FORMER Carleton High School student Chris Halton is flying high after completing the first phase of his training to become an army aviation pilot.
The 29-year-old tackled mandatory emergency survival training and a 12-week programme to learn the basics of flying, before completing flight training to earn his private pilot’s licence.
Army pilots undergo intense training to become some of the best in the world and support operational troops in places such as Afghanistan.
Chris said: “I began learning to fly when I was posted to Cyprus in 2007 but due to operational commitments I never got the opportunity to finish. I am so happy now waiting for my licence to arrive so that I can take my family and friends flying.”
Chris will shortly move to RAF Shawbury for the next six months to begin flying the Squirrel helicopter and after that he will be trained to fly operationally as a military pilot.
If successful he will be awarded his flying wings before training to fly military aircraft.
He said: “I am under no illusion that I still have a long way to go and a lot of hurdles to cross, but my motivation is receiving my helicopter licence, my flying wings and hopefully training to fly the Apache attack helicopter. To fly the Apache would be a dream come true and I am going to work has hard as I possibly can to achieve my goal of becoming a fully qualified army pilot.”
In 2004 Chris went through a selection process to become one of only 44 photographers in the army, winning a coveted trophy for his outstanding work before graduating top of his class in 2006.