FLYING INSTRUCTORS SCHOOL

UNIT CREST AND MOTTO
The crest of Flying Instructors' School depicts a torch with an open fist, signifying knowledge imparted and passed on by a flying instructor, and a clenched fist held upright, depicting an under trainee receiving the same. The wings depict aviation.

The motto is 'VIDYA DANEN VARDHATE '' which signifies that 'Knowledge when imparted multiplies'. This has been taken from Kautilya's 'ARTHASATRA', the oldest book of Sanskrit literature. This is the guiding principle of the teaching learning process at the Flying Instructors' School.

UNIT HISTORY

On 01 Apr 48, the Flying Instructor's School (FIS) was formed at Ambala. Flt Lt LRD Blunt  ('Screamy') was given the honour of being the first Commanding Officer. Flying and associated ground training commenced on home soil with zeal and zest. During the initial few years, 5-6 pilots per course were trained on Tiger Moth and Harvard ac. The course duration was 12 weeks.

The process of training regular Squadron pilots to become flying instructors had commenced. The onerous responsibility of moulding ab-initios and operational pilots to fly with utmost professionalism and dedication as their hallmark now rested on the shoulders of the QFIs.Flt Lt TN Bhanot, who took over command of the unit from Flt Lt LRD Blunt, had a short tenure from 15 Jan 49 to 07 Apr 49.

Flt Lt HK Bose ('Jerry') commanded the unit from 08 Apr 49 and it was during his tenure that the command of the unit was upgraded to the rank of Sqn Ldr along with his promotion on 09 Dec 49.

During the year 1954, India and Pakistan were on the brink of war and tension on the border was rife. Large scale changes were undertaken in the IAF during that period. The Vampires were inducted and two new Spitfire squadrons were raised. Based on the military and strategic outlook, a decision was taken to relocate the School in Tambaram near Chennai. After the relocation in 1954, FIS was equipped with the indigenously built HT-2 aircraft. The HT-2 served in FIS till 1989.

1954 TO 1965

The origin of Tambaram airfield dates back to 1942. The British built this Base with two cross-runways over an expanse of about 1400 acres. The airfield was used in the Second World War as a Royal Naval Air Station. Its main role was to facilitate recovery and to provide rest-in-transit to the Allied Forces.

A comparatively quiet airfield, Tambaram witnessed a frenzy of air and ground activity as FIS started operations. FIS had found a new home at Tambaram where it has continued till date.

COMMAND OF THE UNIT

Sqn Ldr KL Suri took over command of the unit from 17 May 57 and Sqn Ldr RJM Upot from 22 Jan 60. It was on 09 Jul 62 that the command was upgraded to the rank of Wg Cdr when Wg Cdr NB Singh took over as the Commanding Officer. Wg Cdr EL Birch took over the reins of the unit on 10 Mar 65. The Command was further upgraded to the rank of Gp Capt in Aug 76. Gp Capt N Gautam is commanding the Unit at present.

TRAINING

FIS is tasked to impart quality training to experienced pilots and mould them into dedicated and extremely skilled flying instructors. At FIS, the flying skills and professional knowledge of these U/T QFIs are honed to enable them to undertake the arduous task of imparting flying training more effectively and efficiently. The QFIs who successfully graduate from FIS are entrusted with the responsibility of training ab-initio pilots at flying training establishments and moulding them into future Air Warriors. Subsequently at the operational units, these specialists would impart training to aircrew in various roles that the unit is entrusted to perform. It is to the credit of the School and its staff, past and present, that it has also successfully integrated the training of officers from the sister services and friendly foreign nations.

TRAINING OF SISTER SERVICES AND FOREIGN OFFICERS

With the passage of time, the overall concept of warfare and airpower saw many developments. The Indian Army and Navy raised their own air arms and realized the need to have their own experienced pilots trained as flying instructors. The fine reputation of the School having spread worldwide, Friendly Foreign countries started sending their own pilots to be trained as instructors. The School has the distinction of training pilots from over 17 countries, including USA, Sri Lanka, Malaysia, Nigeria, Kenya and Botswana. Apart from this, the graduates of this School have been sent to train ab-initio and operational pilots in countries like Iraq, Egypt, Botswana and Malaysia.

THE LONGEST COURSE

The 54 APFIC commenced training at the School on July 71. This course included officers from the Air Force, Army, Navy and Malaysian Air Force. In Aug 71, owing to unrest on our borders, the course was suspended and all pilots were attached to operational squadrons. After the conflict, training at the School resumed and was completed in May 72, almost after one year. Thus 54 APFIC is recorded in the annals of FIS as the 'longest course'.

SERVICING OF AIRCRAFT

Prior to 1980, maintenance and servicing of ac were being done by AF personnel. However, from 1980 onwards, HAL staff took over the maintenance and servicing of ac in FIS.

 

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