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Medic gains pilot's wings amid covid turbulence

Flying Officer Cam Brock is about to make the flying leap from medic to a fully-fledged pilot.

27 October, 2022

The 26-year-old from Auckland’s North Shore is among the new batch of pilots who have graduated at RNZAF Base Ohakea, studying through during COVID-19 lockdown disruptions and performing MIQ duty.

Flying Officer Brock joined the Air Force in 2014 as a Medic and completed a diploma in Paramedicine.

“I really enjoyed my time as a Medic. I worked with the best group of people where we worked hard. The Defence Health Centres are lucky in that they bring together a diverse range of people of various backgrounds and experiences. I hope I can instil some of that great work culture into my next units,” he said.

“The idea of flying aircraft was the only potential career that appealed to me during high school. The discipline and lifestyle of the military suited my personality. My Uncle worked as an Air Engineer on the C-130 Hercules air craft and I thought that environment sounded dynamic and rewarding. I simply could not see myself working a stationary job where each day was the same.”

Flying Officer Cam Brock was part of a unique group undertaking the 18-month “Wings” course.

Commanding Officer of the Flying Training Wing, Wing Commander Tim Costley, said this course was different to previous intakes because they could not bring new recruits into the RNZAF in mid-2020 due to Covid-19 restrictions.

“This course was only made up of personnel who were already serving in the military. In addition all of these new pilots had frequent disruptions to their training serving in the hotels doing MIQ duty. This extended the course from 18-months to 21.”

Wing Commander Costley is full of praise for Flying Officer Brock, describing him as the gentleman of the course.

“As an Air Force medic, Cam can patch up anything. And while those medical skills will be useful on every military operation, we’re stoked to have him with a set of Wings on his chest, adding to our pilot numbers.”

Flying Officer Brock is looking forward to finding out where he will spend the next part of his career and is excited to move along with his wife and see where life with the NZDF takes them next.

Students spend four months of the course in “ground school” and the remainder of the time learning to fly in both simulators and the T6C Texan aircraft, a high-performance military training aircraft, capability of flying more than 500km/hr at 30’000ft.

These students are now ready to move to operational aircraft and embark on an exciting career serving New Zealand at home and abroad.