Pilots flying high after graduating

Nineteen student pilots from 272 Phase 2 ADF Intermediate Pilots’ Course graduated from 2 Flying Training School on December 8 – the final course graduation for the year.

CAPTION272 Phase 2 ADF Intermediate Pilots’ Course members assembled on the flight line with a Pilatus PC-21 aircraft at RAAF Base Pearce in WA ahead of their graduation. Story by Stephanie Hallen. Photo by Chris Kershaw.

Joining family and friends for the occasion were Course 72 double-centurion Squadron Leader (retd) Ian Gonsal and World War 2 veterans Warrant Officer (retd) John McDonald and Flying Officer (retd) John ‘Blue’ Bailey, who was also celebrating his 101st birthday.

Reviewing Officer Air Vice-Marshal Stephen Chappell, a Course 172 centurion, congratulated the course’s graduates on their achievements.

“272, congratulations on what is an incredible milestone in your careers, and an incredible individual achievement from all the hard work that you have put into getting here,” Air Vice-Marshal Chappell said.

“The pilots’ brevets you wear should be worn with pride; they are a licence to learn.

“It takes a huge team to get you here today, and to keep you going to where you will end up.”

Air Vice-Marshal Chappell thanked the staff, friends and families for the support they had provided to the graduates.

“On behalf of all the graduates, I would also like to thank you in advance for the love and support you will continue to give them as they move forward in their careers,” he said.

Six graduates received awards for their achievements during the course.

Pilot Officer Olivia Downey was awarded the Royal Australian Air Force Association (WA Division) trophy for most improved, while Pilot Officer Jordan Curd received the ‘Fit-to-Fight’ High Performance Physical Training Award.

Pilot Officer Madison Hall received the Returned Services League Trophy for demonstrating the highest qualities in leadership.

The Air BP Australia Trophy for the graduate with the highest aggregate of academic marks was awarded to Pilot Officer Zachary Harris, while Pilot Officer Nicholas Wardle received the D.J. Friedrichs Aerobatics Trophy for the highest level of aerobatic skill.

Flight Lieutenant Jesse Versteegen was awarded the Pilatus Aircraft Trophy as course dux after he received the S.J. Goble Memorial Trophy as most proficient pilot, the G. Scutt/E. Davey Memorial Trophy for most proficient at instrument flying, and the Martin Baker Australia Navigation Trophy as the graduate displaying the highest level of navigation skills


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