Perth storms didn’t deter the spirit of 14 students receiving their wings and graduating from No. 2 Flying Training School at RAAF Base Pearce on July 29.

The students from No. 266 Pilots Course took their positions for the ceremony with uniform precision before welcoming the Commanding Officer Wing Commander Jay Tuffley and Reviewing Officer Group Captain Phil Trigge.

Four graduates received awards for their achievements during course.

Pilot Officer Riley Turnham was awarded the Fit-to-Fight Physical Training Award and Pilot Officer Ginte Waugh was awarded the DJ Friedrichs Aerobatics Trophy for aerobatic skill.

Pilot Officer Angus Johnston received the Royal Australian Air Force Association (WA Division) Trophy for most improved and Pilot Officer Jeremy Njegac received the Returned Services League Trophy for leadership.

Pilot Officer Daniel Carbonatto-Bowkett was awarded the Defence Force Welfare Association Prize for displaying the highest level of navigational skills, the SJ Goble Memorial Trophy as most proficient pilot, the G Scutt/E Davey Memorial Trophy for most proficient at instrument flying and the BP (Australia) Ltd Trophy for the highest aggregate of academic marks.

Pilot Officer Carbonatto-Bowkett took out the Pilatus Aircraft Trophy as course dux.

Air Force Training Group Chief of Staff Group Captain Phil Trigge addressed all those in attendance, acknowledging the centurion graduates present from No. 166 course and the family and friends that had supported the current graduates to achieve the ultimate goal of receiving their wings on parade.

“You have successfully completed a course, which is known to be one of the most difficult and respected courses in the ADF and around the world,” Group Captain Trigge said.

“Your wings are your licence to learn. There are no dull or easy postings for pilots in the ADF.

“Make the most of every day, honour those you serve with and lead by giving your best. Remember that your careers have the potential to make a real difference at a time when your country may need you most”.

This milestone marks the beginning of an exciting career for the 14 newest pilots as they move on to join their new Royal Australian Air Force and Royal Australian Navy squadrons across Australia.

Pilot Officer Daniel Carbonatto-Bowkett, the dux of the No. 266 pilots course. Photo: Chris Kershaw