Spectacular flypasts by Pilatus PC-21 and Hawk 127 aircraft dominated the skies as fourteen students from 267 ADF Pilot’s Course received their wings and graduated from 2 Flying Training School at RAAF Base Pearce on November 4.

The Western Australian Police Pipe Band lead the parade with beating drums and ceremonial bagpipes before the parade welcomed the Commanding Officer, Wing Commander Jay Tuffley and Reviewing Officer Air Commander Australia, Air Vice Marshall Darren Goldie.

A moving Welcome to Country and smoking ceremony for graduates and pilot’s brevets was conducted by Barry Winmar, who outlined the significance of the parade and the connection to country to the pilot graduates.

Four graduates received awards for their achievements during course.

Flight Lieutenant Harrison Gray was awarded the Fit-to-Fight Physical Training Award and the BP (Australia) Ltd Trophy for the highest aggregate of academic marks.

Pilot Officer Matt Daniec was awarded the G Scutt/E Davey Memorial Trophy for most proficient at instrument flying and Pilot Officer Michael Develin was awarded the Returned Services League Trophy for leadership.

Pilot Officer Nathan Reed was awarded the Defence Force Welfare Association prize for displaying the highest level of navigational skills, the RAAF Association (WA Division) Trophy for ‘most improved’ and the SJ Goble Memorial Trophy as most proficient pilot.

Pilot Officer Nathan Reed took out the Pilatus Aircraft Trophy as course dux.

Air Commander Australia Air Vice Marshall Darren Goldie acknowledged the centurions and double centurions present and the family and friends that supported the current graduates to achieve the milestone of receiving their wings on parade.

“Your careers will be diverse. I consider myself very fortunate to have enjoyed some of the most exciting jobs we have but would swap places with you in a heartbeat and embark on it all over again,” Air Vice Marshall Goldie said.

“I need you to study hard, keep fit, grow tough, show empathy, build a network, think innovatively, challenge the status quo and remain professionally curious. Operations are likely closer than you think.

“I remember standing on this parade ground in front of my parents with my mates. Soak it up – rarely again will you walk as tall as you do today.”

The newest pilots marched off the parade ground to cheers, marking the start of their exciting careers in their new Royal Australian Air Force and Royal Australian Navy squadrons across Australia.