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USAF, RCAF exchange pilots and expertise

By Senior Airman Stormy Archer | 502nd Air Base Wing Public Affairs | Nov. 20, 2018

JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-RANDOLPH, Texas —

Members of the Royal Canadian Air Force visited the 559th Flying Training Squadron Nov. 15-16 at Joint Base San Antonio-Randolph.

 

The visit allowed pilots from United States and Royal Canadian Air Forces to share knowledge and expertise related to pilot training in the T-6A Texan II and CT-156 Harvard II.

“Being here to exchange ideas helps us stay relevant and makes sure we are not missing out on something we could be doing better,” said RCAF Maj. Marc-Andre Lefebvre, 559th FTS standards and evaluation pilot.

Lefebvre is a member of the RCAF taking part in a pilot exchange program between the 559th FTS at JBSA-Randolph and the 15th Wing in Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan.

“For me the biggest takeaway of this exchange is the ability to view the exact same problem from a different perspective,” Lefebvre said. “That is invaluable to me because it has made me a better aviator. When I go back home, I can take that knowledge and share it and make our instructors in Canada better pilots.

“Hopefully the reverse is also true and my presence here has allowed the instructors here to consider new techniques as well.”

Lefebvre, who has been with the 559th FTS for more than two and a half years, invited the RCAF pilots to JBSA-Randolph to see how members of the 559th were innovating the way they train new pilots, with a focus on how they are implementing virtual reality to enhance training.

“We wanted to see what the USAF is doing in terms of innovating and how they are trying to improve their pilot training systems,” said RCAF Capt. Adam Sobchuck, 15th Wing. “Some of the things they are doing with VR can really help save time and money.”

 

The exchange of pilots and knowledge has helped both organizations progress and stay on the leading edge of pilot training in the T-6A Texan II and CT-156 Harvard II.

 

“Through this program I have had the privilege to develop faster as an aviator because it allowed me to look at the same problem differently,” Lefebvre said. “We all land the aircraft in a similar way, but the process to get there is slightly different. Now I’m better equipped to teach a new student. If they don’t understand one way attacking a problem, I can use the tools I have acquired here to help them understand how to resolve whatever issues they are having.”