More Than Nine Months in the Air

Flt Lt William ‘Bill’ Kenrick has recently celebrated clocking up a staggering 7,000 flying hours, equivalent to over nine months in the air. Bill is currently based at RAF Benson as a Trg Off with the Operational Conversion Flight of 28 (Army Co-operation) Sqn. His day job sees him training RN pilots to operate the complicated, state-of-the-art Merlin helicopter ahead of the transfer of the aircraft to CHF.

52 year old Bill joined the RAF as a pilot in 1979 and has since undertaken numerous tours flying a variety of helicopters including Pumas at RAF Benson and RAF Odiham, Gazelles at RAF Shawbury and Merlins at RAF Benson. Due to his expertise, he has also completed two tours at RAF Benson as part of JHC’s Standards and Evaluations Flt that ensures the highest standards of airmanship are maintained across the JHC fleets.

As well as UK tours, Bill has also completed operational deployments to Northern Ireland, Bosnia, Iraq and Afghanistan as a helicopter pilot, as well as environmental training in areas such as Belize and Norway. In 2010 his contribution to the RAF was recognised by a Personal Commendation from Comd JHC.

Bill was greeted by colleagues and RAF Benson’s Stn Cdr, Gp Capt Nigel Colman, as he landed at RAF Benson after clocking up more than 7000 flying hours. Bill commented, “I am proud to have been a part of the successes of the Support Helicopter Force over the years and I hope that my teaching and examining has helped people stay safe in some fairly hostile environments. I’ve managed to have a great deal of fun along the way, but this is tempered by the realisation that I’ve spent the equivalent of a fortnight Instrument Flying!”

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