2019 IHAZ Flugplatz Bückeburg
Updated: Feb 23
For 58 years the skies around the city of Bückeburg in Northern Germany have been swarming with the sound of helicopters practising their routines. The International Helicopter Training Center (Internationales Hubschrauberausbildungszentrum (IHAZ)) of the German Army is not only responsible for the training of all German helicopter pilots, but also European countries use the training facilities intensively.
The IHAZ is responsible for the basic training of all German Airforce, Army and Navy crews. Future German pilots are selected after a thorough assessment process and will start their training directly on the helicopters. In total 75 German and international student pilots can be trained at Bückeburg per year.
Since 2008 the Swedish Airforce has had a cooperation with the German Army to train their helicopter pilots. Accordingly to the agreement up to 12 students from Sweden can be yearly trained in Germany.
A second country which has started up a more permanent cooperation with the IHAZ is the Netherlands. In 2014 the Dutch Armed Forces decided to train its future NH-90 NFH and AS-532U2 Cougar helicopter crews at Bückeburg. The first group of students started in September 2015.
For the training of the helicopter crews the German Army purchased 15 (one was written off in March 2005) Airbus Helicopters EC135 T1 helicopters, which started entering service early 2000 with the phasing out of the old Aérospatiale Alouette II. The EC135 T1 is a twin-engine helicopter with digital cockpit, autopilot and a flight management system and the platform for students to earn their helicopter wing.
In December 2016 the civilian company Motorflug Baden-Baden GmbH and the German governmental purchasing agency Bundesambt für Ausrüstung, Informationstechnik und Nutzung der Bundeswehr (BAAINBw) closed a deal for the rent of six Bell 206B ‘Jet Rangers’ III for a period of four years and 15,400 flight hours.
The IHAZ currently operates twelve NH90-TTHs for the advanced training of the students. The helicopter entered German service at the end of 2010 when the German Airforce received its first frame on 21 October.
Northern Skies Aviation would like to thank the commander of the Heeresflieger and all staff of the IHAZ involved for the visit at Bückeburg!
The complete article will soon be published in Air International Magazine.