The graduating pilots (from left in photograph) are: FGOFF Hamish Park – Havelock North; FGOFF Mike Craies – Auckland (Herald Island); LT Sam Williams RNZN – Wellington; FGOFF Gareth Evans – Auckland (Papakura); FGOFF Mark Chapman – Havelock North.
08 May 2015
Five newly-qualified New Zealand Defence Force pilots have celebrated a career milestone and graduated at Air Force Base Ohakea with their ‘Wings’ (pilot brevets).
The Commanding Officer of Flying Training Wing Commander (WGCDR) Chris Andrew said reaching the milestone represents a moment of personal and professional pride for each graduate.
“Earning your ‘Wings’ is the reward for a very demanding period of training. The road to graduation is long and challenging and it can be easy to lose sight of the end goal – a flying career with the New Zealand Defence Force,” said WGCDR Andrew.
To graduate as pilots, the five trainees completed an officer commissioning course and training in aviation medicine, survival and basic parachuting at Base Whenuapai. They underwent 130 hours of basic phase flying instruction on the CT-4E Air Trainer and completed advanced phase flying instruction at 42 Squadron, learning the more complex systems of the King Air B200PL aircraft and flying as single-pilot captains for more than 70 hours.
They will go on to fly the New Zealand Defence Force’s A109, NH90 and Seasprite helicopters and the C-130 Hercules and P-3K2 Orions.
“The brevet they each receive is a symbol of achievement and provides visible recognition of the standards our newly-qualified pilots have reached,” said WGCDR Andrew.
For further information please contact Defence Communications Group 021 487 980.