Kiwis learn to fly in Australia

New Zealand and Australian Air Force links are now even tighter after four Royal New Zealand Air Force pilots graduated from the Royal Australian Air Force pilot training school.

FILE PHOTO – 2FTS perform a 26-aircraft thunderbird formation during a pilot-course graduation. Photographer unknown

A one-off training agreement between the two Air Forces was implemented to ensure there was continuity in RNZAF pilot training during the introduction into service of the T-6C Texan, which is now used to train RNZAF pilots.

Chief of Air Force Air Vice-Marshal Tony Davies said the agreement was confirmation of the close relationship between the two militaries

“While it’s not unusual for New Zealand Defence Force personnel to train in other militaries, this was a one time arrangement that meant the training of RNZAF pilots was consistent while the T-6C Texan was being introduced,” said AVM Davies.

The pilots, who graduated earlier this month, are the first of two groups undergoing training in Australia.

“It’s rewarding to see another four pilots graduate and I’m looking forward to seeing the next group graduate later this year.”
It is expected the agreement will be reciprocated in 2019 during the RAAF PC-21 introduction to service.

“We have a close bond with our Australian counterparts and collaborating on training strengthens our ties,” said AVM Davies.The pilots underwent 25 weeks of basic tuition in PAC CT/4B aircraft before continuing on to the Advanced Pilot Course flying the Pilatus PC9/A over 37 weeks and 119 flying hours.

They are now enjoying some well earned leave before joining their respective Squadrons.

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Brian Hartigan

Managing Editor Contact Publishing Pty Ltd PO Box 3091 Minnamurra NSW 2533 AUSTRALIA

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