUCTURE

12.      The unit has acquired 2 containers to store aircraft parts and office accommodation.  However, the containers are without roof and this makes         it possible for leakages during rainy season which will not be good for       aircraft spares

 

CERTIFICATE OF AIRWOTHINESS

13.      The Certificate of Airworthiness of the Mi-17-IV helicopter expired on 11 February 2011.  In accordance with NCAA Standards and Procedures, the aircraft must be serviceable and must undergo a periodic maintenance and test flight carried out before procedure of renewal of certificate of airworthiness can commence.  Cessna Citation and Bell 429 are yet to be handed over officially to the Wing.

 

CERTIFICATE OF INSURANCE

14.      The Mi-17 helicopter certificate of insurance provided by Leadway Assurance Limited expired on 31 December 2010.  There is the need to commence the renewal procedure after the aircraft has completed the periodic maintenance (PDM). Cessna Citation and Bell 429 helicopter are yet to be officially handed over to the Wing.

 

TRAINING GENERAL

15.      The training activities in the Wing, received a slight boost due to the purchase of the Bell 429 Helicopter and Cessna Citation Sovereign.  In this regard, 4 pilots, and 2 engineers have been trained for both Bell 429 helicopter and Cessna Citation Sovereign. While arrangement in being made to train 9 cabin crews with the Presidential Air Fleet. 

 

RESIDENTIAL ACCOMMODATION

16.      The increase in staff strength will require the provision of additional residential accommodation.  In this case, a total of 9 cabin crews need to be accommodated.  However, in the long term there will be need to implore and convince the Presidency to build accommodation for Air Wing personnel as was done for personnel of Presidential Air Fleet.  This is envisaged to save the resources that would otherwise be expended on rented accommodation, in view of the exponential increase in the Wing’s manpower requirements.

 

OFFICE ACCOMMODATION

17.      There is need for expanded office accommodation due to increase in the number of pilots, engineers and cabin crew. 

 

ADDITIONAL CREW BUSES

18.      At the moment, the Wing has a staff car for the Commanding Officer, a Hilux pick up and a crew bus for the engineers.  In view of the increase number of personnel in the Air Wing, there will be need for additional crew bus that will be utilized in conveying the personnel to work.

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