Boeing [NYSE: BA] and the Australian Army today announced the graduation of the 100th helicopter pilot to earn their wings through the Helicopter Qualification Course delivered under the Army Aviation Training and Training Support (AATTS) program in Oakey.
"Graduating the 100th helicopter pilot is a significant achievement for both Boeing and the Australian Army. It demonstrates the success and value of the AATTS program," said Mark Brownsey, senior manager of AATTS for Boeing Defence Australia.
Boeing recognized the milestone with the establishment of a trophy for the top graduate of each Helicopter Qualification Course. Lt. Erin Pederick has been named the inaugural recipient.
"The trophy is further recognition of the great partnership and 'one team' approach Boeing and the Army have toward training aviators to fly and earn their wings," said Brownsey.
Col. Peter Steel, Commandant of the Army Aviation Training Centre, congratulated Pederick and her classmates in the pilots' course.
"The award of the Army Flying Badge is the most significant achievement in a pilot's career and takes approximately a year of intensive study and flying," Steel said. "However, the training does not stop here. Now that Lt. Pederick and her coursemates have earned their 'wings,' they have just begun their operational training on the Army's battlefield helicopters. Once they complete that training, they will be posted to their operational aviation regiments to commence their individual Army Aviation careers.
"They should wear their wings with pride and follow in the footsteps of the gallant aviators who have preceded them," Steel added. "In the words of an older Army aviator, 'Officer training was tough but doable; flying training was tougher and just survivable.'"
Under the AATTS contract initially awarded in 2007 and renewed in 2010 with an increased scope, Boeing provides:
--, Helicopter pilot, aircrew and technician training using the Army Aviation Training Centre's fleet of Bell 206-B1 Kiowa helicopters, S-70A-9 Black Hawk training helicopters, a Black Hawk full-motion simulator, and two civil Bell 412 helicopters
--,Operational fleet and support services at the Oakey Army Aviation Training Centre
--,Operational level maintenance on Kiowa aircraft for the 6th Aviation Regiment in Holsworthy, New South Wales
--,CH-47D Chinook pilot and technician training at the 5th Aviation Regiment in Townsville, Queensland.
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