750 NAVAL AIR SQUADRON STRENGTHEN MALTA TIES
A King Air Avenger Aircraft from Royal Naval Air Station Culdrose’s has made use of its long range capability by detaching to theMediterraneanfor the Malta International Airshow.
As well as representing the Royal Navy’s Fleet Air Arm, 750 Naval Air Squadron organised the trip to provide a final ratification for its newest pilot. Lieutenant James Rock completed his final competency check during the Pan -European trip. Flying internationally across airways is the culmination of the Basic Flying Course (BFT), designed to train future Observers in detailed flight planning, Diplomatic Clearances (DIPCLEAR) and the logistics required for a detachment of this type. In the future, “Rocky” will be expected to fly solo missions and be an Aircraft Captain for such ‘landaways’.
On the detachment, he commented,” The Avenger conversion course has been both challenging and a rewarding experience, certainly a very different one from my Merlin Mk 1 and 2 days. It’s such a privilege; and to have my course culminate with a warm Maltese welcome at the Malta International Airshow was very rewarding. It was a joy to represent 750 NAS at the event, especially given our unit’s rich Maltese history.”
Spread over two days, the Avenger provided a Royal Naval presence at the Airshow alongside 824 NAS’s Black Cats display team as well as a static 814 NAS Merlin Mk2.
The crowds were very enthusiastic towards the Royal Navy, with several veterans even recalling working for 750NAS when they flew a variety of fixed wing aircraft as the Observer school based at RNAS Hal Far (1959-65) on the island. The Airshow was particularly family friendly and the crew did their best to explain the role of an Observer and the fantastic training platform the Avenger provides.