LOM Praha’s Centrum leteckého výcviku (CLV, Flight Training Centre) at Pardubice officially took delivery of its first two Enstrom 480B-Gs on June 21. The pair comprised 0473 (c/n 5240) – which was still registered as N829JK when it appeared at the airshow there on June 1 – and 0474 (c/n 5241).
The company confirmed in October that it would receive six of these new training helicopters – four military examples and two civilian. The latter will enable the company to expand its general training operations, including night flying, which is often restricted under military rules.
Three CLV instructor pilots are qualified to fly the Enstrom. They will train the first class of six helicopters pilots recently graduated from the Military Academy in Brno. The course is scheduled to commence in August, by which time the second pair of military Enstroms (0459 and 0460) will also have arrived. The two civilian examples on order are expected to be based at Hradec Králové.
Delivery of the new helicopters signals the withdrawal of the Mi-2, which has been used for initial entry rotary wing (IERW) training in Czechoslovakia and the Czech Republic since 1972. CLV took over the training of new Czech military pilots (helicopter, fixed-wing and jets) in 2004.
At the time of the Enstrom handover, one Mi-2, serial 0718, was still flying but will shortly need an overhaul. LOM Praha plans to transplant its engine into another Mi-2, serial 0711, which still has hundreds of hours left on its airframe. It will then be flown at airshows and other special occasions. Alan Warnes