Meet Warrant Officer 2 “Jonny”, who flies an Apache AH1 attack helicopter for the British Army and served as part of the NATO’s enhanced Forward Presence Battlegroup in Estonia.
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“Jonny” wanted to fly since he was a boy growing up in the United Kingdom – and luckily, as a Warrant Officer 2 in the British Army, he gets to fly the Apache AH1. Jonny describes what it takes to fly his army’s premier attack helicopter.
The British Army deployed Apaches to Estonia in April 2019 to augment NATO’s enhanced Forward Presence Battlegroup, which is led by the United Kingdom. The attack helicopters have practised integrating with multinational forces, participating in multiple exercises. The Apache’s speed, manoeuvrability and payload make it invaluable to ground operations.
-SOUNDBITE-(ENGLISH) WO2 ‘JONNY’, BRITISH ARMY
“I've always wanted to fly, ever since I was a little boy. And an Apache helicopter is something I've always wanted to be a pilot of. Every time you sit in that aircraft, hit the APU [Auxiliary Power Unit] button, hear it fire up, engage your rotors, it’s an exhilarating feeling going flying in one of these.
My name is Jonny. I'm a Warrant Officer Class 2, serving in the British Army. I came up from the ranks. I started off as an Air Trooper, so private level in the Army Air Corps. I worked my way through.
I most enjoy the feeling of flying. I’ve always wanted to do it. That feeling of being in the air, being in control of where you’re going. Speed, heights. It’s really exhilarating.
A good helicopter pilot obviously needs to be quite good with their hands, their motor skills, but you also need to be adaptable, flexible and really just be able to make decisions based on information presented to you very quickly.
The difference about flying in the army is you do it as one big team. None of that that flying capability would happen without wider support.”
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