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Mission aircrew training

Our mission aircrew are highly trained for their specialised roles.

Cobham's Special Mission aircrew roles

Outside of the Australian Defence Force (ADF), Cobham is the largest employer of mission aircrew in Australia and currently runs a highly specialised mission aircrew training system that trains more than 30 mission aircrew per year. Our mission aircrew roles are highly specialised and people new to the role require significant training before taking to the skies.

Our training system is used to train and develop our mission aircrew workforce, which currently delivers around 15,000 flight hours and 2,500 missions per annum of civil Intelligence Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR) tasking and 200 search and rescue missions per annum. Our mission aircrew leadership include former ADF mission aircrew.

Our in-house training team is dedicated to supporting new employees throughout the entire process. The end result is highly proficient crews who are prepared for special mission tasks.

Our mission aircrew roles include:

  • Mission Coordinator (Surveillance and SAR)
  • Electronic Observer (Surveillance)
  • Drop Master (SAR)
  • Visual Observer (SAR)

Drop Master

  • A. Visual searches for SAR tasking
    The Drop Master conducts visual searches for SAR tasking
  • B. Despatch of SAR stores
    The Drop Master is responsible for managing despatch of SAR stores from the aircraft

Electronic Mission Coordinator

  • A. Communication and reporting
    The Aircraft Mission Coordinator communicates with AMSA for SAR tasking and reporting
  • B. Search and Rescue tasks
    The Aircraft Mission Coordinator coordinates execution of SAR tasks
  • C. Mission sensors and radios
    The Aircraft Mission Coordinator operates mission sensors and radios

Visual Observer

  • A. Visual Searches
    The Visual Observer conducts visual searches for SAR tasking.
  • B. Despatches SAR stores
    The Visual Observer despatches SAR stores from the aircraft under supervision of Dropmaster

Training for mission aircrew consists of a number of components depending on the role. It may include training on aircraft sensors and systems (Mission Systems, Electro-Optics, Radar, Radios and Direction Finding), operational considerations, task planning, communications, aerial delivery of survival stores and casualty culture.