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School of Flight Deck Operations

At the Royal Naval School of Flight Deck Operations, Trainee Flight deck operators learn how to manage aircraft movements on board ships and tackle aircraft fires. Equipment including a dummy flight deck and hot fire simulators allow trainees to practise in a safe and controlled environment.

Nostris in manibus tuti – Safe in these hands

The Royal Naval School of Flight Deck Operations is the training centre for the Royal Navy’s Aircraft Handling Branch. Simulators and ‘hands on’ training help the recruits to learn the ropes of the Aircraft Handling profession before they go to sea.

The school trains its students in aircraft movements (both ashore and afloat), airfield crash rescue and fire-fighting.

Managing aircraft movements at sea

Some 1500 students attend courses each year. The school’s equipment and facilities include a mock-up of a flight deck of an aircraft carrier with Sea Harriers; a simulator and a small ships flight deck to help students learn how to manage aircraft movements onboard a ship and practise stimulated flying operations.

Students learn both multi-spot - more than one aircraft on an aircraft carrier deck - and single-spot operations (where there is just one aircraft in a confined area e.g. a helicopter on the back of a frigate).

Tackling aircraft fires

Students also learn how to tackle different fire-fighting scenarios in a controlled and safe environment. The school has a state-of-the-art simulator, similar in design layout to that of a house, providing various challenges and with temperatures up to 240 degrees.

Airfield crash rescue training is conducted at a specialist facility situated at Predannack, our satellite airfield. A range of planes and ‘hot fire’ simulators test the students in a very realistic environment.

Safe drivers

Royal Navy driver training is also carried out at the school, with courses designed to train personnel to drive and operate vehicles ranging from aircraft towing tractors to articulated lorries, cranes and 26 tonne airfield fire vehicles.

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