Training Air Wing FIVE (TRAWING 5) consists of the commander, his staff and six training squadrons. The primary mission of TRAWING 5 is to administer, coordinate and supervise the flight and academic training and support of Student Military Aviators (SMAs) and flight students of allied nations as directed by the Chief of Naval Air Training (CNATRA). United States Navy, Marine Corps and Coast Guard instructors and students are assigned to TRAWING 5 and its squadrons. The TRAWING 5 staff implements the CNATRA-approved flight and academic syllabus, oversees the flight instructor standardization training program, coordinates squadron student load and assignments, oversees student production within the wing and monitors aircraft maintenance activities.
Naval Flight Training
It is a course unlike any other. Naval Flight Training is filled with constant challenges and is designed to test an individual’s stamina and ability to adapt to the flying environment. Every aspect of the training program has a purpose based on an understanding of what the flying environment may hold. The military aviator must know and master all the elements that will be encountered in combat. Mastery of the flying environment requires unceasing commitment and self-discipline. The school is about a dream, a vision of flight and a desire to wear the coveted “Wings of Gold.” After completing aviation indoctrination at Naval Aviation Schools Command at NAS Pensacola, the next step is Primary Flight Training Ground School at NAS Whiting Field.
Ground School, conducted by the Academic Training Department of TRAWING 5, provides the core of knowledge upon which all simulator and aircraft instruction is based. Ground School consists of four weeks of intensive academic instruction in the fundamentals of the T-6B, including aircraft systems, aviation physiology, aircraft preflight inspection, aircraft egress and bailout, crew resource management, safety and emergency procedures. Before SMAs get into a plane, they practice engine startup, takeoff, landing, engine shutdown and the basics of radio communication in a simulator or training device. Immediately following completion of Primary Ground School students begin the flight phase of training.
Primary Flight Training
Primary is conducted here at NAS Whiting Field under the direction of TRAWING 5 at one of our three primary squadrons: Training squadrons 2 (VT-2), 3 (VT-3) or 6 (VT-6). Student aviators complete a rigorous curriculum of primary flight instruction lasting 25 weeks in the T-6B Texan II trainer aircraft. This instruction provides a combination of actual and simulated flight experience for SMAs. With the exception of solo flights, all actual flights of the T-6B are conducted under the experienced eye of an instructor pilot, a designated military aviator. The first stage, contact or familiarization, consists of 13 flights in which the student learns to conduct a proper preflight inspection of the aircraft, techniques for takeoff and landing, basic air-work, radio communications, emergency procedures, spins and stall recoveries. During the basic instrument stage, the SMA learns how to control the aircraft by sole usage of the cockpit instrument panel. The student will begin instrument flying in a high-tech flight simulator and then take techniques learned to the aircraft. Precision aerobatics and formation flying are confidence builders and are considered by some to be the most enjoyable flights in primary. These flights further familiarize the student with the strengths and limitations of the aircraft and refine the student’s flying abilities. Students then go on to learn the basics of radio instruments. In this stage of the flight training, SMAs learn airways navigation and instrument approaches. It is during this stage that SMAs acquire the fundamental knowledge that will make them “all-weather” pilots. In the last phase of primary flight training, the student will exercise their newly acquired abilities to conduct Visual Flight Rules (VFR) and instrument flights operations. Once a student has completed primary, they will select one of the advanced pipelines in which they will continue their flight training in their quest to earn their “wings of gold.”
After completing primary training, the student is selected for advanced training in jet, multiengine, tilt-rotor or helicopter pipelines. Selection is based on three factors: the needs of the service, flight and academic grades, and the individual’s preference. Students selected for the helicopter or tilt-rotor pipelines remain at Whiting Field for advanced training. Advanced rotary students will receive their “wings of gold” at NAS Whiting Field, while tilt-rotor students will receive their wings of gold following completion of multiengine training at NAS Corpus Christi, Texas.