No. 2 Flying Training School

Introduction

The Royal Australian Air Force unit, No. 2 Flying Training School, is located at RAAF Base Pearce, about 50 kilometres north of Perth in Western Australia. All student pilots of the RAAF and the Royal Australian Navy (RAN) undergo their advanced flying training here and obtain their 'Wings' before continuing to operational conversion units where they learn to fly specific aircraft types. Basic flying training is conducted at the ADF Basic Flying Training School (ADFBFTS) at Tamworth, New South Wales.

History

The evolution of No. 2 Flying Training School commenced from the original Australian Military Flying Training School. This School started training pilots on Bristol Boxkites at Point Cook a few days after the outbreak of World War I. Since those times military flying has had to adapt to a series of rapid and sweeping changes dictated by war and the advances of technology. The greatest of these changes occurred as the Korean War ushered in the jet age.

No longer could advanced flying be carried out on piston engine aircraft. After 17 years as an advanced trainer, the veteran Wirraway was replaced by the Vampire Mk 35. An airfield more suited to jet operations was also sought. No. 1 Advanced Flying Training School was established at Pearce in May 1958. The Vampire was gradually replaced by the Macchi MB326H in 1968, and on 1 January 1969 the unit was renamed No. 2 Flying Training School.

To provide Search and Rescue, a Dakota and two Iroquois helicopters were added to the squadron aircraft inventory soon after, (in 1990 the SAR role was transferred to a civilian contract). The Macchi provided valuable service as an advanced trainer for over twenty years. Students would find themselves graduating to it after completing ab initio training at No. 1 Flying Training School, (initially on the Winjeel and, after 1977, the CT4A).

The Pilatus PC9/A aircraft gradually replaced the Macchi from June 1989. The unit 1FTS was disbanded in December 1992. The syllabus was changed to 'all-through PC9' until June 2000 that included ab-initio pilot training and advanced pilot training in the following disciplines:

·         General Flying (GF),

·         Instrument Flying (IF), 

·         Night Flying (NF),

·         Formation Flying (FORM) and

·         Navigation (NAV).

Since the year 2000, student pilots of the RAAF and RAN have joined their Army counterparts for ab-initio training at the British Aerospace facility in Tamworth NSW. At the conclusion of their flying on the CT4B at Tamworth, RAAF and RAN students move to 2FTS and to conduct their advanced training on the PC9/A.  

Governor-General’s Banner

The Governor-General’s Banner for No. 2 Flying Training School is of blue silk and features the Governor-General’s pennant in the top left corner, wattle sprays in the other corners and the Unit Badge surrounded by the Southern Cross in the centre. The banner is fringed and tasselled in blue and gold, and is hung on a staff with an eagle aloft.

The Badge of No. 2 Flying Training School incorporates a black swan in full flight in front of an inflamed torch. The torch of learning signifies that 2FTS is a training unit. The black swan symbolises the transition of a student pilot from an ungainly cygnet to a graceful swan. Also the black swan is a native of Western Australia and is featured on the state crest. The Unit motto ‘Seek the Heights’ complements the Badge.

The Future.......

A graduate pilot of No. 2 Flying Training School must be capable of flying the PC9/A with the skill and confidence necessary to allow ready transition to operational aircraft. As such, and in keeping with the traditions of the RAAF, the standards of flying skill and airmanship that a trainee must develop at 2FTS are very high. Necessarily allied to this requirement, the graduate must be capable of discharging his or her duties and responsibilities as a junior officer. 

Although aircraft, staff and methods will no doubt continue to change, the traditions and high standards insisted upon at 2FTS will endure. The unit motto 'Seek the Heights' is appropriate to the training achievements of 2FTS.

Air Force - RAAF

Navy - RAN

Army - ARA

ADF Pilot Selection Agency - ADFPSA

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Last Modified: 4 July 2006
Authorised By: CO 2FTS