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Air Force graduates 36 pioneer commercial helicopter pilots

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ENUGU – The first set of 36 commercial helicopter pilots trained in the country graduated from the Nigerian Air Force International Helicopter Flying School in Enugu State on Friday.

Vice President Namadi Sambo said at the graduation that the pioneer helicopter pilots ever trained in the country would help to ensure safety, security and development of the aviation sector.

According to him, it is a monumental achievement that will stand the test of time.

Sambo said “this is a clear testimony that the Nigerian Air Force is moving in the right direction toward fulfilling its mandate as the centre of excellence which is in line with the transformation agenda of the Federal government.

“I charge you all to sustain the tempo so that this school will compete with other flying international schools.

“This is just the beginning. In the near future, this institution will not only train pilots but will maintain and manufacture aircraft.’’

The vice president urged the new pilots to work harder and be good ambassadors of the school and the country in general.

In his remarks, the Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Adesola Amosun, commended the Federal Government for its support toward ensuring that the goals of the school were met.

Amosun said that the school, established in 2012, was aimed at encouraging air force personnel to have civil licences and ratings to enable them to reintegrate into the civil society when they disengaged from service.

He pledged the commitment of the force in providing quality services to the aviation sector.

The Chairman, Board of Directors of the school, Prince Arthur Eze, called on the students to distinguish themselves in order to encourage more entrants into the school.

The Rector of the school, Group Capt. Ismaila Yahaya, said that the school offered 11 different helicopter courses, including integrated helicopter pilot course and instrument rating. He said the graduates were sponsored by the Nigerian Air Force, the Navy, Police and the Yobe government, while three were privately sponsored. [eap_ad_1] Some of the graduating students who spoke to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) said the training had prepared them for the challenges ahead in flight operations.

The new pilots include Lt. Patrick Onah, Abdulkarim Ibrahim and Ndah Ekerete.

Highlights of the event were the inauguration of the NAF 305 headquaters and presentation of certificates to the graduating students by the vice president.

Dignitaries at the event include Gov. Sullivan Chime of Enugu State and his Deputy, Rev. Ifeanyi Nwoye, as well as the Chairman, Senate Committee on Aviation, Chief Hope Uzodinma and former Governor of Enugu State, Chief Jim Nwobodo. (NAN)

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