Three Maldivian Pilots Completes Dornier Co-pilot Conversion Course In India
Maldives National Defence Force acquired the single Dornier Do-228 Maritime Patrol aircraft from India in September 2020.
The Do-228 is primarily used for medivac flights, search and rescue flights, etc and is operated in the Maldives by the Indian Navy pilots.
In the 29th Dornier Operational Flying Training (DOOFT) program, three Maldivian MNDF pilots successfully completed the Co-pilot conversion course graduating as ‘Fully Operational MR Pilots’.
The MNDF pilots undertook three months of ground training at the School for Naval Airmen and Naval Institute of Aeronautical Technology and underwent Co-pilot conversion at INAS 550.
The graduation ceremony took place on 20th August 2021 where Commodore VB Bellary, Commanding Officer INS Garuda who was the Chief Guest of the event awarded certificates to the graduates.
MNDF first received the Dhruv helicopters in 2010 and since then, no local pilots have been involved in operating the aircraft as pilots.
Many have long raised concerns due to the lack of local involvement in the MNDF Air Wing operations especially with the arrival of the Dornier aircraft as many highly experienced local pilots have operated the Dornier aircraft for many years as the aircraft was used in the Maldives from the 1980s till 2008.
It was NSS (former MNDF) that first sponsored locals in the 1970s that trained the very first commercial pilots in the nation who are still active in the aviation industry in the Maldives today.