The first two C-17A pilots to graduate in Australia from the C-17 Pilot Initial Qualification (PIQ) Course at RAAF Base Amberley. They are Flight Lieutenant David Whyte (middle) and Pilot Officer Stephen Maunder (left). With them is C-17A Qualified Flying Instructor, Flight Lieutenant Simon Grant.
03 June 2010 -- The Minister for Defence, Senator John Faulkner, today announced the graduation of the Royal Australian Air Force’s first locally trained pilots for the C-17A Globemaster.
Flight Lieutenant David Whyte and Pilot Officer Stephen Maunder are the first two Air Force pilots to undertake their conversion course at RAAF Base Amberley. Until now, all Australian C-17A pilots have been initially trained on the aircraft in the United States.
“This is another major step forward as Air Force’s C-17 capability matures,” Senator Faulkner said.
“It’s anticipated the use of the newly constructed training facilities at RAAF Base Amberley will produce significant financial and workforce savings compared to sending personnel overseas.
“The introduction of C-17 training in Australia has been delivered through a strong Defence and Industry partnership. I congratulate Air Force, Defence Materiel Organisation and Boeing for their continued support in delivering a capability which is both highly effective and within budget.”
The Aircrew Training System for the C-17A at RAAF Base Amberley includes Boeing instructors, a full-motion cockpit and separate loadmaster station simulator.
Pilots converting to the C-17A require 350 hours of training provided by Boeing instructors, which includes 120 simulated flight hours. The trainee pilots then complete the operational conversion by conducting a series of five flights in a real C-17A under the supervision of Air Force Qualified Flying Instructors.
Australia is the only country outside of the United States with its own local-based C-17A pilot training facilities. All other Globemaster-operating air forces conduct their C-17A pilot training through the United States Air Force.
Air Force’s four Globemasters were delivered to No. 36 Squadron between 2006 and 2008, and have greatly increased the air mobility available to the Australian Defence Force, in particular support to deployed forces.
Each aircraft can carry more than 70 tonnes of cargo, which can include a Chinook helicopter, or up to three Black Hawk helicopters, or up to five Australian Light Armoured Vehicles.