Cadet Corporals James Culpeper and Patrick Swingler are two of the newest Air Force Cadets solo pilots in the new Diamond DA40 NG aircraft.
CAPTION: Cadet Corporal James Culpeper is congratulated by his instructor, WGCDR David Chaplin (left) and Cadet Corporal Patrick Swingler with his instructor, Squadron Leader (AAFC) Nicolaas Robbertse. Photos supplied by EFTS.
They were among 10 cadets who had earlier attended powered flying training courses at the AAFC’s Elementary Flying Training School at Point Cook.
Poor weather denied them the opportunity to make their solo flight – but they were able to return for continuation training at the end of November.
On Sunday 1 December, Cadet Corporal James Culpeper flew his first solo flight following tuition from Wing Commander David Chaplin, Flight Commander of EFTS Point Cook Flight.
CCPL Culpeper is a member of No 508 Squadron, AAFC based at Patterson Barracks in Launceston, Tasmania.
On that same day, Cadet Corporal Patrick Swingler flew his first solo flight following tuition from Squadron Leader (AAFC) Nicolaas Robbertse, Commanding Officer of No 906 Aviation Training Squadron based at RAAF Edinburgh.
CCPL Swingler is a member of No 405 Squadron in Sunshine, Victoria.
Powered flying instructor Squadron Leader (AAFC) Nicolaas Robbertse congratulated Corporals Culpeper and Swingler.
“These consolidation flights included air work in the general flying area, with a return flight to the airfield where they conducted circuit flying with the emphasis on ‘circuit emergency’ training,” Squadron Leader Robbertse said.
“At the conclusion of this training, the instructor was able to assess their abilities and deemed them ready to fly solo.
“On completion of their first solo flight, their smiles were much broader than just ear-to-ear, they extended all the way to the back of their heads,” Squadron Leader Robbertse said.
“Corporals Culpeper and Swingler are to be congratulated for successfully achieving this milestone.”
The Diamond DA40 NG light aircraft has been leased by Air Force for exclusive use by Australian Air Force Cadets.
Featuring modern avionics and a turbocharged jet-fuel piston engine, the aircraft is equipped with contemporary navigation and flight-control systems.
Elementary Flying Training School (EFTS) is a subordinate unit of Aviation Operations Wing (AOW), which has the aim of delivering flying pathways through gliding and powered flying experiences and training.
As the AAFC powered flying capability matures, changes have recently been announced to the structure of the Elementary Flying Training School.
EFTS now comprises three operational sub-units – Point Cook Flight, Amberley Flight and Richmond Flight.