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New aircraft handlers get ready for the big ships

Published: 18 May 2017

A new batch of sailors have joined the Aircraft Handling branch at RNAS Culdrose, and will soon be using the skills they have learned to support aviation on board the latest Royal Navy ships.

The motto that they will have to work towards every day of their aircraft handling careers is: Nostris In Manibus Tuti" - "Safe In These Hands".

The new handlers have spent the last six months at the Royal Naval School of Flight Deck Operations, and they are keen to get on with their frontline duties and join the new aircraft carriers being built for the Royal Navy.

The parade marked the completion of the final stage of basic training, before the sailors move on to further firefighting courses at Culdrose and in time, their first frontline units. 

Much of their course has taken place on the ‘fire ground’ at the air station, where they have learned to use fire rescue equipment designed to save lives on the flight deck in the case of emergencies at sea.

They have also worked on the Royal Navy's own unique ‘Dummy Deck’ which is an exact replica of a real aircraft carrier’s flight deck, complete with moving Harrier jets, real Merlin helicopters and other training aids which look and feel like current and future aircraft.

Here they have operated with aircraft safely day and night in different landing configurations and emergency scenarios.

Family and friends proudly watched as the branch badges were awarded at a special ceremony.

The sailors then gave a demonstration of the skills they learnt on the course. 

The 20 Naval Airman Aircraft Handlers were presented with their certificates and awards by Commanding Officer of RNAS Culdrose, Captain Dan Stembridge ADC.

In his speech he told them they were starting their naval careers at a very important time for the Fleet Air Arm.

It will be the responsibility of these new 'Handlers' to ensure that the flight decks of the future are kept safe as RNAS Culdrose carries out operations at sea.


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