In a milestone for Air Force, the first group of pilots to conduct pilot training in the PC-21 aircraft received their ‘wings’ from Reviewing Officer Commodore (retd) Brett Dowsing, in a No. 2 Flying Training School graduation ceremony held earlier this month at RAAF Base Pearce.
With members of three different pilots courses graduating, trainees included the Republic of Singapore Air Force No. 130 Squadron, No. 257 pilots course and one member from No. 259 pilots course.
In a celebration of the graduation, 2FTS Instructor Flight Lieutenant Anthony Rooke impressed the attendees and trainees with a solo aerobatic display in the PC-21 aircraft.
Commodore Dowsing addressed the course, acknowledging their achievements as well as the support the graduates had received to be able to achieve their goals.
“You have every reason to be extremely proud of your new-found status in both a personal sense but, just as importantly, in a collective sense recognising your families, your instructors, your colleagues and all the support staff during this challenging course and being able to achieve this milestone,” Commodore Dowsing said.
“Enjoy the wonderful experiences that are part of being an ADF pilot. The associated fun, even under hardship environments, will provide you with among your fondest memories over your lifetime – I guarantee it.”
A Welcome to Country and ‘smoking’ of the pilots’ brevets and graduates was undertaken for the first time by two Noongar Elders, John McGuire and Barry Winmar. Mr McGuire acknowledged the significance of the parade ground to both pilot graduates and the traditional owners, and blessed the graduates in order to banish evil spirits for their flying careers.
The graduation marks the beginning of a career of lifelong learning for the Air Force’s newest pilots.
They will now move across the country for their aircraft conversion course and build on their skills learned at 2FTS.