Ten student pilots successfully completed the first phase of Royal Australian Air Force ab initio flying training at RAAF Base East Sale on 12 July.
Each student has undergone five months of pilot training, including approximately 250 hours of theory instruction, 30 hours simulator instruction and 40 hours of flying in the PC-21 – one of the world’s most advanced basic pilot training aircraft. They are also the first students to march out from the newly recommissioned No. 1 Flying Training School (1FTS), and the first RAAF pilots to conduct ab initio training in the PC-21 turboprop aircraft.
Wing Commander Chris Pouncey, Commanding Officer of 1FTS congratulated the students for completing one of the most challenging courses in Air Force.
“Well done! Your hard work over the past six months has paid off for this important milestone in your careers as military pilots,” Wing Commander Pouncey said. “You are another step closer to becoming qualified pilots – men and women who play key roles in generating Australia’s air power for defence of our national interests.”
The students will proceed to the next phase of their pilot training at No.2 Flying Training School at RAAF Base Pearce in Western Australia.
Air Force is currently transitioning to the PC-21 trainer as part of the most significant technological upgrade in Air Force’s 98-year history. The second 1FTS ab initio pilot course commenced training in April and is scheduled to be completed later this year.