1 16 Wildcat HMA Mk2 Wings Parade
FIRST Wildcat helicopter ‘Wings’ have been awarded to three Pilots and two Observers on 825 Naval Air Squadron (NAS) based at Royal Naval Air Station (RNAS) Yeovilton Somerset
Course 1/16 Wildcat Operational Conversion Course has attained the coveted Royal Navy Wings by completing operational training on the newest aircraft in the Royal Navy’s operational aircraft fleet known as the Fleet Air Arm (FAA).
The five students are referred to as Ab-intios of Latin origin meaning from the beginning and their Wings were awarded by Commodore (Cdre) Betton RN OBE who said;
“Thank you for inviting me here today I am struck by the sense of passion and pride of our new ‘Wings’
I’d like to take the opportunity to mention the importance of families some of whom are with us today and for their support throughout this , for some it has been seven years”
As Cdre Betton came to the end of his address to those present he looked to the five new members of the Fleet Air Arm that have attained their Wings and said;
“I wish you every success as you make the transition into front line operational capability, out their striving and achieving excellence”
The Wildcat is the latest and greatest of military helicopters to be delivered into the FAA and 825 NAS deliver first class training to aircrew and engineers whilst pioneering the generation and sustainment of front line Wildcat Flights for embarked operations worldwide
Lieutenant Scott Sunderland RN joined the Royal Navy (RN) in 2010 on completion of his A-levels and on this very proud day said;
“I have always loved aviation and dreamt of becoming a Pilot from a very young age. Naval aviation has always fascinated me and join the Fleet Air Arm allows me to take a helicopter onboard a warship, do the job I’ve dreamt of whilst travelling the World”
Lieutenant Alex Halliday attained his Observer Wings and is also a qualified Engineer he said;
“Joining the Royal Navy seemed to offer something different from an office career and I liked the idea of engineering. After spending the best part of seven years in training qualifying in both Engineering and Aircrew roles today gives me a great sense of pride. I feel very lucky to be in a position where I can do both.”
Lt Thomas Pethick from Launceston Cornwall having joined the RN in 2010 as Pilot under training and said;
“Being from the south west the RN always felt like a natural choice and I have always wanted to fly from a very young age and join the FAA. My short time in the RN has given me lots of opportunities to both travel and train to do a job a truly enjoy with varied roles around the world each day is rarely the same as the last. In five years’ time I would like to be a Flight Commander or perhaps training to become a test Pilot.”
Air Engineering Technician (AET) Connor Steel was presented with the ‘Live Your Life Award’ during the Parade as the engineer who had made a significant contribution during 1/6 Wildcat course embarkation in RFA ARGUS.
Congratulations to you all as you become fully qualified aircrew in the Fleet Air Arm family.
Good luck Sirs!