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Pilots of two government jets to be trained by world-leading British firm

PILOTS who operate the two Government jets which ferry the Taoiseach, the President and other ministers around are to be trained to fly them by a British company under a new deal.

The two jets, which have come in for much scrutiny because of their high operating costs, have also been used as air ambulances and military transport aircraft.

The British company, CAE, a world leader in offering training on simulators, has won a contract with the Irish Air Corps to train pilots for the Gulfstream G1V and Learjet 45 executive jets in service with the force.

It already provides helicopter training for CHC, the parent company of CHCI, which runs the helicopter search and rescue service for the Irish Coast Guard.

The Learjet in Irish Air Corps service, as well as ferrying VIPs around, can also be quickly modified to act as an air ambulance for transplant and other patients under an agreement with the HSE.

FF journal calls own leaders 'oligarchs'

SENIOR figures who ran Fianna Fail until the election disaster have been described as "oligarchs" in a new magazine for party members.

"A vacuum from the toppling of the oligarchs is now being filled by members re-emerging from the cold and finding a voice," says party member James Lawless, from Co Kildare, in a contribution to the new members magazine Cuisle.

"In every crisis there is opportunity . . . Replacing the sometimes suffocating rivalries of the past, there is every opportunity now for enthusiastic, interested, committed members to re-take the party."

Flogas given injunction against Trugas

FLOGAS Ireland Ltd has been granted an injunction by the Commercial Court against Trugas Ltd, based in Castlebellingham, Co Louth, prohibiting Trugas Ltd from filling or handling Flogas cylinders in any manner whatsoever. Flogas is a division of DCC.

Punchestown revealed in documentary

A NEW documentary, Punchestown: Seeing Out The Distance, gives a thrilling insight into the unique Punchestown Horse Racing Festival, both past and present, including rare footage.

It features interviews with leading owners, trainers and jockeys, both from Ireland and the UK, including Barry Geraghty, Conor O'Dwyer, Edward O'Grady, Ken Whelan, Jim Dreaper, JP McManus and many more.

It is available from HMV and Golden Discs and online at www.bankostales.com.

Sunday Independent