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Lt Larry Smith receiving a bottle from CO, Commander Ian Fraser
Merlin Mk 2 at RNAS Culdrose
Deck landing on RFA Wave Ruler


Published: 24 Dec 2016

A Flying Instructor at Royal Naval Air Station Culdrose has achieved a significant milestone in his career, whilst serving on 824 Naval Air Squadron.


Lieutenant Larry Smith (30) flew through the 2,000 hour airborne barrier this December at the controls of one of the squadron’s Merlin Mk 2 helicopters.


Larry, originally from Grimsby, joined the Royal Navy at Britannia Royal Naval College in 2004 as a direct entry pilot. After Officer training he moved onto flying training at RAF Barkston Heath and RAF Shawbury, where he flew Tutor and Firefly light training aircraft and the Squirrel during his helicopter training. On joining RNAS Culdrose he moved on to the Merlin Mk1 with 824 NAS and was awarded his ‘Navy Wings’ in June 2009.


He has operated across the world serving with 820 and 814 Naval Air Squadrons including a period conducting Counter-piracy Operations off the East Coast of Africa. He qualified as a Helicopter Instructor in 2015 and is currently instructing on 824 NAS, the Royal Navy’s Merlin Mk 2 training unit. He reached the milestone, equivalent to over 80 days airborne, whilst instructing pilots from Culdrose.


He was presented with and a bottle of champagne in front of the Squadron to mark the occasion by Commander Ian Fraser, Commanding Officer of 824 Naval Air Squadron.


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