after a ‘long, hard slog’
FLTLT Gordon Brown
Central Band plays at the parade.
PC-9 performs a solo aerobatics display at the graduation.
AIRMSHL Angus Houston presents OFFCDT David Bell the Dux
of the Course.
by CPL Gary Dixon
newest military aviators of the Air Force and Navy are the 12
graduates of No. 199 Pilots course, who graduated from the RAAF
Advanced Pilots course at 2FTS, RAAF Base Pearce, on September
After putting in hours of ground and fl ying training during the
previous 38 weeks, the student pilots were excited at the prospect
of now being posted to operational units.
Offi cer Cadet David Bell, who has been posted to No. 79 Squadron
to fl y the Hawk 127 Lead-in Fighter, said the pilot’s course
was “a long, hard slog” so it was a big relief to have it behind
“I’m looking forward to getting into a new aeroplane and applying
what we’ve learnt on course to its operational role,” he said.
OFFCDT Bell was awarded Dux of the Course, Most Profi cient Pilot,
Highest Academic Marks, Instrument Flying and the Navigation awards.
Offi cer Cadet Joel Stitt won the Most Improved and Aerobatics
Acting Sub-Lieutenant Benjamin Hammond was awarded the Leadership
prize. Graduation reviewing offi cer CAF Air Marshal Angus Houston
was impressed by the standard of the parade.
In his address, AIRMSHL Houston recognised the effort put in by
the graduates but encouraged them to continue the hard work to
achieve the highest levels of professional excellence, leadership
and teamwork in the operational environment.
“You must maintain the current safe fl ying record,” he said.
“The best pilots are professional pilots and this requires ongoing
dedication until your last fl ight in the ADF.” As is customary
before graduation, 2FTS paid tribute to the hard work put in by
the student pilots.
Each student was hosted by a QFI in a Thunderbird formation fl
ypast of about 22 PC9 aircraft, the largest formation the Air
The route of the fl ypast encompassed Rottnest Island, Perth city
and the Pearce base, where family and friends were gathered to
Postings for course members include Nos. 34, 36, 38, 79, 292 and