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First pilot wings awarded to French student fighter pilots trained on Pilatus PC-21


On Wednesday September 16, 2020, the first French Air and Space Force pilots to have been trained on Pilatus PC-21 received their pilot wings. This ceremony was chaired by General Philippe Lavigne, Chief of Staff of the Air and Space Force (Armée de l’Air et de l’Espace), at BA709 Commandant Ménard (BA 709) air base in Cognac-Châteaubernard.

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First delivery of pilot wings to French student fighter pilots trained on Pilatus PC 21 Pilatus PC-21 of the French Air and Space Force (Picture source: French Air and Space Force)


This ceremony was special in two ways. For the first time, the pilot wings were awarded to student pilots after taining on the new Pilatus PC-21 trainer aircraft. BA709 also had the honor of welcoming the flag of the School of Fighter Aviation (EAC), until now entrusted to the BA 705 Commandants Jean and François Tulasne, of Tours.

The Air Force Flight School (EPAA) trains fighter pilots and weapon system officers on Pilatus PC-21. At the end of the training, a « macaronnage » ceremony is held, which corresponds to the presentation of certificates to student pilots and navigators. 


First delivery of pilot wings to French student fighter pilots trained on Pilatus PC 21 2 Pilatus PC-21 of the French Air and Space Force (Picture source: French Air and Space Force)