German Paratroopers hailing from the Bundeswehr’s 26th Airborne Regiment participated in a tactical training drop, with involvement of a PZL Mielec M28 Skytruck aircraft which has been leased, for 4 years, by the Luftwaffe. The airframe in question is to be operated by the German Air Force until the A400M airlifters attain a higher level of readiness.
German paratroopers conduct parachute training in varied conditions and with a variety of equipment packages being used when jumps are to be carried out. M28 is being praised for the solutions that allow the user to conduct parachute training with automatic, semi-automatic and manual parachute opening procedures. Moreover, jumps taking place in turbulence are safer, in comparison to training involving typical, civil aircraft.
As a release issued by the Bundeswehr reads, the aircraft is considered to be able to take off and land on rough fields by the Germans. Thanks to its high speed, the M28 may be used to efficiently transport the troops to the dropzones assigned. However, its small size makes it impossible for the said aircraft to carry some of the equipment that is usually being transported by larger airlifters. Skytruck has also been used to conduct night parajumping operations.
The four-year long leasing agreement’s term is to provide the Bundeswehr with training capabilities sufficient to fill in the gap before the new A400M airlifters reach a proper level of combat readiness (legacy C-160 Transall aircraft are being gradually decommissioned). M28 may be used by all of the German units conducting parachute jumps.
M28 Skytruck is a light, twin-engined PZL Mielec airlifter. More than 100 aircraft of this type are being operated worldwide. They are being used both for military, as well as for civil applications. In Poland, the M28 family planes are operated in a variety of variants, including the Bryza patrol-reconnaissance aircraft, they are being used by the Air Force, Navy or by the Border Guard.