Helicopter Pilot – MRH90 – Royal Australian Navy
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Helicopter Pilot – MRH90 – Royal Australian Navy

October 16, 2019


Hi, my name is Matt Seymour. I’m a MRH 90 helicopter pilot in
the Royal Australian Navy. My position on the squadron is
aviation warfare officer. Basically liaise with the
command in the squadron to help develop tactics and
electronic warfare stuff for the squadron. G’day, my name’s Nick Kelly. I’m an MRH pilot. We’re here at A Squadron
in Townsville. My role in the squadron
is to instruct guys on how to fly the MRH. I always wanted to be a pilot
since I was very small. It had always been a dream
of mine to join the military as a pilot. My grandfather served in World
War II as a pilot. And when I was finishing school,
my older brother was actually in the Navy as
principal warfare officer, and he told me all about
Naval aviation, and couldn’t help myself. I was studying a bachelor of
commerce at the time, and the Navy offered me a job as a
pilot, so it wasn’t too much of a hard choice. Just signed on the dotted
line, and I’ve never looked back. Loved it. Same sort of story for me. I grew up watching MASH
on TV, watching the choppers fly around. I was always out in the
backyard when I heard a plane fly over. So I worked pretty much through
high school knowing that I wanted to be a pilot. There was a few hurdles
along the way. But I ended up going to
Duntroon, doing the officer course for the Army and then I
went to aviation corps as a pilot from there. Day to day on the squadron,
we obviously maintain our knowledge of the aircraft, the
systems within the aircraft. With it being the latest
technology in helicopters, there’s a lot of stuff to
revise, to go over, and make sure you’re on top of. Then there’s also just the daily
running of the squadron. There’s a lot of administration
that goes on with that, which we also
have to back up with our secondary duties. Get to do fitness stuff as well,
three times a week, for an hour and a half each morning,
go and do some fitness stuff. And then hopefully go flying. That makes a good day. You come in here, and generally
we get given a goal, something to achieve
during the day. And you don’t just do it by
itself sitting in a corner. You work together with a bunch
of guys to achieve a goal. Especially flying– it’s really
a close knit crew. Nick and myself, we’ll be
sitting up the front, with two of the loadmasters down
the back, which– we’re all pretty close. We’re all good friends. And just, you go out there, do
a mission, working together, hand in hand. You have to trust the guys
down in the back. We have to trust each
other completely. So it’s not a single
man’s job. It’s definitely all
about teamwork. So that’s the part
I love about it. And every day is pretty
exciting. Get something different,
something new every day. One of the unique things about
this helicopter is the fact that it uses a fly by wire
system, which it’s actually the first helicopter in
the world to use it. Basically, it uses, instead of
the traditional rods and bell cranks connected from the
columns to the head of the helicopter to move [? around ?]
the sky, this actually uses just an
electronic signal. So it’s like a joystick
at home. Potentiometers within the
joystick pick up the movement of the control column, sends
it through electrons to the computers in the back of the
aircraft, which then adjust the rotor to move you
around the sky. The fact that it’s brand
new is a good thing. The Black Hawk now is
about 25 years old. So this aircraft brings with
it a whole lot of new technologies. There’s a lot more niceties for pilots to fly this aircraft. Yeah, a lot of the other
aircraft that we have are more manual aircraft. You need to be on the controls,
on the sticks and the pedals, moving the
aircraft where you want it to go to. Whereas with this aircraft,
you still have that opportunity, but you can also
use the autopilot to dally around the sky, turning,
twisting dials and stuff like that. You’ll see that the pilot’s
seat’s set up in front, and the rest of the aircraft
is space for troops or stuff, basically. It’s for moving people and
things around the battlefield. And for Navy, they’ll use it
pretty much the same way, but for naval roles, for
maritime roles. Yeah. In the Navy, we’re a maritime
support helicopter, so replacing the Sea Kings. We’ll leave the hunting ships
and submarines to the other squadron, and we’ll mainly be
supporting an amphibious task group, moving personnel
instals between ships. And then we’ll also have a
secondary role as a helicopter visit board search and seizure,
which is put a boarding team in the back, we’ll
fly over a ship, and fast rope them down on to
inspect the vessel and make sure they don’t have
any illegal goods. Because the MRH is brand new
to the Australian Defence Force, the reason that Matt
and I are here together working is because Navy and Army
are both setting up their own capability with MRH. So it makes sense to have
everyone working together to achieve a common goal, which
is to get the aircraft in service for the two services. So there’ll be a close working
relationship to get the aircraft up and running. And then as we’re going to be
working together off the back of the LHDs anyway, having a
close working relationship between the two squadrons, or
the two services of the Army and Navy, is going to be a
beneficial thing for all, because we can share
information. I’m looking forward to proving
the concept of MRH. Because it’s a new aircraft, it
does the same job that the Black Hawk does, but it’s
got a new system. So we’re going to need to go out
and try it with the MRH, how it goes. So that’s going to be an
exciting time for the Army, definitely, to implement the
MRH into its systems.

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