Eight new fighter pilots graduate from FPC 59

FPC 59

Capt Nigel Mills prepares to take off for his last flight of FPC 59. Capt Mills is one of eight graduates of the course.
Photo: Jeff Gaye

Jeff Gaye

410 Tactical Fighter (Training) Squadron wrapped up Fighter Pilot Course 59 on Friday with two flypasts and a traditional mess dinner.

The FPC takes RCAF pilots who have graduated from Fighter Lead-In Training on the CT-155 Hawk jet at 419 Squadron, and trains them to fly the CF-18 Hornet in RCAF fighter operations.

The course also graduated one candidate in the Experienced Fighter Pilot Course (EFPC). Four of the newly-minted fighter pilots will report to tactical squadrons in Cold Lake, and four are posted to Bagotville. The graduates, and their new units, are:
• Capt Connor Anson-Cartwright, 433 ETAC
• Capt Adam Appleby, 409 TFS
• Capt Eric Blakie, 409 TFS
• Capt Tucker Densmore, 401 TFS
• Capt Nathanael Lockhart, 425 ETAC
• Capt Nigel Mills, 401 TFS
• Capt Felix St. Jean, 425 ETAC
• Capt Graham Tough, 433 ETAC
• Capt Laurent Lorette (EFPC), 401 TFS

The course ran from May 29, 2017 to February 9, 2018.

“One highlight was our deployment to New Orleans in November for Exercise Puma Strike 17, where we completed the Air Combat Tactics phase of the course,” said 410 Squadron Commanding Officer LCol Seane Doell. “Another was the Air Interdiction phase, where the students each had the opportunity to employ GBU-12 laser guided weapons here on the Cold Lake Air Weapons Range.”

The training is divided into Transition, Basic Fighter Manoeuvers, Air Combat Manoeuvers, Air Combat Tactics, Conventional Weapons Delivery, Close Air Support and Air Interdiction phases.

“We at 410 Squadron are very proud of the FPC 59 graduates’ accomplishments, and are also very proud of our own accomplishments in having safely trained this next cadre of fighter pilots for the RCAF,” LCol Doell said.

“We wish them all the best as they move on to their first Tactical Fighter Squadron assignments.”