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Auckland man earns his wings

Flying Officer Charles Nelson

21 March 2007

Remuera’s Charles Nelson will continue a strong military tradition when he graduates with five other pilots at Ohakea Air Force Base this week.

The former King’s College student is the first of his family to join the Air Force but his great grand father, grand father, mother and brother have all served in either the British, Hong Kong or Australian Armies from as far back as the second world war.

Flying Officer Nelson said graduating allowed him to undertake the final phase of advanced pilot training before he could fly the RNZAF Orion, Hercules or Iroquois helicopter.
 
“I’d very much like to move into 5 Squadron to fly the P-3K Orion. I like the idea of crewed operations, the maritime patrol and rescue role and the aircraft itself.”

The most difficult part of the pilot training course was the navigation component, Flying Officer Nelson said.

“Navigation was challenging but it was also the most satisfying to overcome. The satisfaction of applying all of the knowledge and skills learned on the course and the sheer exhilaration of low level flying at speeds in excess of 350 kmph is amazing..”
 
RNZAF pilot graduation ceremonies are held twice per year and represent the culmination of 14 months of study and more than 200 hours of flying time by student pilots.

Air Component Commander Air Commodore Peter Stockwell will present the awards and His Excellency The Governor General Anand Satyanand will be in attendance to review the parade.