Prince William has been presented with his 'wings' by his father – Prince Charles – after completing an advance helicopter training course. Flight Lieutenant Wales is now a step closer to becoming an RAF search and rescue pilot. Sky's Geoff Meade reports.
According to Tom Bonnet of Sky News (15/1), Prince Charles spoke about the dangers of the job and took time to poke fun at its tamer tasks. "Some of you no doubt will find yourselves in Afghanistan where the ground troops will put great faith in you.Others no doubt among you will be plucking people from danger, maybe sheep in distress, not to mention endless ladies with conveniently sprained ankles on awkward mountain sides across the country. Whatever the case, you will all be in charge of an amazingly expensive piece of kit which a lot of people won't want you to break, so I can only suggest that you cultivate that sixth sense, if you know what I mean, which can so often keep you out of trouble."
Later this month Prince William will move to RAF Valley on Anglesey, North Wales, to learn to fly Sea King helicopters. He will be taught to rescue mountaineers or exhausted swimmers in treacherous conditions, reports Tom Bonnet. Group Captain Jock Brown, Commandant of the Defence Helicopter Flying School, told Sky:
"This is one of the most demanding helicopter flying courses in the world, it is no small feat to achieve the standard required to pass it. Prince William has done l and achieved everything we have asked of him, both on the ground and in the air. I am confident he will do well in the next stage of his training."
Prince Charles served as a Royal Navy helicopter pilot, as did his uncle, the Duke of York, who was a Sea King helicopter pilot during the 1982 Falklands War.