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July 19, 2012
PROSPECTIVE pilots need
to remember three things
during the second stage of
flight training: "Don't hit
lead, don't hit the ground
and don't run out of fuel."
That's the advice of WGCDR
Graham Williams, CO of 2 Flying
Training School (2FTS), and the man
ultimately responsible for grooming
the next generation of Air Force pilots.
But it's not just the formation lead-
er, the ground and fuel that students
have to look out for at 2FTS, accord-
ing to WGCDR Williams.
"They're expected to work as a
team, they're expected be prepared for
their next mission, and they're expected
to behave as young officers and future
leaders," he said. "We take the skills
they have learned on the CT4 at [Basic
Flying Training School] Tamworth and
take them to the next level."
the stars Following on from our centrepiece in last edition on
the Basic Flying Training School, CPL Max Bree
heads to 2 Flying Training School.
UP IN THE AIR: Left, FLTLT Andrew
Robinson and OFFCDT Michael
Marriner; top and above, former 2FTS
students perform a Diamond 9 formation
near RAAF Base Pearce.
Left photo: CPL Max Bree
IN THE "Black Panther
honour" story on page
21 of the July 5 edition,
the history breakout
stated that the squad-
ron's role ended in
1989 when it replaced
its Mirages with Macchi
jet trainers. This was
incorrect. It should
have said that 76SQN
was disbanded on
August 24, 1973, and
was then reformed on
January 1, 1989, with
Macchi jet trainers and
Winjeel Forward Air
Control aircraft. Thank
you SQNLDR Dave
Burns, of the Office of
Air Force History, for
correcting this error.
OFFCDT Michael Marriner is
more than half-way through his nine-
month pilot training and has entered an
intense part of the course.
"At the moment it's flat-out flying
for us," he said. "Earlier in the course
you do more classroom work. At the
moment it would be about a sortie a
day, earlier it would be about three sor-
ties a week."
Each instructor takes on two to
three students who each do 130 hours
of flight training on the PC-9s at
RAAF Base Pearce, near Perth.
FLTLT Andrew Robinson, a flying
instructor at 2FTS, said the students'
dedication to the idea of becoming a
pilot kept them professional through-
"Because it's their dream they're
really motivated, they're really eager
and they want to perform at a high
standard," he said.
As a former Orion pilot, FLTLT
Robinson enjoyed developing his co-
pilots and transferred to 2FTS for a
more specific training role.
"You do take a particular interest in
them doing well and seeing them get
through the course," FLTLT Robinson
said.But every student is going to run
into difficulty with some aspect of the
training, he said.
"It might be formation flying, it
might be something to do with check-
"Some of the things you can pre-
pare for on the ground
but formation flying
isn't one of them."
Every student has
a set allowance of
has discretion to give more remedial
hours but failing students can have
their say at an assessment review
"For some guys, suspension comes
as a relief because they know they're
struggling," WGCDR Williams said.
"The reason we fail someone is
usually because they are a risk to
themselves or a risk to others."
But failed pilots often go on to
have Defence careers in other areas.
"It doesn't make them any less
valuable members of the Air Force or
Navy," WGCDR Williams said.
"We don't walk past them in the
corridors and not look them in the
As a fast-jet pilot himself, WGCDR
Williams said his main aim was to
train more fighter pilots.
"The Air Force is in a situation
where we need to produce more fast-
jet pilots," he said.
"We've been providing pilots who
are capable of flying our larger multi-
engined aircraft but not so much the
pilots we'll need to fly the F-35 or
"I'm now looking at how we teach
the course but our main interest is to
ensure we're getting the absolute best
performance to graduate pilots at the
highest possible standard."
Once a student passes the course at
2FTS they are awarded their wings and
allocated to further training on fast-
jets or transport aircraft.
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