'Wings' and a Prayer

05 November 2013
NT Air Section increased in size and capability with the addition of two pilots being presented their ‘wings’ and two new state-of-the-art Pilatus PC-12 aircraft blessed on November 4, 2013.
Newest NT Police Air Section Pilots Elliot Smith and Richard Rehmann
Click to View Images

The presentation of a pilot’s ‘wings’ is a significant event in the career of a pilot.  Two newest NT Police Air Section pilots Richard Rehmann & Elliot Smith were presented with their ‘wings’ by Chief Minister Adam Giles.   

Elliot comes with considerable experience flying medium size turboprop aircraft in the Middle East with Falcon Express Cargo while based in Dubai.  Since starting with NT Air Section he has piloted flights to Borroloola, Lajamanu, Port Keats, Peppeminarti and acted as an observer during a recent search and rescue (SAR) flight north of the Kimberly.

Richard spent many years with Aero Rescue flying the Dornier 328 as both Co-Pilot and Captain while based in Darwin.  It is anticipated that Richard's Aero Rescue experience will contribute to NT Police search and rescue knowledge base improving our capability in this area. 

“Both pilots are now considered proficient in the aircraft and Police specific operations and have been ‘checked to line’ and will take their place in the Air Section team.  It is at this time the pilots are presented with their wings in recognition of their considerable effort and standards achieved over recent months,” Chief Minister Adam Giles said.

After the presentation of ‘wings’ Tri-Service Chaplain Cally Faithful lent her services to NT Police Air Section to give the traditional blessing to the two new aircraft.  

NT Police Air Section pilots Adam Booker and Mal Walshe travelled to Pilatus base in Switzerland on October 4, returning October 18 in the Pilatus PC-12 VH-YDU.

“Firing up the YDU for the first time under NT Police Air Wing pilot, was a good feeling!”

 “On the flight to Darwin as we waited for Australia to loom on the horizon we had an opportunity to chat about our experience and reflect on what really was a great two weeks. The NT Police Air Wing's newest aeroplane performed faultlessly. It is a real credit to Pilatus that they can build such a complex machine and have it work straight out of the box.”
Mal Walshe & Adam Booker, NT Police Air Section

Tony Norris, Trevor Woods, NT Police Air Section returned in the Pilatus PC-12 VH-YDQ on November 1.

“The NT Air Section has some of the most modern and state of the art aircraft in the Pilatus PC12 and is a premier Police Air Section and one that the NT can be proud of.” Commissioner John McRoberts said.