The 4th Helicopter Regiment has 12 Z-9WZs among a total of 30 aircraft, an officer says. The others are Mil Mi-17 and Mi-171 transport helicopters imported from Russia and Y-7 and Y-8 transport airplanes — locally built Antonov An-24s and An-12s, respectively. Among 1,000 people in the regiment, half are qualified as pilots.
Journalists have not previously been allowed on the base, officers say.
Asked about the unit’s recent progress in training, regiment commander Col. Zhang Zhilin tells Aviation Week: “Our simulator training has advanced greatly. We previously used actual [flight] training but now we train mainly with simulators. Doing so cuts costs, and the scenarios are realistic.”
There is no aspect of the regiment’s performance with which he is dissatisfied. “This unit is excellent in all respects,” Zhang says. “Of course that sounds like self-praise, but it is true.” He adds, “We’re very good at flying in bad weather.”
As to the arrival of the Z-10 at the regiment, Zhang says new equipment is a matter for his superiors to discuss.