Sunday 23rd August 2020 saw four Embraer A-29B Super Tucano aircraft and supporting Dornier Do-328 arrive at Prestwick Airport, Scotland for a brief technical stop during their (assumed) delivery flight to Afghanistan.
Following weeks of rumours and supposition on the enthusiast’s grapevine four Afghan Air Force Embraer A-29B arrived at Prestwick accompanied by supporting Dornier Do-328 D-CAAN of 328 Support Services GmbH (328SSG), a wholly owned subsidiary of the Sierra Nevada Corporation (SNC) located at Airport Oberpfaffenhofen in Bavaria, around 30km South West of Munich, Germany.
The A-29Bs, using the radio callsigns RAVEN81-84 showed evidence of heavy usage and were unmarked except for a large USAF military serial emblazoned on the rear fuselage, at least two aircraft could be seen to have an identifiable Afghan serial beneath a tape covering and those are noted in parenthesis below. For record and in arrival order the aircraft were:
A-29Bs – 13-2011 (YA 1511), 13-2016, 13-2003, 13-2005 (YA 1405)
Previously in use with the USAF 81st Fighter Squadron “Panthers”, 14th Flying Training Wing at Moody AFB Georgia the A-29s were utilised for the Afghan light air support training mission, training Afghan student pilots and maintainers for their future roles on the aircraft and system. This delivery flight to Afghanistan follows on from deliveries previously completed and is possibly an indication that the training task at Moody AFB is reaching its conclusion.
The schedule for this delivery flight is unknown however as of this evening and thanks to today’s widely available technology it can be deduced that prior to arrival at Prestwick the formation had routed:
Montreal (CYMX) Canada, Goose Bay (CYYR) Canada, Kangerlussuaq (BGSF) Greenland, Keflavik (BIKF) Iceland.
The tech stop appeared well-rehearsed with the Dornier carrying the support crews for the A-29s and within 1.5 hours the four aircraft taxied for departure on the next leg to Nice, France with the Dornier following around 30 mins later.
Interestingly some excellent footage appeared on television as the Cessna 208 (G-EELS) used for televising the AIG Women’s Open Golf tournament at nearby Royal Troon captured the four A-29s as they departed Prestwick. By early afternoon Monday 24th August the aircraft had arrived at Chania, Crete where they appear to be laying over in preparation for the next leg of the delivery.