Navy Pilot earns wings

Published on LS Aircrewman Adam Wade (author), Mr Chris Kershaw (photographer)

Location(s): RAAF Base Pearce, WA

Topic(s): HMAS Albatross, 723 Squadron

Chief of Defence Force, Air Chief Marshal Mark Binskin, AC presents Sub Lieutenant Thomas Snow with the award for Aerobatic Skill. (photo: Mr Chris Kershaw)
Chief of Defence Force, Air Chief Marshal Mark Binskin, AC presents Sub Lieutenant Thomas Snow with the award for Aerobatic Skill.

Navy’s newest pilot has graduated from the Royal Australian Air Force’s No. 2 Flying Training School (2FTS) at RAAF Base Pearce, Western Australia.

Sub Lieutenant Thomas Snow received his wings alongside eight Royal Australian Air Force Officers during a ceremony at the school recently. He was also presented with awards for high achievement during the course, including Navigation, Instrument Flying, Aerobatic Skill, Most Proficient Pilot and Dux. 

“Graduating with my mates and seeing my family and friends in the crowd was easily the proudest moment of my life and perfectly summed up my time at 2FTS,” Sub Lieutenant Snow said.

The ceremony was attended by Chief of Defence Force, Air Chief Marshal Mark Binskin, who presided as Reviewing Officer and presented the graduates with their wings.

“Each of you can be justifiably proud of what you have achieved. It is an exciting time to fly and I look forward to watching your career progress,” Air Chief Marshal Binskin said.

Graduation from Advanced Pilots’ Course is the culmination of nine months of intensive flying training on the PC-9/A, a two-seat single engine turboprop aircraft. Students are taught basic handling, low-level navigation and close formation flying throughout the course. 

Although the course consisted of a rigorous training schedule, Sub Lieutenant Snow was up to the challenge.

“Learning to fly, and the camaraderie between course mates is something that I will always cherish and remember,” he said. 

Sub Lieutenant Snow will progress to EC135 helicopter training at 723 Squadron, HMAS Albatross in Nowra, New South Wales.