To maintain capability there is an own army aviation flying school in Semarang named Pusat Pendidikan Penerbad or Pusdik Penerbad. A typical course is 120 hrs at the Schweizer H-300 for basics and 60 hrs on the NBell-412 / NBO-105 or Mi-35/17 in advanced stage for type rating. When you want to fly another helicopter type you need 3 months conversion course. Most pilots have two type ratings. The Schweizer H-300’s are only flying in the Pusdik Penerbad and the other types are on squadron level. The training involves also 20 hours preliminary period on the FRASCA NBO-105 and NB-412 simulators at Achmad Yani before taking the seat of co-pilot. At this moment experienced pilots take their chance to learn the Mi-35P and become the possibly instructors for the future. Some pilots were partly trained with the Indonesian Air Force helicopter school in Suryadharma and others received a course in the U.S. Army.
The tactics are much influenced by the U.S. especially when operations with special forces are running. When I inform with Captain Sundoro Agung about his most remarkable experience, he mentioned his personal experience in Aceh when many countries came to help in the disaster relief operations and joining together with the same profession, making contact, feeling the brotherhood with the other pilots and feel that what you doing is a good job. He met pilots from the US, Philippines, Japan, Switzerland, Sweden, Holland, UN, Malaysia, Australia and Singapore. Operations urged him sometimes to use the hoist up until 100 metres to take a person from a spot where he could not land and in this way he saved several persons.
The total effort of the Pusat Penerbangan in Aceh was organised in the Detasemen TMMD Penerbad with 2x Mi-35P (HS 7129 and HS 7130), 4x Bell 205A-1 (HA 5073, HA 5077, HA 5124 and HA 5126), 2x NBell 412 (HA 5116, HA 5128) and 2 x Casa 212 (A-9118 and A-9035). At the moment of the visit an exercise was running called Geladi Posko 1 and Geladi Lapanean which inflicted a commando post exercise and field exercise. In the Army, there is an obligation to exercise regularly in personal exercises, small unit exercise but also big unit exercises and joint exercises. The shooting exercises are on a special range in Ambal in Central Java. The maintenance of the helicopters is on the base, under supervision of AVIM (Aviation Intermediate Maintenance) or high level maintenance at PT Dirgantara Indonesia (Formerly IPTN To Day PTDI ) in Bandung.
PT Dirgantara Indonesia (PTDI) and Eurocopter Directors celebrated today in Bandung the beginning of Airframe assembly for EC725/EC225 Helicopters, the latest version of the “Super Puma” family. This milestone highlights the excellent project coordination and relationship between the two teams. The first fuselage is expected to be delivered at the end of 2011.
The fixed wing component of the Pusat Penerbad is based at Pondok Cabe in Jakarta sharing the airfield with the Police Aviation and the Air Force Aeroclub FASI. The Squadron 21/sena is a support squadron, as is the airbase while HQ is located at Semarang. The device Negara Kesatuan Republik Indonesia (NKRI) Harga Mata meaning fixed price with no negotiation resembling the resoluteness of the soldiers is projected inside the main building near the entrance. The core unit exists of five C-212 Aviocars (seven delivered) which are in
use for general purposes, troop transport, communication flights, air intelligence, aerial photography and Command & Control. When needed the Aviocars can drop parachutists, as can also do the Bell or Mi-35 helicopters. For Search And Rescue missions, sometimes executed above the sea the Casa can drop the Low Altitude Parachuting Extracting System (LAPES) which can released by handle from the cockpit from a rail. The LAPES contains first Aid equipment and a dinghy. Two ex Emirates DHC-5 Buffalo’s are serving in the VIP role and inside with comfortable seats in a green tune. They were originally purchased by IPTN who bought them cheap in exchange for new CN-235 and N-250 aircraft for the Emirates. IPTN offered them first to the Air Force and secondly to the Indonesian Army and Naval aviation.
Pilots will need a trajectory with the Air Force to learn flying on fixed wing aircraft first 120 hours on the AS-202 Bravo and then 60 hours on the Beech T-34C Turbo Mentor before the move to the Aviocar and becoming a co-pilot. Aircraft and helicopters of the units are frequently changing between the two bases or deployed elshwhere. The Pusat Penerbad is comparatively well equipped and has a strong leadership. It will be interesting to observe the progress in development in future.