A flight from HMAS Brisbane in the embarked MH-60R helicopter on December 3 wasn’t your average training serial for pilot Lieutenant Michael Wisniewski.
CAPTION: Lieutenant Michael Wisniewski receives a cake on board HMAS Brisbane after he clocked up 2500 career flying hours. Story and photo by Leading Seaman Daniel Goodman.
Brisbane is deployed on Regional Presence Deployment 2021-4 and the flight became a celebration as Lieutenant Wisniewski passed 2500 career flying hours.
Arriving back on board after completing the milestone, Flight 4 personnel presented Lieutenant Wisniewski with a cake and a round of applause.
Born in Poland, Lieutenant Wisniewski immigrated to Australia in 1989 and joined the Navy in 2005.
He had a successful career as a maritime aviation warfare officer (AvWO) before deciding to train as a pilot.
“In 2014, I fulfilled the role as an AvWO Instructor and decided to transfer category to pilot in order to embark on another military aviation challenge,” Lieutenant Wisniewski said.
He has operated various aircraft in his career – both fixed wing and rotary – but most of his flying hours were completed in the MH-60R, S70B Sea Hawk and the Bell 429 helicopters.
A MH-60R is embarked in Brisbane for the current deployment. It is an all-weather, day-night combat aircraft which provides the ship with superior airborne tactical capability.
Specialising in anti-surface warfare and anti-submarine warfare, the MH-60R also can perform secondary roles in search and rescue, aero-medical evacuation and vertical replenishments at sea.
“Flying for the Navy is extremely rewarding and the Fleet Air Arm will always require new aviation professionals in the future to operate its MH-60R fleet,” Lieutenant Wisniewski said.
“It was a privilege to achieve this [milestone] while embarked in HMAS Brisbane.
“Aviators enjoy even numbers, so it’s a nice milestone in my career.”
Flight Commander Lieutenant Commander Craig Thomas was thrilled with Lieutenant Wisniewski’s achievement.
“Two-thousand-five-hundred flying hours is a significant achievement for any aviator and there’s no more poignant a place for such a milestone to occur than in the embarked environment, deployed on operations,” Lieutenant Commander Thomas said.
“With his passion for flying evident in everything he does, I expect Lieutenant Wisniewski to achieve many more achievements like this in his career.”
HMAS Brisbane has been deployed on a regional presence deployment since September, conducting multiple navy-to-navy engagements with partner nations across the South-East and north-east Asia regions.