The culmination of 15 months training came together for Sub Lieutenant Arvids Quinn who earned his 'wings' after graduating from Number 237 Pilots' course at RAAF Base Pearce last week. Alongside six Royal Australian Air Force officers, Sub Lieutenant Quinn represented the Royal Australian Navy and successfully completed the intensive 38-week course.
Taught in several phases, the Advanced Pilots' Course builds on foundational skills learned in the Basic Pilots' course. These include basic handling on the PC9/A, two-seat single-engine turboprop aircraft, low-level navigation and close formation flying. Students further progressed their training eventuating in simulated tactical scenarios.
Sub Lieutenant Quinn said throughout the course everything was taught in 'baby-steps'.
"When you get to the end of the course, it's a surprise to see all the training from the last 15 months come together," he said.
When asked about the highlight of the course, he said it had to be a late combination flight to Meekatharra.
"There is something deeply satisfying about leading a pair of aircraft hundreds of miles away and arriving low and fast over a point at a predetermined time within a five second window," Sub Lieutenant Quinn said.
The graduation was attended by service dignitaries, family and friends, who witnessed the final 'wings' flight. Representing the Fleet Air Arm was Captain Brad White who graduated from Number 2 Flying Training School in 1987.
"I was honoured to represent Commander Fleet Air Arm at the graduation of 237 pilots course and welcome Sub Lieutenant Quinn to the Fleet Air Arm. Sub Lieutenant Quinn should be proud of his flying achievements to date, passing pilots course is not an easy undertaking. I wish him all the best for the future as he moves to operational flying in the Fleet Air Arm with the new MH-60R and MRH-90 helicopters," Captain White said.
Navy Officers proceed to HMAS Albatross for their rotary wing conversion where they will fly the Squirrel helicopter with 723 Squadron.