Up, up and away — with the Israeli Air Force

Up, up and away — with the Israeli Air Force

For the JC January 28 2021

You know how it is. You’re sitting at your desk, after yet another Zoom meeting and wishing with all your might that you could go somewhere — anywhere.

Well, now, courtesy of an elite group of Israeli fighter pilots, you can. Virtually, obviously, but in these days of lockdown what the Squadron offers is still pretty exciting.

The Squadron was founded by a reserve Israeli air force colonel, Kobi Regev, who, with his crack team of pilots past and present, offers flight simulation for anyone – companies seeking to build morale, individuals, groups celebrating an anniversary — basically anyone who would like to experience the thrill of flying a fighter plane like an F-16.

In more normal times, the Squadron offers real-life entry into simulator cockpits, complete with flight suit and an Israeli fighter pilot as navigator by your side. The classes include “cross-border raids” and “Dubai peace flights”.

Now, however, the Squadron has adapted its offering so that anyone, worldwide, can take part in a simulator adventure, guided by a pilot in israel. “We teach them to fly, but more important, we teach them tools of excellence and leadership”, says Col Regev.

The on-line course link shows pilots at the Squadron headquarters talking their virtual pupils through their flight. “Ok, Anastasia,” one of the pilots tells a participant, “let’s stop and analyse what went wrong in that last session — what happened, why, and how can I improve it”. Another pilot encourages a student half a world away: “That was really good, Jack… stay in this position. Perfect”. “Watch your altitude, you’re too low”, another student is warned.

Colonel Regev says: “Our online courses capture the spirit and heritage of the Israeli Air Force, combining a thrilling flight simulator experience with an actual IAF pilot navigating the adventure. When the flight lands, our pilots help participants apply lessons learned in flight to their workplace or personal circumstances.”

Those seeking to build corporate team spirit love the flight simulator programme. Inbal Gavish from the games industry company, Playtika, enthused: “We found the course to be a tremendous experience for our employees. The lessons and methodologies that originated in the Israeli Air Force are being adapted toward developing individual excellence, personal leadership skills, and self-improvement.”

Before each online event, participants are given a briefing, where they learn the parameters of their mission and how to fly their fighter jet. They work together with teammates and an IAF fighter pilot to plan their approach, discuss strategy, and ensure that this mission succeeds.

After landing, the IAF pilot leads participants through the debriefing session. Through the course, participants learn how to recognise mistakes they made, understand the root cause of those errors, and find ways to avoid similar mistakes in the future. 

The online programming division is led by Reserve Brigadier General Ilan Boger, a former base commander, F-16 squadron commander, and head of the IAF Personnel Directorate.

So if you’re sick of sourdough and bored with banana bread, perhaps a simulator flight with the cream of the Israeli Air Force is just what you need. And you can do it all from your desk. Put your coffee down, though. You’ll need to concentrate.

and go to the online option

  • 28 January, 2021