Tuesday, October 17, 2017
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Paramount launches aviation technician course

Technicians working on an Impala.Paramount Group has announced the launch of an aviation technician course to train the next generation of African aircraft technicians, which will complement its pilot training courses run by Paramount Aerospace Systems.

The new course will start to accept students from January 2018. The three year course covers theory and practical training across two trades, namely Mechanical Technician and Avionics Technician. The mechanical training will be conducted on all aspects of the aircraft covering the airframe, hydraulics, piston engines, turbine engines, undercarriage, pneumatic systems and fuel systems.

The Avionics training course will cover all aspects of the aircraft avionics trade namely aircraft instruments, electrical systems, radios and navigation systems.

Brian Greyling, CEO of Paramount Aerospace Systems said: “Insufficient training capacity and an exodus of skilled manpower are some of the most important factors that have resulted in a shortage of aviation professionals in Africa. Across both the civilian and military aviation sectors there are increasing skills shortages.

“Investing in the development of aviation human capacity is a key. There is a gap between the number of professionals sought and the training capacity in Africa. It is here where we can help to inject new skills and capacity to serve the continent’s growing aviation sector.

“This is a fantastic opportunity to gain an internationally recognized qualification to become an aircraft technician. We have developed a very unique programme which includes a combination of both theory and practical on the job training where the student works under supervision.

“Paramount Group has decades of experience in training aircraft technicians for air forces, we have some of the best qualified training personnel on the continent, and our world-class training modules are tried and tested, practical and designed for the real world.”

Paramount pointed out that a recent market forecast by Airbus indicates that Africa needs 1 000 commercial jets and 21 700 new pilots in the coming 20 years, while Boeing estimates that Africa would demand 18 000 new pilots and 22 000 technicians over the same period.
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 The training course was announced at the Polokwane Air Show at Polokwane International Airport on 7 October. Paramount Aerospace Systems is a key occupant at the airport, and trains pilots and technicians there at its academy there. As part of the air show, the first to be held in Polokwane in a decade, Paramount exhibited its Mirage F1, Mirage 5 and Impala jets, used by its training academy, and performed a three-ship formation with its SF260 trainers.

Paramount also displayed its ten metre tall Parabot ‘transformer’ robot, which was developed to showcase Africa’s defence and aerospace technologies and raise awareness of the plight of Africa’s threatened rhino and elephant populations.

The announcement over the aviation technicians course comes after the Group it had acquired four ex-French Air Force Mirage F1B aircraft and would use them to enhance its pilot and maintenance technician training capabilities.

altParamount is no stranger to the Mirage F1 – in 2003 the South African Air Force put 21 Mirage F1 aircraft up for disposal by way of Armscor and Paramount subsequently purchased the entire Mirage F1 package, including airframes, spares and support equipment in 2006. Paramount Aerospace has sold F1s to Congo Brazzaville and Gabon.

 Paramount Aerospace Systems started out training pilots for F1 customers, but now operates a wide-ranging pilot training capability from ab initio to advanced fighter training in South Africa and customer countries.

Its pilot training school at Polokwane uses Cessna 172 and Alenia Aermacchi SF-260 propeller aircraft for ab initio training, followed by an Atlas Impala jet trainer and two-seat Mirage 5 for fast jet conversion.
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