RAF Odiham News

Odiham Pilot confirms his A1 Qualified Helicopter Instructor category.

Flt Lt Jim Hobkirk of 18(B) Sqn has become the latest pilot to join a very small group the most qualified instructors in the RAF.

On 22 Oct 19 at RAF Odiham Jim had his A1 Qualified Helicopter Instructor (QHI) Category confirmed on the Chinook helicopter, by Maj Chris Hearn AAC of Central Flying School (CFS) Exam Wg. 

The successful conclusion of the 12-hour examination in the Air and in the Classroom was the culmination of a busy year for Flt Lt Hobkirk; during which he passed his 2000 hours on the Chinook and 7000 hours total flying.  He has this year instructed in the UK and in the US on Ex VORTEX WARRIOR, at Naval Air Facility El Centro in California.  He has also served on an Operational Detachment in the Middle East, returning to work from that just 2 weeks prior to his examination.

The A1 CFS instructor category is rarely held and is a recognition of an instructor’s Exceptional ability to teach in the airborne environment and on the ground.  It is even more rarely held by a QHI serving in an operational role, most recipients of the award of the category serve on the DHFS at RAF Shawbury.  There are currently only 3 other RAF A1 QHIs serving, 3 in the Army Air Corps and none in the Fleet Air Arm.  There are currently no A1 QFIs (fixed wing instructors) in any of the services.

Very well-done Jim.

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