Brazilian Air Force (FAB, in Portuguese) First Lieutenant Juliana Santos de Souza became the first female flight instructor for the T-27 Tucano, an aircraft used for cadet pilots in their fourth year of basic training at the Air Force Academy (AFA), in Pirassununga, São Paulo.
February 3, 2020 marked the beginning of classes at the 1st Air Instruction Squadron (1º EIA, in Portuguese) for the Chronos senior class, which is in its last year of what is known as AFA’s Eagles Nest.
First Lt. Juliana, assigned to Air Transport, also has trained in the C-95 Bandeirante and the C-97 Brasília, with the 4th Air Transport Squadron – Carajá Squadron, and the C-97 Brasília, with the 1st Squadron of the 2nd Transport Group – Condor Squadron. In 2019, she returned to AFA and became an instructor for the T-25 Universal.
The transition from the T-25 to the T-27 is more than just technical, such as an increase in speed and attention to detail. The method of instruction is also different. In the Tucano, the instructor doesn’t sit next to but behind the cadet, has no visual contact, and can only connect through the communication system. “One must pay special attention when giving instructions to the cadet, to provide a visual of what must be done and to reach the expected level at every stage of the instruction,” explained 1st Lt. Juliana.
The flight phases in 1º EIA are different from what cadets have experienced before, such as navigation, night flight, and formation with two and four aircraft.
The mission of the flight instructor is among the most noble in FAB, with ties that go back to the creation of the Brazilian Ministry of Aeronautics. “It’s very gratifying to be able to participate in the training of our young cadets and, at the end of this four-year process here at AFA, to present FAB with military pilots who are qualified to continue in the operational aspect of their careers. I hope to continue to perform well in my role as instructor and I also hope to inspire other women to seek the military aviation career,” concluded 1st Lt. Juliana.
AFA offers women the opportunity to join the Aviation and Quartermaster personnel. This is a four-year class, held in the city of Pirassununga.