First pilots of centenary year graduate

No. 2 Flying Training School at RAAF Base Pearce graduated its first pilots of Air Force’s centenary year earlier this month with a thrilling aerobatic display, formal parade and two PC-21 flypasts culminating in the signature bomb-burst formation.

CAPTION: Pilot Officer Christina Way participates in a traditional smoking ceremony conducted by Whadjuk Elder Barry Winmar during the No. 261 Advanced Pilot Course Graduation at RAAF Base Pearce, WA. Story by Flight Lieutenant Julia Ravell. Photo by Chris Kershaw.

Reviewing Officer and Director General Air/Air Command Operations Air Commodore Stephen Chappell praised the Air Force and Navy pilot graduates on their course completion.

“This milestone is a testament to the commitment you have demonstrated to your professional goals and aspirations and you should be deservedly proud of this achievement,” Air Commodore Chappell said.

“The lessons you have drawn from this experience will prove to be an invaluable foundation for your careers and you now play a vital role in the defence of our nation and in pursuit of its strategic interests.”

Those who graduate from the PC-21 ADF Pilots’ Course have received intensive training in advanced general, instrument, night and formation flying, and navigation that will allow them to transition to flying operational aircraft.

Dux of the Class, Pilot Officer Mathew Schmidt, received the award for Most Proficient Pilot while Pilot Officer Declan Foley was awarded with the Highest Aggregate of Academic Marks and Highest Level of Aerobatic Skill.

Pilot Officer Connor Firkins, Lieutenant Maxwell Morey and Lieutenant Romain Sinardet were each respectively recognised with awards for navigation, Most Proficient Pilot at Instrument Flying and Leadership and Most Improved.

Pilot Officer Rohan Khanna received the ‘Fit to Fight’ Award for his high performance in physical training.

The graduation featured a traditional Welcome to Country and smoking ceremony by Whadjuk Elders John McGuire and Barry Winmar.





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