Lieutenant Colonel Daniele L. of the Italian Air Force has become the first Italian Typhoon pilot to reach 1,000 flight hours on the aircraft. This milestone was achieved during an Air Defence training mission flown through Tuscany’s air space recently.
The officer, in service at Grosseto’s 4th Wing, with the role of Chief of Flight Safety, has spent his flight career on the Typhoon mainly as instructor pilot at the 20th OCU Group (Operational Conversion Unit), contributing to the transition of many pilots assigned to the Eurofighter.
The 20th Group, in addition to supporting the other 4th Wing group IX in Italian Air Space Surveillance Service, is in charge of the operational conversion of future Eurofighter pilots.
“The 20th Group counts in its ranks expert pilots coming from different operational groups – the Commander of the 4th Wing, Colonel Michele Morelli, said – and the instructors are selected both on the basis of indisputable professional skills and personal characteristics, fundamental in effectively sharing expertise to ensure the pilot’s rapid operational qualification on the Eurofighter aircraft”.
Two types of training course are run in Grosseto each year for up to twenty pilots. The first is the “complete” class, that lasts for nine months and is divided into two phases, one being a ground phase which covers all aircraft systems as well as the accomplishment of a first series of basic simulator activities, and the other being where pilots carry out real flight activities in parallel with simulated ones, with increasing levels of difficulty. The second is the “short” class, for the transition of pilots coming from F-16 squadrons or other combat aircraft and takes just three months to complete.