[CFS Introduction | Group Captain Jon Fynes RAF | AP3456 | EFTS ]

....to Develop and Maintain the Highest Standards of Flying Instruction Across the Three Services


Central Flying School Mission:

To train flying instructors, test individual aircrew, audit the Flying Training System, give advice on flying training, and provide a formation aerobatics display team, in order to create and maintain an Air Force that, person for person and pound for pound, is second to none.

Established at Upavon on 12 May 1912, the Central Flying School (CFS) is the longest serving flying school in the world. It is responsible for checking and maintaining the highest possible standards of pure flying and flying instruction within the RAF and, on request, the Army, Royal Navy and many other international Air Forces. In overall command of CFS is the Commandant (Comdt), who is presently Group Captain Jon Fynes RAF. He is based at Headquarters CFS which is located at RAF College Cranwell. Since its formation in 1912, CFS has been located at Wittering, Hullavington, South Cerney, Little Rissington, Cranwell, Leeming and Scampton. The HQ finally moved back to Cranwell as a lodger unit in 1995. With this final move came the federalisation of some of the CFS Flying Squadrons (Sqns), that had previously been located at RAF Scampton. The CFS Tucano Sqn moved first to RAF Topcliffe and then to 1 Flying Training School (FTS), RAF Linton-on-Ouse. The CFS Bulldog Sqn, now Tutor Sqn, moved to 3 FTS, RAFC Cranwell. The CFS Hawk Sqn re-formed as two CFS Flts, namely 19 (R) Sqn and 208 Sqn and remained at RAF Valley, and the CFS (Helicopter) Sqn remained at RAF Shawbury.

The roles of CFS have also varied, ranging from the training of 'war' pilots for the Royal Flying Corps in 1912, to the present-day training of flying instructors and examiners. In 1995 a rationalisation of all instructor training was carried out. It was recognised that, apart from the traditional roles of Qualified Flying Instructor (QFI) and Qualified Helicopter Instructor (QHI), other 'Q' annotated instructional roles should be fully recognised as part of CFS' training remit and titled appropriately. To that end, the following instructional roles were recognised: Pilot Navigation Instructor (QPNI), Navigator Instructor (QNI), Helicopter Navigator Instructor (QHNI), Helicopter Crewman Instructor (QHCI), Air Engineer Instructor (QEI), Air Electronics Instructor (QAEI), and Weapons Instructor (QWI).

Comdt CFS is supported by a number of highly experienced RAF CFS Examiners, based at Cranwell, Valley, Linton, Syerston and Shawbury, and in addition by a Staff Officer, PA and a small team of civilian administrative staff. Comdt also exercises command and control of the RAF's 'Red Arrows' Aerobatic Team (RAFAT) and the editorial staff of AP3456 (the RAF Manual, Flying).


Date Last Updated : Monday, December 8, 2003 10:00 AM

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