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In March 1946, the PLA established its first aviation school, called the Northeast Old Aviation School (dongbei lao hangxiao), with its headquarters in Mudanjiang, Jilin Province. The school had several airfields located throughout the northeast. When the PLAAF was established on 11 November 1949, the aviation school was immediately split into two bomber schools and four pursuit (quzhu) schools. The 2nd Bomber School (dier hongzha xuexiao) was formally established in Changchun, Jilin province, on 1 December and changed its name to the 2nd Aviation School (dier hangkong xuexiao) on 20 December (its cover designator was the Zhujiang unit). It was directly subordinate to HqAF, and had three squadrons zhongdui). In June 1976, the school changed its name to the PLAAF 2nd Aviation School. 

From 1949-1958, the school trained the entire bomber aircrew, including pilots, . navigators, communicators, and gunners. In December 1958, all of the navigation, communications, and gunnery cadets were transferred to form the new 16th Aviation .School, and the 2nd Aviation School became responsible solely for training bomber and helicopter pilots (some bomber graduates also went to transport units). 

Between 1966 and 1969, the school gradually relocated to Sichuan province. Altogether, the school used 13 airfields. In the northeast, Dafangshen, Kuanchengzi, Datun, and Shuangcheng were permanent bases, while Datushan and Siping were used as temporary airfields. In Sichuan, Pengshan, Jiajiang, Huzhou, Yibin, and Qionglai were permanent bases, while Taipingsi and Xinjin were only used temporarily. 


From 1 December 1949 through 31 December 1981, the school had four distinct development phases, and graduated a total of 2,418 pilots, 735 navigators, 653 communicators, and 551 gunners. The orders for each major change in organization were issued by the CCP Central Committee Military Commission (junwei), Ministry of National Defense (guofangbu), Headquarters Air Force (HqAF/kongjun), Military Region Air Force (MRAF) Headquarters (junqu kongjun), Air Corps (jun/kongjun jun), Command Posts (zhihuisuo), or the school. 

Phase one (1949-1953) consisted of building the school on the basis of the Army's 138th division. From September 1949 until July 1951, the Soviet Union had 222 advisors at the school. When the Soviet advisors departed, the Chinese took over complete responsibility for training.

During phase two (1954-1965), aviation training changed from an accelerated course to a 2-3 year training period. Aviation theory increasingly became an important part of the curriculum. From 1956-1960, the instructors conducted night navigation and 5-ship and 9ship formation training in basic trainers, as well as TU-2 bomber 3-ship takeoffs, 2-ship landings, 9-ship formation flights, and instrument flights.  

During phase three (1966-1976), the school gradually moved between March 1966 and January 1969 to Sichuan province, and occupied five airfields (Pengshan, Jiajiang, Huzhou, Yibin, and Xinjin). During the Cultural Revolution, no theory courses were taught from 1967 through June 1970, which resulted in an increase of aircraft accidents at the school and at operational bases. When Defense Minister Lin Biao "blew himself up" (ziwo baozha) on 13 September 1971, all flying activity ceased for three months. 

Highlights of phase four (1977-1981) included the first CJ-6 solo flights in clouds and the first B-5 training. In 1981, the school also trained 24 B-5 navigators for the first time since 1958. Instructors for the First Regiment (CJ-6) reached mission levels of 200 meters and one kilometer visibility, while the instructors in the Second and Third Regiments (B-5) reached levels of 300 meters and two kilometers visibility. Some of the individual highlights are as follows: 

- Total of 2418 pilots graduated (1364 in Sichuan) 

- Total flight hours 575,431 (366,253 in Sichuan) 

- Total flying periods 18,254 (11,171 in Sichuan) 

- Two female aircrew classes included 44 pilots, 17 navigators, and 6 communicators 

- The school ceased operations for three months following Lin Biao's crash (13 September 1971) 

- For 18 months in 1975-1977, three groups of helicopter and support personnel went to the Congo and Guinea to train people 

- From March-May 1981, a squadron from the 5th Reconnaissance Regiment conducted reconnaissance missions along the Sino-Vietnamese border in Yunnan province 

- In 1981, the school had 334 vehicles assigned 

- In 1981, there were 204 flight instructors 

- From 1972-1981, each instructor averaged 54 flying hours 

- Weather minimums for the cadets was 2-3 kilometers visibility for trainer aircraft, and 3-4 kilometers for B-Ss 

- The school trained 20 North Korean armament personnel at an unspecified time 

- During the Cultural Revolution, -the school sent 1669 people to 11 provinces and 68 work units (danwei) for "san zhi liang jun" (three supports and two militaries -support industry, agriculture, and broad masses of the left, as well as military control and political and military training) 

- In 1981, the CJ-6 regiment could complete studies for 130-140 cadets and could supply enough cadets for the two B-5 training regiments 

- From the beginning to December 1981, the school had 125 accidents, including 57 due to pilot control mistakes, 20 due to circumventing flight discipline, 17 due to improper ground control, 27 due to maintenance, and four others 

- February-April 1979, the 8th Air Division helped the school conduct its first B-5 night training. In 1981, the school conducted eight night training periods 


The command staff consisted primarily of the following people: 

- Commandant - Political commissar - Deputy Commandants) - Deputy Political Commissars) - Chief of Staff (Director, Headquarters Department) 

- Director, Political Department. 

The Party Committee's Standing Committee (dangwei changwei), which averaged 5-7 members since 1949, consists of the commandant, political commissar, deputy commandant(s), and deputy political commissar(s). The Party Committee (dangwei); which averaged 10-15 members, consists of the Standing Committee plus the other key members of the school. The political commissar is the secretary (shuji) and the commandant is the deputy secretary (fushuji). For example, sixth Party Committee (February 1979 to February 1981) consisted of 20 members, and the Standing Committee consisted of six members. Around 1979 the Inspection Commission (jiancha weiyuanhui/jianwei) changed to the Discipline Inspection Commission (jilu weiyuanhui/jiwei). This commission, which also has a secretary and deputy secretary, consisted of seven members in 1981. 


In December 1949, the school's administrative organization consisted of the following six first level departments and divisions: 

- Headquarters Department (siling bu)

- Political Department (zhengzhi bu)

- Training Division (xunlian chu)

- Aircraft Maintenance Division (jiwu chu)

- Supply Division (gongying chu)

- Health Office (weishengsuo) 

At the end of 1950, there were only four first level administrative departments and divisions as follows: 

- Headquarters Department (siling bu)

- Training Division (xunlian chu)

- Aircraft Maintenance Division (jiwu chu)

- Air Traffic Control Office (hangxing ke)

- Communications Office (tongxin ke)

- Military Affairs Office (junwu ke)

- Administrative Office (guanli ke)

-Confidential Branch (jiyao gu)

- Directly Subordinate Security Battalion (zhishu jingwei ying)

- Political Department (zhengzhi bu)

- Organization Office (zuzhi ke)

- Security Office (baowei ke)

- Propaganda Office (xuanchuan ke)

-Cultural Office (wenhua ke)

- Youth Office (qingnian ke)

- Supply Division (gongying chu)

- Finance Office (caiwu ke)

- Quartermaster Office (junxu ke)

- Materiel Office (caiwu ke)

- Barracks Construction Management Office (yingfang xiujian guanli ke)

- Field Station Office (changzhan ke)

- Mess Hall Management Office (shitang guanli ke)

- Transportation Unit (yunshu dui)

 -Health Division (weisheng chu)

- Prevention Office (fangwei ke)

- Hospital Administration Office (yizheng ke)

- Sanitorium (xiuyangsuo)

- Clinic (menzhensuo)

- Epidemic Prevention Clinic (fangyisuo) 

By the end of 1981, the organization had been reduced to three first level administrative departments and divisions as follows:

 - Headquarters Department (siling bu)

- Flying Training Division (feixing xunlian chu)

- Theory Training Division (lilun xunlian chu)

- Aircraft Maintenance Division (jiwu chu)

- Communications Office (tongxin ke)

- Ground Training Office (dimian xunlian ke)

- Military Affairs Office (junwu ke)

- Air Traffic Control Office (hangxing ke)

- Confidential Office (jiyao ke)

- Directly Subordinate Political Office (zhizheng ke)

- Administrative Office (guanli ke)

 - Political Department (zhengzhi bu)

- Secretariat Office (mishu ke)

- Organization Office (zuzhi ke)

- Cadre/Personnel Office (ganbu ke)

- Security Office (baowei ke)

- Cultural Office (wenhua ke)

- Propaganda Office (xuanchuan ke)

- Political Education and Research Office (zhengzhi jiaoyanshi)

 - Logistics Department (houqin bu)

- Finance Office (caiwu ke)

- Quartermaster Office (junxu ke)

- Air Materiel and Armament Office (hangcai junxie ke)

- Fuel and Transportation Office (youliao yunshu ke)

- Airfield and Barracks Office (jichang yingfang ke)

- Health Office (weisheng ke) 


From 1949 through 1981, the school's cadet organization changed considerably as follows:


- On 1 December 1949, the school had one cadet battalion (xueyuan ying) composed of six companies (three aircrew and three ground crew) and 41 aircraft (10 YAK-18, 12 U-TeBo (STC 3527-3676/0130), 17 U-TU-2 and TU-2, 2 YAK-12). 

- In April 1950, the cadet battalion expanded to 12 companies and split into two battalions (one aircrew and one ground crew).

 - In November 1950, the school received 170 aircrew and ground crew personnel from Taiyuan and the 7th Aviation School to form an Air Transport Training Group (kongyun xunlian dadui). In February 1951, the group was transferred to HqAF.

 - From February through May 1951, the two cadet battalions expanded to become four groups (dadui). The First Aircrew (kongqin) Group, the Second and Third Ground Crew (diqin) Groups, and the Fourth Flying (feixing) Group. In June, the Fourth Flying Group expanded into the Fourth, Fifth, and Sixth Flying Groups. All six groups were directly subordinate to the school's commandant.

 - In August 1952, the school's two ground crew groups, one security company, and part of the training division's ground crew cadres (1713 total enlisted personnel) were transferred to form the 9th Aviation, School. At this time, the school reorganized into five flying groups and one aircrew group. 

- In March 1953, the school formed two flying training regiments (feixing xunlian tuan) plus various groups. 


As of December 1981, the 2nd Aviation School had three training squadrons, one cadet group, and one directly subordinate Yun-5 squadron. The First Training Regiment had 76 CJ-6 aircraft, with the First Group at Jiajiang airfield, and the Second and Third Groups at Huzhou airfield. The Second Training Regiment had 16 B-Ss and 30 BT-Ss at Qiorrglai airfield, supported by the Qionglai Field Station. The Third Training Regiment had 16 B-Ss and 32 BT-Ss at Pengshan airfield. The directly subordinate Yun-5 squadron had 3 Yun-5 at Jiajiang airfield. The following paragraphs trace these units from their beginning to the end of 1981. 


- The First Training Regiment (diyi xunlian tuan), as it was organized in 1981, began as the First Training Regiment.

 - In September 1966, some of the instructors and administrative personnel from the original First and Second Regiments had already formed a CJ-6-3 regiment. In March 1967, the second aviation school's original First Regiment (CJ-5-1) became subordinate to the Seventh Aviation School. At that time, the CJ-6-3 regiment formally became the 2nd Aviation School's First Training Regiment and conducted transition training at Shuangcheng airfield. Since the 2nd Aviation School had already began moving to Sichuan, this regiment was administered by the 1st Aviation School during the transition period. 

- In January 1969, the First Training Regiment, including 42 aircraft and 14 vehicles, moved in three groups from Shuangcheng airfield to Huzhou airfield in Sichuan. At this time, the regiment became subordinate to the 2nd Aviation School. 

- In 1980, the First Training Regiment added one flying group plus maintenance and supply personnel, and was stationed at Jiajiang airfield. The Second Training Regiment's field station became responsible for both regiments at Jiajiang. 


- The 1981 Second Training Regiment (dier xunlian tuan) began as the First Training Regiment in 1953. At that time, the First Training Regiment was formed at Kuanchengzi airfield from the First and Second Flying Groups plus the supply station at Kuanchengzi. The regiment had YAK-18 and U-TeBo aircraft. 

- In 1956, Kuanchengzi airfield reverted to Changchun city, where a factory was built. The regiment moved to Datun airfield and flew YAK-18s. The U-TeBo's moved to the TU-2 regiment. 

- At the end of 1957, this regiment established the Third Group at Shuangcheng airfield in Heilongjiang Province, in order to train female cadets. When the females graduated on 26 November 1958, the group was abolished. 

- On 7 July 1959, the school expanded from two to four regiments. Using the First Regiment's First Group as a basis, the Second Training Regiment was established at Shuangcheng airfield. 

- On 20 June 1962, the four regiments were combined into two regiments. The Second Regiment at Shuangcheng became the Third Group and returned to the First Regiment's subordination, but remained at Shuangcheng. 

- On 8 September 1963, Shuangcheng airfield was given to the 3rd Aviation School, while the Third Group and the Parachute Group (tiaosan dadui) moved to Siping airfield on 18 September. 

- On 15 September 1964, the Third Group again returned to Datun airfield and the group was abolished. 

- On 16 August 1966, this regiment was expanded to become a CJ-5-1 regiment 

- Between 12 may to 18 June 1967, the school's administrative staff moved to Jiajiang airfield in Sichuan province, and the regiment returned to the 7th Aviation School as that school's First Regiment. 

- In April 1969, this regiment returned to the 2nd Aviation School as the Fourth Training Regiment. Between April and 22 July, the regiment's 694 personnel, 59 CJSs, and 16 vehicles moved from Datun airfield to Taipingsi airfield next to Chengdu, Sichuan Province. 

- In October 1973, one of the regiment's groups moved to Jiajiang airfield to conduct CJ-6 transition training. On 25 April 1974, the entire regiment moved from Taipingsi to Jiajiang. 

- From January-June 1976, the Fourth Regiment began transition training to the FT-5. 

- In 1976, the Fourth Regiment became the Second Training Regiment. In June 1976,. under the guidance of the PLAAF's 8th Air Corps (kong 8 jun) at Chengdu, the regiment's command staff, two flying groups, and the maintenance group (a total of 500 people) moved to Qionglai airfield. Qionglai airfield's field station (changzhan) provided logistics support for the new unit. 

- In may 1978, the Second Regiment transitioned to a B-5 training regiment and all of the FT-Ss (40 aircraft) were transferred to an unidentified school/unit. 


- The 1981 Third Training Regiment (disan xunlian tuan), which began as the Second Training Regiment in 1953, was formed from the Third and Fourth Flying Groups and field station at Dafangshen airfield. The regiment had TU-2 aircraft. 

- When the school expanded from two to four regiments in September 1959 the Second Training Regiment became the Third Training Regiment, and stayed at Dafangshen. In addition, some of the personnel helped form the Fourth Training Regiment at Datushan airfield, flying the TU-2.

 - In April 1962, the Fourth Regiment's maintenance group was transferred to form the 25th Air Division at Lintong, near Xian.

 - On 22 June 1962, the Fourth Regiment combined again with the Third Training Regiment and became the Second Training Regiment, stationed at Dafangshen with TU-2s. 

- In March 1966, the Third Training Regiment and the repair shops moved from Dafangshen to Pengshan airfield. in Sichuan. The repair shop moved back to Changchun in March 1967, but returned to Jiajiang airfield in April 1968. 

- From 1 August to November 1974, six sets of aircrew members from the Third Regiment converted to the B-5 at the 1st Aviation School.

 - In February 1976, the Second Regiment again became the Third Training Regiment and began transitioning to the B-5. In addition, 434 maintenance personnel split into groups and began B-5 transition studies at the Second Technical School (erjixiao), the 10th Air Division (kong 10 shi), and the 20th Air Division (kong 20 shi). 


- The Helicopter Training Regiment (zhishengji xunlian tuan) was established in 1966 as the Third Training Regiment. 

- In August 1966, the 9th Mobile Maintenance Group (jidong jiwu dadui) at Jinxing airfield and parts of the PLAAF Independent Third Regiment were subordinated to the 2nd Aviation School. These were combined with portions of the school's original Second Regiment to form a Helicopter Training Regiment. On 1 September 1966, the Third Training Regiment was formally established at Huzhou airfield and immediately commenced transition training into the Zhi-5 helicopter. 

- From January 1967 to December 1969, the regiment was temporarily assigned to Xinjin airfield, along with the civil aviation's 14th Aviation School's First Training Regiment, while Yibin airfield was being repaired. In January 1970, the regiment formally moved to Yibin airfield. 

- In 1976, the Helicopter Training Regiment was abolished. The First Flying Group, 14 Zhi-Ss, plus associated maintenance elements were transferred to the 6th Aviation School. The Second Flying Group (less the Fourth Squadron), 23 Zhi-Ss, and associated maintenance elements were transferred to the Lanzhou MRAF Headquarters. The Second Flying Group's Fourth Squadron, Six Zhi-Ss, plus associated maintenance elements transferred to the Chengdu MRAF Command Post's (Chengdu junqu kongjun zhihuisuo/Chengzhi) Ninth Transport Group (yunshu 9 dadui). Four Zhi-Ss were transferred to the Kunming MRAF Command Post's Seventh Transport Group. 

- Based on an 8th Air Corps directive, the school's Yibin airfield was transferred to the Chengdu MRAF's 9th Transport Group in April 1978. 


- The Fifth Flying Group (diwu feixing dadui), which was established in 1951, became an Independent Group (duli dadui) in April 1954. The TU-2 squadron (8 aircraft) was at Dafangshen airfield and the LI-2 squadron (4 aircraft) was at Kuanchengzi airfield, both of which were directly subordinate to the school. 

- In October 1958, about 250 personnel from the Independent Group were transferred to form the 16th Aviation School. In December 1958, various instructors, plus all the navigation, communication, and gunnery cadets also moved to the 16th Aviation School. From this time on, the second aviation school was only for pilot training. 


- In July 1959, the 2nd Aviation School established a Parachute Group (tiaosan dadui). The group temporarily used Dafangshen airfield and borrowed Changchun City's Erdaohezi airfield. In June 1961, one flying squadron and three AN-2s transferred to the 6th Aviation School to form a Parachute Group. 

- In August 1962, the Second School's Parachute Group moved to Shuangcheng airfield and trained with the First Regiment's Third Group. In September 1963, they all moved to Siping airfield. In August 1965, Shuangcheng airfield returned to the 2nd Aviation School, and the parachute group moved back to Shuangcheng. 

- In January 1969, the Parachute Group moved from Shuangcheng to Jiajiang in Sichuan under the Second School. In January 1970, the group was abolished. Two aircraft remained at the school and the remaining aircraft returned to the Shenyang MRAF hq. 


- In April 1971, the school established a Directly Subordinate Yun-5 Squadron (zhishu yun-5 zhongdui) at Jiajiang airfield. The squadron was subordinate to the school's leaders. In 1976, the squadron was re-subordinated to the school's Headquarters Department. 


A HqAF directive in February 1981 set the following flying curriculum at the school: 

- 160 Hours in the CJ-6, which includes 342 accompanied rimes (cishu, STC 294512422) (106 hours) and 297 solo times (54 hours). This consists of daytime takeoffs, landings, and flight route (zhoujian chiluo hangxian); special flights (teji); blackened cockpit (ancang); instrument flights (yibiao); navigation (hangxing); formation flight (biandui); and night flying (yehang) or inclement weather (zhoufu). These are taught in six courses and 28 exercises. 

- 100 Hours in the B-5, which includes 220 accompanied times (66.54 Hours) and 140 solo times (32.06 Hours). This consists of daytime takeoffs, landings, and flight route; darkened cockpit and instrument (ancang yibiao); formation flights; navigation and bombing (hangxing hongzha); night flights or inclement weather. These are taught in five courses and 32 exercises. 

An example of training for the 35th training period (1 July 1980 to 21 November 1981) follows: 

- Theory training began on 1 July 1980 and concluded on 16 October 1980, for a total of 633 hours. 

- CJ-6 training began on 27 October 1980 and concluded on 31 May 1981, for a total of 156.24 hours. 

- BT-5/B-S training began on 30 may 1981 and concluded on 21 November 1981, for a total of 55 hours. 

- Each cadet flew on 118 days for a total of 211.24 flying hours. 

- Of the 63 cadets that began training, 32 cadets graduated. Of these, 9 were sent to the 13th Air Division and 12 to the 36th Air Division, while 8 remained at the school as CJ-6 instructors and 3 remained as BT-5 instructors. Of the 31 cadet washouts, 24 were due to physical problems and 7 were due to techniques during the BT-5/B-S training period. 



As mentioned earlier, in 1958 the school ceased training navigators, communicators, and gunners (the 16th Aviation School was established to perform this function). Prior to 1958, these non-pilot graduates were sent to the following operational units upon graduation. In addition, several graduates were sent to CAAC. 

- Navigation: Primarily to the 8th, 13th, and 20th Air Divisions and the 3rd, 4th, and 5th Independent Regiments, but also a few early on to the 10th, 11th, 16th, 17th, 18th, 19th, 23rd, and 25th Air Divisions. 

- Communications: Primarily to the 8th, 10th, 13th, 20th, and 25th Air Divisions and to the 3rd Independent Regiment, but also some to the 11th, 23rd, and 28th Air Divisions and the Aerial Survey Regiment (1957). 

- Gunnery Primarily to the 8th, 10th, 20th, 22nd, 23rd, 25th, and 28th Air Divisions and the 4th and 5th Independent Regiments, but a few to the l lth and 13th Air Divisions. 


Pilot assignments upon graduation (1949-1981) are as follows (several pilots remained as instructors, were assigned to various headquarters, or were transferred to other aviation schools): 

- TU-2 Bomber: Primarily to the 8th (first 19 in 1950), 10th (first 28 in 1950), 13th (first 17 in 1951), 20th (first 30 in 1951), 23rd (first 4 in 1951), 25th (first 29 in 1951), 34th (first 8 in 1953), 36th (first 6 in 1964), 48th (first 10 in 1970), and 50th (10 in 1974) Air Divisions, the 3rd, 4th, and 5th Independent Regiments, the Aerial Survey Regiment, and to CAAC. The last TU-2 cadets graduated in 1976. In addition, 11 TU-2 pilots who graduated in 1958 were sent to Vietnam (11 Vietnamese pilots were trained in the YAK-18 from 1956-1958, along with six navigators and five communicators. Another 34 pilots studied from 1961-1963. The pilots flew only the YAK-18, and none flew the TU-2). 

- Zhi-5 Helicopter: (first class graduated in 1967, and the last class graduated in 1972): Primarily assigned to the 1st through 11th Independent Groups, the 3rd, 6th, and 9th Independent Regiments, the 34th and 43rd Air Divisions, and the Guangzhou MRAF Headquarters Independent 6th Group. 

- B-5 Bomber: (first class graduated in 1977): Graduates have gone primarily to the 8th (first 9 in 1978), 10th (first 12 in 1977), 13th (first 4 in 1979), 20th (first 9 in 1978), 23rd (first 10 in 1979), 25th (first 10 in 1980), 36th (first 12 in 199T, .nrd 48th (first 20 in 1979) Air Divisions, as well as to the Aerial Survey Regiment.

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