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Culdrose quartet complete training for new "Air Avenger"
4:00pm Tuesday 12th February 2013 in Cornwall
Four students from RNAS Culdrose have become the first graduates to complete training on the Royal Navy’s new King Air Avenger plane.
Based with 750 Naval Air Squadron, Lieutenant Mark Finnie, 27, Lieutenant Keith Webb, 27, Lieutenant Alan “AJ” McInne, 28, and Sub-Lieutenant Tom Wilson, 26, have all passed the 16-week basic flying training course.
It means they can now begin their operational training on the Sea King airborne surveillance and control helicopter, Merlin anti-submarine helicopter or Lynx maritime attack helicopter.
The collaboration between the Royal Navy and Ascent Flight Training is part of the new ground breaking Military Flying Training System, but there are links to the past.
Seventy years after the Battle of the Atlantic and 60 years since the start of military search and rescue in the UK, the newest generation of observers are setting off on the same journey their predecessors took in the aircraft of the same name during World War II.
The Grumman Avenger of World War II fame was a single engine torpedo bomber used extensively by the Royal Navy and United States Navy, with almost 10,000 built.
The new Avenger, however, is a twin turbo-prop that has an extended range and a state-of-the-art system.
Training for the four graduates has been rigorous and demanding. After being selected from the many who applied to fly for the Navy, they have undertaken officer training at Britannia Royal Naval College Dartmouth, as well as the basic flying training course at 750 Naval Air Squadron – reputed to be one of the toughest in the Royal Navy.
Here they have learned to take command of an aircraft – and on occasion several aircraft – to achieve a mission safely.