Aussie pilot sets Airbus world record

Airbus qualified flight instructor Matt Barker has become the first pilot in the world to achieve 1000 flight hours on both the ARH Tiger and MRH90 Taipan. 

CAPTION: Aussie pilot Matt Barker poses in front of an ARH Tiger and an MRH90 Taipan at Oakey. Airbus photo.

Matt reached the milestone while supporting the Australian Defence Force on an MRH Taipan training exercise at the Shoalwater Bay Training Area in central Queensland.

He also has 2275 hours on the AS350 Squirrel.

Matt Barker currently works as an Airbus MRH90 Taipan qualified flying instructor (QFI) at the Army Aviation Training Centre, Oakey.

He started his flying career when in the Australian Army as a specialist service officer pilot in October 1987.

He was the lead military instructor during the Australian Army’s introduction into service of the ARH Tiger, working side by side with Airbus in Marignane, France, in 2004-05.

Matt transitioned from the Army to Airbus in 2013 after 26 years of service with the Australian Defence Force and continued his role as an ARH Tiger QFI, followed by a transition onto MRH90 in 2014. 

More than half of Matt’s total 8150 hours of flying experience has been achieved on Airbus helicopters.

An Airbus spokesman said Matt Barker was an integral and important instructor and mentor for Army’s next generation of MRH Taipan pilots. 

“Following a highly regarded career with the Australian Defence Force, Airbus proudly brought Matt into the company so he could continue teaching the country’s future helicopter pilots,” the spokesman said.

“He is an important member of the Airbus family and continues to offer insights and advice to his fellow Airbus pilots and to the future operational possibilities for MRH-90.” 

Matt Barker said he enjoyed teaching and passing on the lessons he’s learnt.

“I enjoy being part of the Army flying system,” he said.

“If I could pass on one piece of advice for the young aircrew it would be to make sure you keep having fun.”

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Brian Hartigan

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

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