It is a pleasure to be able to introduce myself and talk a bit about some of the experiences I have had in my military career, first on the water and later in the air.
My name is Jurgen Hartmann and I was born in Antofagasta, Chile. Antofagasta is located along the coast of Chile and lies adjacent to the driest desert in the world. At fifteen years of age, I joined the Chilean Navy and entered the Chilean Naval Academy. In December 2000, I graduated as a Midshipman and set out with my classmates aboard the tall ship ‘Esmeralda’ for an eight-month sail. Our trip took us to places such as Hawaii, Tokyo, Shanghai, Sydney, Auckland and Tahiti.
After a few years on the ocean, I decided that a bird’s eye view of the water would be more interesting so I undertook studies and training to become a naval aviator. Initially, aviation was simply another challenge, but after my first takeoff in a Pilatus PC-7, I was hooked. I fell in love with the speed, view and simplicity of aviation and decided that I would pursue it as a career.
After initially flying smaller aircraft, I was given the opportunity to qualify as a First Officer on the Airbus C295 tactical airlifter at the Airbus Defence & Space training centre in Seville, Spain. For a young lieutenant, the transition from flying an older CASA C212 to the new and modern C295 was very exciting. Later on, I was also qualified on the “mighty” Lockheed Martin P-3 Orion, probably the most iconic and widely used maritime patrol aircraft in history.
I am grateful for all the opportunities that I experienced with the Chilean Navy. These opportunities ranged from training and qualification on different aircraft types to traveling around the world on missions the Chilean Navy were tasked to perform. By far, the most satisfying experience was leading people on missions in service to our country. The process of influencing others and helping to accomplish a common objective was most rewarding.
During my time with the Chilean Navy, I flew all around the country of Chile and overseas. Places of interest included the Antarctic, Easter Island, Patagonia, the beautiful Austral Straits, the Atacama Desert and Robinson Crusoe Island. The flexibility of the C295 allowed me to perform a variety of different missions. Our main task was to conduct antisubmarine warfare and maritime patrol while secondary tasks included search and rescue (SAR), VIP transport, command and control and medical evacuation (MEDEVAC).
One specialty mission stands out in particular. In 2017, Chile experienced large wildfires and Chilean Navy C295s were used to guide Boeing 747 water bombers that were being used to fight the fires. That year, a 747 water bomber set a world record of dispensing 134,000 gallons of water over the course of seven flights in one day. I was lucky enough to be at the controls of the C295 that led the way. It is hard to describe the gratification I felt being able to help fellow Chileans during this difficult time. The challenges of flying so close to a loaded 747 with 19,600 gallons of water and limited vision, speed and maneuverability was probably the best and most challenging experience I’ve had as a pilot. Of note, this type of C295 operation was repeated with a DC-10 during the Austral summer of 2018.
In early 2019, I received an offer from CAE to be part of the program team developing the Royal Canadian Air Force’s (RCAF) Fixed Wing Search and Rescue (FWSAR) training solution. A couple years earlier, the RCAF had selected the Airbus C295 – since named the CC295 Kingfisher by Canada – and CAE had been subcontracted by Airbus to develop the comprehensive CC295 aircrew and maintenance training solution that would play a pivotal role training new pilots, sensor operators and maintainers for the RCAF.
The level of technology developed by CAE to fulfill the training requirement for Canada is simply incredible, and far more advanced than just 10 years ago when I was qualified on the C295. Teaching and instructing new aircrews with the suite of training devices developed by CAE makes training more realistic within a safe environment. With the CC295 full-flight simulator and various other training devices, combined with digital classrooms for academic training, it is possible to take future aircrews to a high-level before they even step into the aircraft. Additionally, the sensor simulation devices for the rear crew are almost identical to the real-life aircraft and can network with the full-flight simulator for full-crew mission training. In the SAR world, this is absolutely critical because it takes the entire crew working together on these life-saving search and rescue missions.
Operating as a flight simulator instructor involves different challenges then those experienced flying actual aircraft. The instructor needs to be up to date with the latest tactical information in addition to applying good instructional techniques and maximizing the capabilities of the training devices. Following a military career, it is great to still be involved in a noble purpose – now preparing the next-generation aircrews for mission success.
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