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Grob G115D2
Grob G115D2

727 Squadron's primary role is to grade young Naval and Royal Marine officers to assess their suitability for further training with the Fleet Air Arm. This takes place throughout the year and each student is with the Squadron for three weeks. During those weeks, he or she will fly twelve hours with an instructor before flying a Final Handling Test with the Commanding Officer. An assessment is then made of his or her ability and they are then told if they have a future as a Naval pilot. The majority of students are from Britannia Royal Naval College Dartmouth and have joined the Royal Navy to be pilots. They come to the Squadron during their last term at the College.

The Squadron also undertakes many other roles, one of which is the new Special Flying Award, as well as providing refresher training to helicopter pilots in fixed wing flying techniques before they convert to the Sea Harrier, Jetstream or become Qualified Flying Instructors. Navigation training is given to Royal Marines selected to become Aircrewmen for the Commando Helicopter Force, and the aircraft are used by Air Engineer Officers for practical application of their studies. In addition, Air Traffic Control Officers learn to receive instructions from their ground-based colleagues to gain an appreciation of the aviator's viewpoint.

However the core task of the Squadron remains the grading of student pilots with seventy students undertaking grading annually. Despite these other functions where the Squadron is a significant milestone for those already involved in aviation, its raison d'etre remains as the starting post for those setting out in their flying careers.

Grob G115D2

Today 727 Squadron operate the G115D2 aircraft, which replaced the De-Haviland Chipmunk T.10 on the 1st April 1994. The Grob is a two seat, single engine aircraft. It is capable of all aspects of basic fixed wing training, including general handling, aerobatics, navigation, instrument flying and formation flying.