Prince Harry takes to the skies to be a chopper pilotNovember 19th, 2008 - 1:58 pm ICT by ANI
London, Nov 19 (ANI): Prince Harry took to the skies behind the controls of a plane for the first time to achieve his ambition of becoming an attack helicopter pilot.
The one hour ten minute sortie in a bright yellow T67 Firefly went brilliantly. Harry is currently undergoing four weeks of rigorous assessment with the Army Air Corps to decide whether he has the aptitude to fly a 35 million pound Apache.
Harry, 24, was starting a month-long assessment course in which he will clock up more than 13 hours in a bright yellow fixed-wing Slingsby Firefly, The Sun reported.
The lightweight plane is used to assess whether candidates have the natural coordination to become elite chopper pilots.
Sources said that the Grading which has a failure rate of more than 50 per cent represents the biggest challenge the young Royal has ever faced.
One insider at the Army Air Corps base in Middle Wallop, Wilts, said: The Grading process is used to weed out those who do not possess the natural qualities needed to become a helicopter pilot. Just because Harry is a Royal in no way guarantees he will get through the next month.
It may simply be the case that he does not have the coordination to make the grade.
Harry has told his superiors that he wants to follow in brother Williams footsteps and learns to fly. But there is another reason he wants to succeed, The Sun reported.
Piloting a helicopter in combat is one of the few ways he can go back to the front line in Afghanistan.
If successful, Harry will be invited back to Middle Wallop in January to begin an 18-month helicopter-training course.
Prince William will also start training to become a fully-fledged chopper pilot in January 2009 for the Royal Navys Search and Rescue team. (ANI)
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Tags: aptitude, army air corps, assessment course, attack helicopter, chopper pilot, chopper pilots, failure rate, footsteps, helicopter pilot, helicopter training, middle wallop, natural qualities, prince harry, prince william, rigorous assessment, search and rescue, slingsby firefly, superiors, t67, wilts