Eighteen Libyan student pilots are currently undergoing flight training at an English flying school in preparation for flying airliners of Libyan Arab Airlines.
Eighteen Libyan student pilots are currently undergoing flight training at an English flying school in preparation for flying airliners of Libyan Arab Airlines. The students, on an intensive 13-month course at the Oxford Air Training School, are learning to fly light aircraft to a high standard of skill, and when their course is completed will return to Libya for conversion training to the larger Caravelles, Boeing 727's, and Fokker Friendships of Libyan Airlines. A VISNEWS film crew visited Oxford on Friday (August 6) to see how much progress the students have made in the four months of their course so far.
SYNOPSIS: Heathrow Airport, London -- just one port of call for Libyan Arab Airlines on their international route network. But large airliners and busy airports call for the highest standards of piloting skill -- standards requiring years of intensive training and practice. For this, Libya has now begun sending its student pilots to England for basic training in commercial piloting...one of the most demanding careers in the world.
At the Oxford Air Training School, where the first batch of 18 Libyan student pilots arrived four months age for an intensive 16-month course, they learn to fly light aircraft like Piper Cherokees and Piper Twin Comanches. Over the 13 months they will put in five days a week of flying, classroom training, more flying, and more classroom training -- until they have completed hundreds of hours flying time and passed the rigid written and practical examinations. Before they begin their pilot's course, they spend a month learning English.
A great deal of time is spent in classrooms, learning the complicated theories of flight practice. The lessons are stiff, and students who fail to come up to required standards are soon rejected. But so far, according to the instructors, the 18 young Libyan students -- aged between 19 and 24 -- are doing well.
But great emphasis is, of course, placed on practical flying training. Altogether, the students will do 230 hours of flying time -- far in excess of the 40 hours normally required for a license to fly small aircraft like these. In addition, the course includes programming to fly the larger Fokker Friendship passenger aircraft with which Libyan Airlines is equipped. From the school the students will return to Libya for full training on the large airliners used by Libyan Airlines -- the Fokkers, Boeing 727's and Caravelles. That training takes the form of instruction on flight simulators, practical work on actual fights with experienced crews, and specialised courses to handle specific types of aircraft.
Meanwhile, however, the basic flying course is proving so valuable that in October a further 10 Libyan students will join the 320 students of 20 different nationalities currently training at a cost of about GBP5,000 each -- which includes the expense of living in the school's residence halls. But the price, according to the international airlines which send their students to Oxford, is a small one to pay for maximum safety in today's crowded airways.