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New Air Force pilots get their wings

4:37:11 p.m.  OH 10-0645-036.jpg: The newest pilots of the RNZAF and RNZN. L-R: PLTOFF Thomas Hayes, PLTOFF Toby Mercer, PLOTFF Jimmy Davidson, PLTOFF Tom Corkery, LT George Hahn.
The newest pilots of the RNZAF and RNZN. L-R: PLTOFF Thomas Hayes, PLTOFF Toby Mercer, PLOTFF Jimmy Davidson, PLTOFF Tom Corkery, LT George Hahn.[OH 10-0645-036]

24 September 2010

Four newly qualified Royal New Zealand Air Force pilots and one Royal New Zealand Navy pilot marked a milestone in their careers with the presentation of their ‘Wings’ or brevets at a graduation parade at Air Force Base Ohakea yesterday.

The Reviewing Officer for the Thursday afternoon parade was Commander for Joint Forces New Zealand Air Vice-Marshal Peter Stockwell.

Commanding Officer of Flight Training Wing, Wing Commander Tim Evans said presentation of the pilots’ brevet signifies the successful completion of over a year of flight training.

“The award of the pilot’s brevet or ‘Wings’ represents a milestone in every military pilot’s career, and is the culmination of a very demanding but rewarding period of training. 

“This symbol of their achievement provides visible recognition of the standards they have reached,” he said.

The new pilots will go on to fly Iroquois or Seasprite helicopters, C-130 Hercules, Boeing 757s or P-3K Orions.


For further information please contact Anna Sussmilch, Defence Communications Group, on 04 496 0286 or 021 676 338.

Editors please note: Photos and biographies on the graduates will be sent to local papers.

Background Notes:

The pilots graduating have just completed a difficult and challenging course, the RNZAF Pilots Course.

The initial training for the graduates began with five months of Initial Officer Training at RNZAF Base Woodbourne.  At Command Training School, trainees learn the basics of military life, including drill, physical fitness, military studies, Air Force organisation, and leadership skills.

The Pilots Course begins with a two week survival course, followed by a one week course on the physiological and psychological aspects of flying at Aviation Medicine Unit at RNZAF Base Auckland.

After Aviation Medicine training, the graduates moved to RNZAF Base Ohakea to commence their Wings Course training, initially at Pilot Training Squadron (PTS).

There the students undertake five weeks of ground school, where they are taught subjects such as principles of flight, rules of the air, and technical specifics of the 300HP CT-4E Airtrainer aircraft.

During the nine months spent at PTS, the students accumulate approximately 130 hours in flying the Airtrainer, covering navigation, aerobatics, instrument flying, formation, and night flying.

During their five months at No. 42 Squadron, students are further extended by the more complex systems of the King Air, and are assessed as single pilot captains of the aircraft having accrued a further 90 hours. 

After receiving their ‘wings’ or brevets the graduates will either remain at No. 42 Squadron for further fixed wing training, in anticipation of being posted to larger multi-engine transport or maritime aircraft, or fly helicopters in either the Royal New Zealand Air Force or Royal New Zealand Navy. 

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