The final PC-21 Australian Defence Force Pilots’ Course graduation ceremony for this year was held at RAAF Base Pearce on December 11.

The No. 2 Flying Training School (2FTS) graduates received their wings from reviewing officer Governor of Western Australia Kim Beazley.

Mr Beazley acknowledged the graduates’ achievements and the support they had received.

“You should each be proud of your achievements and determination to get this far and should revel in your new role as qualified aircrew in the ADF,” he told the gathering.

“I hope that the confidence and skill you have demonstrated throughout your training will be the bedrock on which you continue to learn, improve and undertake your duties as you commence your mission to defend Australia and its national interests in order to advance our security and prosperity.” 

The invited guests, family and friends were entertained ahead of the graduation ceremony by Flight Lieutenant Chris Ahearn as he demonstrated the capability of the PC-21 aircraft in a thrilling aerobatic display. 

A Welcome to Country and smoking of the pilots’ brevets was conducted by Noongar Elders John McGuire and Barry Winmar.

Mr McGuire acknowledged the significance of the parade ground to both graduates and the traditional owners and blessed the graduates to banish evil spirits for their flying careers.

You should each be proud of your achievements and determination to get this far and should revel in your new role as qualified aircrew.

Three of the graduates received awards. 

Pilot Officer Joshua Newell was awarded the G Scutt/E Davey Memorial Trophy for Most Proficient at Instrument Flying. 

Pilot Officer Isabella Augello received two awards: The Royal Australian Air Force Association (WA Division) trophy for most improved; and the Returned Services League trophy for leadership. 

Pilot Officer John Lewin received five awards: the BP (Australia) Ltd trophy for Highest Aggregate of Academic Marks; the Government Aircraft Factories and DJ Memorial trophy for Highest Level of Aerobatic Skill; the SJ Goble Memorial Trophy for Most Proficient Pilot; the Defence Force Welfare Association Prize for Highest Level of Navigational Skills; and the Pilatus Aircraft Trophy for Dux of the Course.

The graduation marks a new chapter in the pilots’ careers as they join squadrons across Australia and build on their skills learned during their time at 2FTS.