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Air Force Announces Its Top Display Pilots For 2013

The 2013 RNZAF Red Checkers Team
The 2013 RNZAF Red Checkers Team

Today the Royal New Zealand Air Force announced the Red Checkers formation aerobatic display team for 2013.

Made up of senior instructors from the Air Force’s Central Flying School and Pilot Training Squadron and coupled with a strong support crew, the team will be led by Officer Commanding Central Flying School, Squadron Leader (SQNLDR) Oliver Bint.

"We perform a wide range of formation and solo aerobatics" said SQNLDR Bint. "The team’s history can be traced back to the late 1940s in Wigram, and we have been flying under the Red Checkers name since 1967."

In addition to their full time positions during the week, flying most weekends from January through ‘til May and performing at upwards of 25 airshows and events around the country, makes for a busy time for the team members.

"The Red Checkers give the New Zealand public a chance to see our military flying skills. The exciting flying routines entertain the public while also providing public relations and recruiting opportunities for the Air Force. We’ll no doubt get a chance to meet the next generation of military aviators in our travels", said SQNLDR Bint.

The 2013 Red Checkers' programme kicks off with a show in January at Matamata and will include shows as far north as Waitangi, and as far south as Invercargill.


ENDS

For more information please contact Squadron Leader Lyn Coromandel, Defence Communications Group on 04 496 0738 or 021 420 899.

Visit our website at www.airforce.mil.nz

 

 

Red Checkers 2012-2013 Information sheet

The current Red Checkers team is made up of senior instructors from the RNZAF’s Central Flying School and Pilot Training Squadron. They fly the highly manoeuvrable New Zealand built CT-4E Airtrainer and perform a wide range of formation and solo aerobatics.

 

Checkers One: Squadron Leader Oliver Bint

Squadron Leader Bint joined the Air Force in 1995 and during his career has completed two operational tours flying the Iroquois and one on the Hercules. Highlights have been the chance to fly all around the world including East Timor, the Middle East and Antarctica. Squadron Leader Bint is currently the Officer Commanding of Central Flying School, the unit responsible for training RNZAF flying instructors. He was Checkers Five in the 2007 Red Checkers, and 2013 is Squadron Leader Bint's second season as Checkers One. Away from flying, Binty's interests include football and skydiving.

Checkers Two: Flight Lieutenant Stuart Anderson

Flight Lieutenant Anderson joined the Air Force in 2005 and on graduation from the RNZAF Wings Course flew Sioux and Iroquois helicopters during an operational tour on No. 3 Squadron. Flight Lieutenant Anderson completed a Flying Instructors Course in early 2011 flying the CT-4 Airtrainer and currently instructs ab-initio student pilots at Pilot Training Squadron, Ohakea. This is Flight Lieutenant Anderson's first season with the Red Checkers, currently as Checkers Two. When not flying at work, Flight Lieutenant Anderson can be found flying, gliding, running or spending quality time with his family.

Checkers Three: Flight Lieutenant Matt Walls

Flight Lieutenant Walls joined the RNZAF in 1998 and after initial flying training flew the C-130 Hercules on No. 40 Squadron. Career highlights have included flying operations in Antarctica, Afghanistan and numerous other locations around the world. Flight Lieutenant Walls is currently an instructor at Pilot Training Squadron where he teaches ab-initio student pilots. This is his first season in the Checkers and is Checkers Three. Outside of flying Matt enjoys being outdoors, spending time with his family and trying his best to keep fit.

Checkers Four: Squadron Leader Matt Alcock

Squadron Leader Matt Alcock joined the Royal Air Force in 1990. He initially flew Puma helicopters and operated from as far north as the Arctic Circle to the flood plains of Mozambique. His tours included Northern Ireland during the height of the troubles and Kosovo during the Balkans Conflict. He transferred on to the Tucano in 2000 and has flown fixed wing aircraft since. Since moving to New Zealand in 2009 he has been flying the Airtrainer on Pilot Training Squadron and now as the Flight Commander at the Central Flying School. This is his third season with the Checkers. Squadron Leader Alcock has a wife and four young children at home, so does not have time for any hobbies!

Checkers Five: Flight Lieutenant Jimmy Davidson

Flight Lieutenant Jimmy Davidson joined the Air Force in 2006, and graduated Wings course in 2010 after spending three years at the Australian Defence Force Academy. Following Pilots course he spent 3 months at 42 Squadron flying B200 Kingairs before commencing Flying Instructors Course. Flight Lieutenant Davidson is currently posted to Pilot Training Squadron where he instructs ab-initio student pilots. Jimmy was Checkers Six last season, flying the spare aircraft and commentating. This is his first season displaying in the Red Checkers team, now as Checkers Five. Outside of work he enjoys wakeboarding, fishing and the beach.

Checkers Six: Flight Lieutenant Robert Cato

Flight Lieutenant Cato joined the Air Force in 1995 and has spent the majority of his time flying the Iroquois. He is proud to have been on several operational missions with the NZDF in various parts of the world, in both flying and ground roles. Flight Lieutenant Cato has recently qualified as a flying instructor and is enjoying the new challenge of training the next generation of RNZAF pilots. This is his first season with the Red Checkers.

Checkers Display Director: Warrant Officer Ash Wilson

Warrant Officer Wilson joined the Air Force in 1981 and remustered to helicopter crewman in 1992. He has flown operationally and instructed on the Iroquois and the Seasprite helicopters deploying to Antarctica, Bougainville, East Timor and the South China Sea with the Royal New Zealand Navy. Warrant Officer Wilson is currently the Qualified Aircrew Instructor at the Central Flying School, responsible for training all of the Air Force Aircrew Instructors. This is Warrant Officer Wilson's first season as display director for the Red Checkers. Away from flying Ashley enjoys diving and fishing.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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