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Firefly T67M260
Fireflys in Formation

The Defence Elementary Flying Training School - DEFTS

DEFTS was established in July 2003 as a Military Flying School for Army and Royal Navy student pilots. It comprises of 703 Naval Air Squadron and 674 Squadron, Army Air Corps and is supported by a civilian contract with Babcock plc. The School uses a fleet of civil registered Slingsby Firefly T67M 260 basic trainers.

Naval pilots complete 60 hrs of elementary flying training on the Firefly at RAF Barkston Heath, a satellite airfield of RAF Cranwell. Whilst on course they train under 703 NAS. On completion of the course the future helicopter pilots move on to the Defence Helicopter Flying School at RAF Shawbury. Those streamed for Harrier training join their RAF counterparts at RAF Linton-on-Ouse to fly the Tucano. If successful here they will then pass on to RAF Valley to fly the Hawk trainer.

The EFT syllabus consists of instrument flying, navigation including a cross-country land-away, aerobatics, formation and low level flying (Army students skip out aerobatics and formation flying and only fly a 40 hour course). The instructors are a mixture of civilians and serving officers from the Navy, Army and RAF.

Slingsby Firefly T67M260

The Slingsby Firefly is a conventional low-wing, two-seat training aircraft with a fixed tricycle undercarriage. It is powered by a 260 hp Textron lycoming engine driving a constant-speed, composite three-bladed propeller. Instructor and pupil sit side-by-side and, with a full fuel load, training flights of up to three hours duration can be achieved. The aircraft is fully aerobatic.