Prince William graduates today as a qualified helicopter search and rescue pilot, having completed a challenging course.
The prince will be flying Sea King rescue helicopters and is set to join 22 Squadron of the Royal Air Force, who are based at RAF Valley on the Isle of Anglesey, on the north west coast of Wales.
He will be presented with his certificate and Search and Rescue Force badge at RAF Valley today by the unit’s Commander, Group Captain Jonathan Dixon, along with six of his fellow classmates.
Speaking to the media, Prince William said “I am really delighted to have completed the training course with my fellow students. The course has been challenging, but I have enjoyed it immensely. I absolutely love flying, so it will be an honour to serve operationally with the Search and Rescue Force, helping to provide such a vital emergency service.”
Prince William, who is now 28, has been flying helicopters for the last 18 months, moving from simulators to the Squirrel HT1, then to the Bell 412EP Griffin and for much of last year he was piloting a Sea King with an operational conversion unit, in preparation for his new post.
The prince will now have to undergo what is called “acceptance training”, which is the process of becoming familiar with the terrain and also the landing sites that he and his crew will be expected to cover.
Prince William will then begin his first 24 hour shift as a Search and Rescue Pilot.
It will be a number of weeks before the royal embarks on his first 24-hour shift as he will have to undergo ‘acceptance’ training – familiarising himself with the the terrain and landing sites that he and his crew will be expected to cover.
The Daily Mail
Times Of India