Australia: Pilot Instructor LCDR Reaches Rare Milestone
723 Squadron Pilot Instructor Lieutenant Commander (LCDR) Tony Reyne recently added to his considerable list of achievements by clocking up his 9,000th hour of military flying.
Fellow training officer LCDR Cliff Gaudie put LCDR Reyne’s accomplishment in perspective:
“9,000 hours is equal to approximately 6,923 flights, 375 full days airborne, or the time needed to cook 180,000 soft boiled eggs!”
“To have logged 3,690 hours instructional is an incredible number of hours in support of the Fleet Air Arm.” LCDR Gaudi added.
LCDR Reyne joined the Navy in 1970 as an apprentice at HMAS Nirimba, since then he has flown the CT4 & Macchi and the Bell Iroquois UH-1B, Wessex 31B, Bell 206 B-1 Kiowa, Gazelle HT-2, Squirrel AS 350B, Sea King & Seahawk helicopters.
It is not a case of false modesty when LCDR Reyne claims difficulty selecting a single career highlight. The list is a very impressive one:
In his 43 year career, LCDR Reyne has conducted operations from aircraft carrier HMAS Melbourne; received a Fleet Commander’s Commendation for successful surveillance tasking of the USSR’s scale model ‘Space Shuttle’ Indian Ocean recovery; rescued five Wessex crew members after they ditched off Bondi Beach; received the Active Service Medal for his work with Squirrel Flight for Operation WARDEN/STABILISE in East Timor, and a Federation Star in 2010.
Asked how he felt about his latest milestone, LCDR Reyne said he was really chuffed.
“Since September 1977, I have spent my working life involved in naval aviation and I have loved every moment. Flying and instructing is a passion and the Navy has given me the opportunity to indulge that for a long time, I hope I’ve given good service in return and I hope the milestone is a good example for the junior aircrew coming up the line,” said LCDR Reyne.
Naval Today Staff, March 5, 2013; Image: Australian Navy