News articles

Skip to content

RAF Instructors support A400M Atlas crew on their first missions

A Qualified Flying Instructor and a Qualified Mission Aircrew Instructor from XXIV Squadron supported an LXX crew on one of their first missions operating on the A400M Atlas.


The aircraft made a return journey from RAF Brize Norton to Bardufoss in Norway in support of Exercises JOINT VIKING and AQUILA ENABLER deploying a team of Movers from the Air Movements Squadron, a pair of RAF Police Dog Handlers with their Military Working Dogs, and exercise freight.

Flying the Atlas into Norway for the first time as a Junior Pilot is an unforgettable experience. As part of the Operational Conversion Unit (OCU), we train for cold weather operations in the simulator. This training is invaluable and makes for a seamless transition from the simulator to flying the aircraft into Bardufoss for the first time.

What the simulator does not prepare you for, is how breath-taking the Norwegian landscape really is!

Flight Lieutenant Robinson
LXX Squadron Junior Pilot

Once A400M Atlas crews graduate from initial training on XXIV Squadron, they are capable of supporting global Air Transport operations in their new roles on 30 or LXX Squadrons. As their experience grows, they are sometimes supported by XXIV Squadron instructors when operating to challenging locations to assist their ongoing development.

Image shows RAF Atlas carrier aircraft on the airfield and RAF aviator.

On this occasion, the junior crew were exposed to an extreme cold weather environment with icy runways and taxiways testing their aircraft handling, technical knowledge and pre-flight planning abilities. The training offered on this route is invaluable in preparing Air Mobility Force aircrew for future worldwide operations.

Read more about LXX Squadron

Read more about XXIV Squadron