Navy winging in new year at Kingman airport

New pilots getting their first air time here

JC AMBERLYN/Miner<BR>Lieutenant Commander David Flowers is pictured Friday with his T-6B Texan 2 plane.

JC AMBERLYN/Miner<BR>Lieutenant Commander David Flowers is pictured Friday with his T-6B Texan 2 plane.

KINGMAN - Lt. Cmdr. David Flowers of the U.S. Navy was at the Kingman Airport Friday answering questions about flight training for new pilots that the Navy is conducting there.

About 60-75 students will be training with $6 million T-6B Texan 2 planes, practicing taking off, landing, circling and other maneuvers. The flight instruction is usually based in Corpus Christi, Texas, and heads to Las Cruces, New Mexico for a few months of the year when the weather is less than ideal.

Due to some fueling issues, the winter training has been moved to the Kingman area. Key factors in the decision, Flowers said, include Kingman's mild winter weather and great airfields that date back to World War II.

Naval flight training will continue here through about mid-March, then the program will head back to Texas.

New pilots usually start with what is about a six-month course. They start with a flight simulator, then go on to have 12 flights with an instructor present. If they pass a check ride, they continue their training.

U.S. Navy pilots generally have three choices for further study after six months: maritime, jet training, or helicopter piloting.

The training in Kingman consists of practice with an actual aircraft. Students have an instructor with them at all times while flying.

Students will do a lot of practicing with landing flight patterns, working on the standard Navy approach of 1500 feet of straightaway or less. They also practice an 1800-foot pattern and practice emergency landings, Flowers said. Instructors keep an eye out for other aircraft and seek to give right of way to others who are approaching or taking off.

People who have further questions about the training should contact Bob Riley at (928) 757-2134.