Diamonds Used For Air Force Flight Screening

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The first 11 of 44 Diamond DA-20 C1 two-seat trainers have been delivered to Doss Aviation, in Pueblo, Colo., for use in a flight screening program for the U.S. Air Force. The program takes potential candidates for military flight training and ensures they have the right stuff to continue. These types of programs cut the failure rate in later training by half. Doss President Frank Hunter said the low acquisition, maintenance and insurance costs for the Diamond made it the logical choice. Those candidates who move on from the screening program will get their first taste of military flight training in the same aircraft. After initial flight training (IFT) they move on to the Texan II, a turboprop trainer designed to have flight characteristics similar to a jet's. The Air Force used to have its own flight screening program using T-3 Firefly aircraft. The program was abandoned out of safety concerns and was eventually contracted out to civilian flight schools. Last month, the Air Force destroyed 110 Fireflys in a controversial program that did not allow for salvage of useable parts.