The Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) Air Academy is responsible for conducting basic and instructor training for pilots, mission aircrew and air traffic controllers. It also provides aircrew combat survival training for Air Force and other Australian Defence Force personnel.Air Academy operates the PC-21 aircraft for pilot training at No. 1 Flying Training School and No. 2 Flying Training School, and for pilot instructor training at Central Flying School. The 30 week Pilot Intermediate Course builds on the skills learnt on Basic Pilots Course as well as new disciplines such as formation and low-level navigation.
The Pilatus PC-21 is the world’s most advanced pilot training aircraft. As part of the AIR 5428 Pilot Training System project, the PC-21 will replace Air Force’s current PC-9/A. It will be based at RAAF Base East Sale in Victoria and RAAF Base Pearce in Western Australia. It is capable of sustained low-level speeds over 320 knots, and hydraulically assisted ailerons and roll spoilers can produce fighter-like rates of roll in excess of 200 degrees per second. It can be used from day one in the training system, eliminating the need for an elementary flying training fleet, but also bridges the performance gap between traditional turboprop trainers and lead-in fighters.