During a ceremony held this Friday morning on the air base 702 of Avord, the School of transport aviation (EAT) “Captain Jean d’Artigues” presented their transport pilot license to sixteen trainees who came there complete their training for a year. The ceremony, which was attended by many family members and friends of the young pilots, took place in the presence of Air Brigadier General Olivier Goudal, Colonel Richard Gros, commander of Air Base 702 in Avord, and the boss of the EAT, Lieutenant-Colonel Emeric Watelet.
The trainees received their transport pilot license insignia after training at the air bases of Salon-de-Provence (Bouches-du-Rhône) and Cognac (Charente), and completed at Avord on the Embraer 121 Xingu training aircraft.
premium Colonel Richard Gros takes command of Avord Air Base 702
“In Avord, great pilots have been trained. You feel like the guardian of an immense tradition there, it’s an honor, it’s very exciting!”
At the end of the ceremony, marked by a parade of some BA 702 units flown over by four aircraft, the new promotion happily sacrificed to the tradition of throwing their caps in the air. “It’s really a privilege to have been able to fly here, in Avord, explained Lieutenant Alexandre, 27, now assigned to the base in Istres (Bouches-du-Rhône) to pilot military transport and Airbus A-330 Phoenix refueling. Avord is a very old base (founded in 1912 Editor’s note), great pilots have trained there. You feel like you are the guardian of an immense tradition, it’s a great honour, it’s very exhilarating! »
A tradition of more than a century
The military aviation school of Avord, of which the EAT is an extension, was officially founded on July 23, 1912, almost at the creation of the French military aviation. With 255 aircraft in 1915, its air fleet numbered more than 1,300 in 1918, at the end of the Great War.
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The School of Transport Aviation “Captain Jean d’Artigues” is now specialized in flight without visibility. In particular, it trains military transport pilots for the Ministry of the Armed Forces (Air and Space, Navy, Directorate General for Armaments, DGA). For many years, it has also welcomed student pilots from countries allied with France, in Europe (Benelux, Italy, etc.) and in Africa (Benin in particular).
40,000 movements per year in the sky of Avord
Air base 702 “Captain Georges Madon” in Avord, the second largest in France after Istres, has a staff of around 2,400 officers, non-commissioned officers, non-commissioned officers and civilian personnel. It covers 1,100 hectares in the municipalities of Avord and Farges-en-Septaine.
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Its main runway, recently extended, now measures 4,300 m (3,500 m usable) in order to accommodate the Boeing E-3F Awacs four-engine aircraft, which are stationed there, and Airbus A-330 Phénix twin-engine aircraft (multi-role transport and refueling aircraft ).
The aerial activity of the BA 702 of Avord is some 40,000 movements per year.