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Methven Man Takes to the Sky

Wiseowl 88 - Motueka Aerodrome March 2007. Exercise Wiseowl is a Royal New Zealand Air Force exercise which teaches trainee pilots how to operate a location remote from the comforts and conveniences of RNZAF Base Ohakea. PLTOFF Rob Weavers.

15 March 2007

As a student pilot with the Air Force Pilot Officer Rob Weavers is literally on top of the world.

But it hasn’t been an easy ride for the 23 year old from Methven, who has just completed a demanding solo flying exercise at Motueka Air Field.

For the past two weeks the former Mount Hutt College High School student has left behind the comforts of home to live in a tented camp with eight other Air Force pilots for Exercise Wise Owl.

Pilot Officer Weavers says the highlight of the bi-annual exercise, which gives pilots the chance to fly RNZAF Airtrainers in unfamiliar skies, was flying solo in formation for the first time.

“Flying in formation in a new area has been a great experience. It takes a lot of preparation but it’s all part of achieving my goal of flying a Hercules with RNZAF 40 Squadron.”
For all of the students the exercise is their first opportunity to fly the distinctive yellow and black CT-4 Airtrainers outside of Ohakea Air Force Base while at the same time living together in a self-sufficient camp.

Exercise Wiseowl is part of the initial 34-week Wings course at the Pilot Training Squadron.

During the course Pilot Officer Weavers and his fellow students learn basic flying techniques, aerobatics, instrument and night flying and navigation.