While the lineage of 1 Canadian Forces Flying Training School (1 CFFTS; French: 1re École de pilotage des Forces canadiennes) can be traced back through previous similarly named Canadian military pilot flying schools, such as No. 1 Service Flying Training School and 1 Flying Training School, the unit located at CFB Winnipeg and currently bearing the name does not participate in pilot training whatsoever.
History of Advanced Pilot Training in the RCAF/CAF
Although military pilot training in Canada dates back to the early years of the 20th century, the modern RCAF/CAF pilot training organization got its start in the British Commonwealth Air Training Plan (BCATP) with the formation of Service Flying Training Schools one of which, No. 1 Service Flying Training School (No. 1 SFTS) at Camp Borden, Ontario, specialized in advanced pilot training and eventually evolved into 1 Canadian Forces Flying Training School in 1965. Under this system pilot candidates could expect to advance from 3 CFFTS to 2 CFFTS, then finish at 1 CFFTS, mimicking the RAF pilot training philosophy adopted by the RCAF of three separate stages of pilot training – elementary, intermediate and advanced.
1 (Flying Training School) FTS was formed on the 16th of September, 1945 at Centralia, Ontario, as a pilot training school which, on July 11, 1952, started training pilots using the deHavilland Chipmunk aircraft. The school trained Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) and North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) pilots until the school disbanded on March 6, 1957.
1 FTS was reactivated on 31 Aug 1965. On 23 Jul 1970 it combined with the Flight Instructor School (FIS) to become 1 Canadian Forces Flying Training School (1 CFFTS) with the role of advanced pilot training. On 9 Nov 1970, 1 CFFTS flying instructors converted to the CF-5 tactical fighter trainer and on July 22 1 CFFTS moved to Cold Lake, Alberta. Advanced pilot training became a post-wings course, and on 10 Sep 1977 1 CFFTS was renamed 419 (Tactical) Fighter Training Squadron.
Advanced Pilot Training today
419 (Tactical) Fighter Training Squadron is carrying on 1 CFFTS’ historic role of advanced pilot training for future fighter pilots.
Current use of the name 1 CFFTS
On 26 June 2009, the Canadian Forces Air Navigation School adopted the name of 1 CFFTS. 1 CFFTS currently trains Air Combat Systems Officers (previously called Navigators) and Airborne Electronic Sensor Operators. In the past, other aircrew trades used the number 1 in their school names, but these school names were distinguished by their particular trade, i.e. No. 1 Air Observer School and No. 1 Air Navigation School. Pilot training schools were distinguished by the use of the word “Flying” in the school’s name. The present use of the word "Flying" in 1 CFFTS's name is a break with this tradition.