The certification process is under way for NPAS to welcome four P68Rs to its fleet. In order to keep its pilots' eyes in while the certificate is finalised, NPAS pilots have been flying leased fixed-wing aircraft courtesy of ACS.
The UK's National Police Air Service (NPAS) has recently received four new Vulcanair P68R aircraft. While the organisation works to achieve certification for the new arrivals, its fixed-wing pilots have been keeping their skills sharp by adding to their hours in a leased aircraft.
Captain Paul Watts, chief pilot for NPAS, says: “It's essential our fixed-wing pilots retain their flying currency, including vital instructor ratings, while we await airworthiness and police operational certification. Using a leased aircraft has allowed us to do that. Our pilots have been flying from NPAS Doncaster, which is where our new aircraft will deploy from in support of police forces across England and Wales.”
This year NPAS has been working with Cloud Global Group, whose subsidiary company, ACS Aviation, has provided NPAS fixed-wing crew with ongoing support and access to its DA42 Diamond Twin Star fleet. This allows NPAS fixed-wing pilots the opportunity to continue flying. The twin engined aircraft is fully equipped with Garmin G1000 avionics similar to the Vulcanair aircraft, allowing NPAS crews and engineers to familiarise themselves with the systems and operating procedures.
ACS Aviation technical director Craig McDonald adds: “We are committed to supporting and developing our ongoing relationship with the National Police Air Service. Our agreement with NPAS is a testament to our ability and commitment to provide our customers and partners with the most comprehensive aviation solutions.”
The four fixed-wing aircraft will join the existing NPAS rotary fleet, which flies from a network of bases around England and Wales.