Aviation is a passion for avionics technician Craftsman Cameron Powell, from the 1st Aviation Regiment.
CAPTION: Craftsman Cameron Powell moves the 30mm cannon on a Tiger armed reconnaissance helicopter at Robertson Barracks in Darwin. Story by Captain Carolyn Barnett. Photo by Corporal Rodrigo Villablanca.
Craftsman Powell grew up in rural Ballarat and learnt how to fly a Cessna 152 at the Ballarat Aerodrome, six years before enlisting in the Army.
Learning to fly civilian aircraft was his motivation for pursuing a job with helicopters.
“When I was learning to fly you didn’t get to see how all the aircraft systems work,” he said.
“Aircraft have complex systems. Working with a technologically advanced aircraft like the Tiger helicopter has allowed me to realise my dreams.”
Craftsman Powell said a visit to Avalon Airshow as a serving soldier sparked a sense of coming full circle.
“It was great to meet the people who produce parts for the aircraft and speak with other like-minded aviators and maintainers,” he said.
“This connection between past maintainers and present gives real meaning to the job.”
Technicians are responsible for the day-to-day maintenance of aircraft electronic, navigation and communication systems.
The journey starts at the Royal Australian Air Force School of Technical Training (RAAFSTT) at Wagga Wagga where trainees complete 16 months of initial employment training.
At RAAFSTT trainees learn advanced mathematics concepts and a system approach to the trade.
Technicians then progress to a specific initial type of aircraft training at the Rotary-wing Aircraft Maintenance School, based at Oakey.
Working with the aircraft, Craftsman Powell said, was what set his job apart from others.
“Knowing I have played my part in that happening makes my job worthwhile,” he said.
“I get the satisfaction of seeing the Tiger helicopter in action.”