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Who was in the # 113 Pilot’s Course – RAAF???

New CASA CEO:

Mark Skidmore career highlights

2013 – Aviation consultant

2013    Director Flight Operations Raytheon Australia

2001-2012    Royal Australian Air Force – from 2008 Air Commander Australia; previously: Joint Force Air Component Commander including Director of the Coalition Combined Air Operations Centre in the Middle East Area, Director Combined Air and Space Operations Centre, Director Operational Requirements, New Air Combat Capability Commander, Aircraft Research and Development Unit

1998-1999    Senior Test Pilot and Business Development Executive Raytheon Australia

1983-1997    Royal Australian Air Force – pilot and test pilot

a photograph of Director of Aviation Safety Mark Skidmore

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Ben Sandilands puts a distinct and correct challenge to Mark Skidmore in his recent article in Plane Talking:

Without an immediate change, GA will not survive in any reasonable form, and the regulator CASA, will give credibility to it’s long term aim of ridding the Australian scene of a virant and viable aviation industry.

With respect to the new DAS, he will also have to be a reformer, and a remover of various CASA identities, to bring the body back to one that merits respect and carries out its obligations to properly and effectively regulate aviation safety in this country.

The regulatory reform process has been so atrociously mishandled by CASA that four years after the Pel-Air crash the regulatory issues that were exposed in the ditching of that medical evacuation Westwind jet near Norfolk Island remain unresolved.

AND:

Other bloody incidents that hang over CASA are the 2008 Barry Hempel crash and the 2005 Lockhardt River crash.  It is respectfully suggested that DAS Skidmore not read any of the media coverage reported on Plane Talking or mainstream publications on these matters, but the actual coronial documents and testimonies that are covered by legal or parliamentary privilege.

These are serious matters. They cannot be forgiven, ever, given the deep harm done to the public by CASA’s inability or reluctance to carry out its obligations, but the culture that tried to defend and bury these scandals can be broken by a strong and determined DAS.

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What the Helicopter Industry has to say:

Australian Helicopter Industry Association Limited      

PO Box 462  Carina  Qld 4152 Australia

Mob: 0415 641 774 E: secretary@austhia.com

TO: AHIA Members and international helicopter community

Introduction: As you aware our aviation industry regulator has been paralysed due to the fact most of the CASA Board have moved on and I believe their replacements have not been approved by the Prime Minister’s team. The Board therefore cannot give any instructions to the DAS of CASA as they do not have the expertise to make major decisions. In any case, DAS’s chair was vacated at the end August and the Deputy DAS has a caretaker’s role, and he also cannot make any decisions of significance. As CASA is a statutory body, the DAS is responsible to the financial management and other performance indicators. For this responsibility he is paid a very high salary. As a result of this broken line of authority; the Deputy Prime Minister cannot do anything; nor can anyone within CASA. Traditionally, industry would air their serious concerns to the D’PM; however, at present this cannot be achieved. But CASR Part 61 became law on 1 Sep ’14 and must roll on with nobody at the helm. You probably all know what angst we have been suffering due to this costly hiccup.

Fortunately, a new DAS has been found and this is the first step in repairing the damaged operational and administrative system within CASA. Hopefully, the links will be made serviceable soon and all the new people can wade into the regulatory reform debate. But – not before all the new comers have to learn how to run ‘the run the ship.”

Some do not have any aviation experience; especially in General Aviation within which the helicopter industry resides. We make up about 14% of the register and 30% of the commercial companies (AOC holders). We do not have any RPT operators.

At a guess this replenishment of the management team will  take best part of a year – with the Festive Holiday Season taking a major slice of the available time.

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CASA Media Release – Thu 30 Oct ’14.

New Director of Aviation Safety

Mr. Mark Skidmore AM has been appointed as the new Director of Aviation Safety at the Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA). The chairman of CASA’s Board Dr Allan Hawke AC announced the five year appointment today (Thu 30 Oct ’14). Mr. Skidmore has more than 30 years experience in both civilian and military aviation. “Mark Skidmore brings a wealth of aviation experience to the position of Director of Aviation Safety at CASA,” Dr Hawke said. “Mark has worked in civilian aviation as a test pilot, business development manager and company director. He has led large teams of operational, technical and administrative staff, providing leadership for operational, training and support functions.

“Mark had an outstanding military aviation career, beginning as a pilot in the Royal Australian Air Force in the early 1980s. He led RAAF research and development squadrons and was promoted to Australia’s Air Commander, holding oversight for Australia’s air operations, and reaching the rank of Air Vice Marshal before retiring in 2012. The new Director of Aviation Safety was chosen after an international search for the best available person to further develop CASA as a world leader in aviation safety regulation”.

“CASA’s Board has full confidence that under the leadership of Mark Skidmore Australia’s proud aviation safety record will be protected and enhanced. Mark is committed to working with the aviation industry and the general community to achieve the best possible safety outcomes. He understands safety is a shared responsibility with the aviation industry and will encourage and support the industry while at the same time ensuring the interests of the travelling public are protected. Mark is part of the general aviation community, owning and regularly flying a Globe GC-1B Swift.

“Recognizing Mark needs time to finalize his current commitments he will take up his appointment as Director of Aviation Safety as soon as possible”.

Mark Skidmore career highlights

2013 – Aviation consultant.

2013 – Director Flight Operations Raytheon Australia.

2001-2012 –  Royal Australian Air Force – from 2008 Air Commander Australia; previously: Joint Force Air Component Commander including Director of the Coalition Combined Air Operations Centre in the Middle East Area, Director Combined Air and Space Operations Centre, Director Operational Requirements, New Air Combat Capability Commander, Aircraft Research and Development Unit

1998-1999 – Senior Test Pilot and Business Development Executive Raytheon Australia.

1983-1997 – Royal Australian Air Force – pilot and test pilot

CASA Media contact: Peter Gibson; Mobile: 0419 296 446 or email: peter.gibson@casa.gov.au

Rob Rich

AHIA Regulatory Review Coordinator for

Civil Aviation Safety Authority

Transport and Logistics Industry Skills Council (Aircrew)

Manufacturing Skills Australia (Maintenance technicians)

PO Box 462

CARINA QLD 4152

M: 0415 641 774

E: secretary@austhia.com

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Relationships of Mr. Skidmore – “Skates”

Who attended the 113 Pilots course?

AIR COMMODORE DAVE STEELE, CSC

Director General Joint and Combined exercises, HQJOC
Air Commodore Steele joined the RAAF Academy in 1976 graduating in 1980 with a Bachelor of Science (Physics) and a Graduate Diploma in Military Aviation. He was also awarded the Sword of Honour for leadership. Air Commodore Steele then proceeded onto 113 Pilots course, flying both the piston engine CT4/A Airtrainer and the jet engine MB326H Macchi, resulting in the award of his pilot’s wings at the end of 1981.
Air Commodore Steele has accrued over 4,700 flying hours on a variety of aircraft types and is a Qualified Flying Instructor. He has flown Iroquois helicopters, instructed on the CT4/A and the turbo prop PC9/A Pilatus and had several tours on F-111C/G strike aircraft. Air Commodore Steele was also leader of the RAAF’s formation aerobatic team, the Roulettes.
Air Commodore Steele completed RAAF Command and Staff College in 1996 gaining a Graduate Diploma in Management Studies. He was promoted to Wing Commander in 1997 and completed a staff tour in Canberra in Capability Development Division before being posted back as Commanding Officer 6 Squadron (F-111C/G) during the period 1999 to 2000. Air Commodore Steele then completed a short posting in Strategic Command Division as a team leader in the Joint Plans Directorate. He was promoted to Group Captain at the start of 2002 and posted to Air Force HQ as Director Battlespace Management (Aerospace). In late 2004 Air Commodore Steele was posted to RAAF Williamtown as the Officer Commanding 78 Wing where he was responsible for ‘fast jet’ training. In mid 2006 he was selected to be the Defence Attaché at the Australian Embassy in Baghdad, Iraq where he served for six months. On his return to Australia in early 2007 Air Commodore Steele joined the Centre for Defence and Strategic Studies. Upon graduation in late 2007 he was awarded a Graduate Diploma in Strategic Studies. He was promoted to Air Commodore on 10 December 2007 and posted to the Australian Embassy in Washington DC in early 2008 as the Air Attaché.
Air Commodore Steele was awarded a Conspicuous Service Cross in 1997 in recognition of his service as Chief Flying Instructor at the Central Flying School, East Sale and as leader of the Roulettes aerobatic team.
Air Commodore Steele is married to Sheryl and they have one daughter, Jaime. His interests include rugby, red wine and red Jaguars.

Three Fleet Air Arm pilots gained their wings at the graduation parade of No 113 pilots course at Pearce RAAF base in Western Australia.
They are LEUT Michael Galvin, SBl.T Michael Fitzgerald and MIDN John Conlon. LEUT Galvin, 23. of Chinchilla, Queensland, joined the RAN In 1974 to enter the RAN College.
After graduating as a Bachelorof Science in 1978 he …..ent to sea in various ships before being selected for pilot
training in Novemer 1981.  LEUT Galvin has been posted to VC 724 to fly helicopters.
SBIT Fitzgerald, 22, of Soldiers Point, NSW. joined the RAN in 1977 to train as an observer after CQmpleling his
secondary schooling at St Dominic’s College, Penrith, NSW. lie was flying liS 748 and Tracker Aircraft with VC 8.”i1, when selected for pilot training in November, 1980.
Michael has been posted 10 VC724 10 fly liS 748aircrafl.

MIDN John Conlon. 19. of Kenmore, Queensland matriculated from the Church of  England Grammar School Brisbane in 1978 and was studying for a commerce degree at Queensland University when he was selected for No 113 Pilots’ Course In 1980.
John has been posted 10 VC 124 to Oy Skyhawks.

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To support the continued growth of Raytheon Australia, the company appointed Mark Skidmore to the newly created position of Director of Flight Operations earlier this year. In this interview, Mark talks about his new role with the company and his background in the Australian Defence Force (ADF).
Mark, can you please tell us about your former role within Defence?
Mark: Before joining Raytheon Australia I was in the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF). I had 33 great years in the RAAF and my last position was as Air Commander Australia – arguably the best job within the RAAF.  I started out at the academy which was at RAAF Point Cook at the time, then went on to do my pilots course and F-111 conversion.  I had the opportunity to fly the F-111 for many years including flight test activities after I completed the United States Navy Test Pilots Course at Patuxent River.
Following that, I spent time as the Flight Test Director for the F-111 Avionics Update Program, then became Commander of the Aircraft Research and Development Unit, before assuming the role of Director of Operations in the New Air Combat Capability. I was then in the role of Joint Force Air Component Commander before my most recent position as Air Commander Australia.  I also spent time in the Middle East Area of Operations as the Director of the Combined Air and Space Operations Centre.
What are you focusing on in your new role within Raytheon Australia?
M: My focus is on the flying-related activities that Raytheon Australia performs to ensure that we provide these in a safe and effective manner. We conduct a number of these activities on behalf of the ADF.
In particular, we support the Electronic Warfare Training System (EWTS) which is based on two learjets and is backed by our strong team at Nowra. We also partner with the Royal Australian Navy (RAN) on their Retention and Motivation Initiative 2, where we provide Bell 429 helicopters to enable junior qualified aircrew to enhance their skills prior to flying operationally.
In addition, our team of simulator instructors and technicians support the Hornet and Super Hornet simulators at Amberley.  An important aspect to this is our team partner MILSKIL who provide the core instructional expertise for the Super Hornet Training.
Why has Raytheon Australia established this new Flight Operations Director role and what value will the ADF garner from this new development?
M: Raytheon Australia established this new position in an effort to increase our company’s focus on aviation activities. Previously, aviation activities were not fully integrated with the rest of the business activities. My intent is to ensure that all of our flight activities are conducted within a streamlined governance framework that matches our customer’s requirements.
This new role will also provide a single aviation interface for the customer, and will ultimately provide the ADF with increased operational airworthiness.
Given your experience within Defence, what do you see as Raytheon Australia’s proven pedigree in the Aerospace domain?
M: Raytheon Australia has a great performance record of supporting the ADF in the aerospace domain. One example that stands out for me is our expertise in supporting the F-111 program through the Avionics Business Unit. From 2003 through to the withdrawal of the F-111 aircraft from service in December last year, Raytheon Australia was responsible for providing the maintenance, engineering and logistical support for all of the aircraft’s avionics instruments, including radars and digital flight computers.
The outstanding success of the project can be measured in the benefits delivered to the F-111, including improved avionics availability, platform sustainability, and smart sustainment solutions delivered by the program management function. Ultimately, Raytheon Australia helped to generate cost savings of approximately $20 million for the Commonwealth on this program.
In your new role as Raytheon Australia’s Flight Operations Director, where do you see the company’s Aerospace business heading in the next few years? What are the key growth areas in this domain?
M: I would say that Raytheon Australia has significant opportunities in training and avionics support and we have an aim to grow the business in both the logistics and training spaces. Of critical importance is the transition from supporting mainly analogue-based platforms to the new generation of front line assets. This will become particularly important as we retire capability from Afghanistan.
Given Raytheon Australia’s broad portfolio of aerospace capabilities, how do you ensure that there is streamlined governance and a common approach to aviation activities across the company?
M: I am establishing a policy within the Aerospace business unit that incorporates airworthiness and aviation safety into everything we do with aviation and aviation related activities. This policy will ensure that we meet and exceed ADF and CASA requirements.
We have already done a significant amount of work on the technical airworthiness side and I am looking to implement an operational airworthiness framework across the entire company. This is a critical element for mission success, as every part of the organisation can impact the safety of our operations.
It would seem that operational safety begins with ensuring Defence has the right level of training. What role do you see training and simulation playing in all of this?
M: You can’t achieve mission assurance without the trained personnel to operate capability, so training is crucial, and for a RAAF pilot, training is even more critical. Simulation is a key tool for conducting training in a controlled environment. It allows for repetition of the conditions and the ability to insert threats or emergencies that are not possible in the air. Therefore it’s also important that we have an airworthiness governance framework for the establishment of the simulator training regime.
In addition to training, what specific capabilities do you see as being crucial to the ADF in the next few years?
M: Where do I start?  I will limit myself to the aerospace domain. As a fast jet guy I see air combat as a critical part of Australia’s defence. However, command and control as well as intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance are both key enablers to achieve control of the air.
Additionally, not much can be done without logistics so airlift is extremely important. I should also mention the significance of the bases that the aircraft operate from and the flight test environment to ensure we can operate the capabilities.
We should also keep in mind that there is a high possibility that future conflicts will be contested in a robust electronic warfare (EW) environment. Given this, the ability to operate freely in an electronic warfare space is the most vital capability.
On the topic of electronic warfare, how does Raytheon Australia’s EWTS capability play a role in this domain?
M: An important part of operating freely in an electronic warfare battlespace is the specific training to be able to identify that you are in an EW environment and then mitigate the effects to achieve operational results. The ADF needs that training. This is why Raytheon Australia’s EWTS capability is so significant. The EWTS capability is unique to Australia and can provide the training across the air, sea and land domains to ensure the ADF has surpassed the required standard to operate in the next conflict.
How did you make the transition to Industry?
M: I think my transition was pretty easy. I actually spent time in industry back in 1998/99 when I left the RAAF for two years and worked in Aerospace Technical Services, which was acquired by Raytheon Australia. So I have worked for Raytheon previously. To ensure there were no conflict of interest issues, I had some separation after my RAAF career before returning to Raytheon Australia this year and also have a conflict of interest mitigation plan agreed between myself, my supervisor and Raytheon Australia Legal.
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 Royal Aeronautical Society Australian Division Sydney Branch Inc. ABN 75 134 058 731
Profile: Air Vice-Marshal Mark Skidmore was born in Kowloon, Hong Kong and joined the Royal Australian Air Force in 1977. He successfully completed Number 113 Pilots Course and was posted to Number 1 Squadron, RAAF Base Amberley to fly F-111s. Following his tour on F-111s, Air Vice-Marshal Skidmore undertook the United States Navy Test Pilot School Fixed Wing course in 1985. At the completion of the course he was posted to the Aircraft Research and Development Unit, RAAF Base Edinburgh, where he flew F-111, Mirage, MB-326H, CT-4A and Dakota aircraft.
In 1989, Air Vice-Marshal Skidmore returned to RAAF Base Amberley and completed tours at Number 1 Squadron as the Operational Flight Commander and Number 82 Wing as the Operations Officer. This was followed by a posting as the Flight Test Director on the F-111C Avionics Update Program in California, USA. Returning to Australia in 1996, he served as the Staff Officer Operational Systems at Headquarters Air Command, RAAF Base Glenbrook, before resigning from the RAAF in March 1998. Air Vice-Marshal Skidmore joined Aerospace Technical Services in 1998 as the Senior Test Pilot and Business Development Executive, positions he maintained following the company’s acquisition in 1999 by Raytheon Systems Company.
Air Vice-Marshal Skidmore rejoined the RAAF in 2000 and completed the Defence Staff Course at Weston Creek before being posted again to the Aircraft Research and Development Unit, this time as the Commander. From 2003 he was Director of Operational Requirements for the New Air Combat Capability project. Prior to assuming the position of Joint Force Air Component Commander in 2005 he attended the Defence and Strategic Studies Course at the Australian Defence College, Weston Creek. During 2005 he was deployed to the Middle East Area of Operations where he served as the Director Combined Air Operations Centre. For this service he was awarded a Commendation for Distinguished Service in the 2007 Australia Day Honours List. AVM Skidmore was appointed to his current position as the Air Commander on 27 June 2008. In this position he provides specialist air advice on raise, train, and sustain issues to the joint environment. Air Vice-Marshal Skidmore is married to Caroline and they have two children, Nicole and Thomas
Synopsis: AVM Skidmore will provide an insight into how he became a test pilot, some of his experiences from his time at the Aircraft Research and Development Unit and as the Flight Test Director for the F-111C Avionics Update Program and some insight into future developments for test pilots in the Royal Australian Air Force.
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Radar Branch newsletter – 2009
Special Feature
This Bulletin we continue with profiles of the leadership of the Air Force
AVM Mark Skidmore
AIR COMMANDER AUSTRALIA (ACAUST)
Air Vice-Marshal Mark Skidmore was born in Kowloon, Hong Kong and joined the Royal Australian Air Force in 1977. He successfully completed Number 113 Pilots Course and was posted to Number 1 Squadron, RAAF Base Amberley to fly F-111s.
Following his tour on F-111s, Air Vice-Marshal Skidmore undertook the United States Navy Test Pilot School Fixed Wing course in 1985. At the completion of the course he was posted to the Aircraft Research and Development Unit, RAAF Base Edinburgh, where he flew F-111, Mirage, MB-326H, CT-4A and Dakota aircraft.
In 1989, Air Vice-Marshal Skidmore returned to RAAF Base Amberley and completed tours at Number 1 Squadron as the Operational Flight Commander and Number 82 Wing as the Operations Officer. This was followed by a posting as the Flight Test Director on the F-111C Avionics Update Program in California, USA. Returning to Australia in 1996, he served as the Staff Officer Operational Systems at Headquarters Air Command, RAAF Base Glenbrook, before resigning from the RAAF in March 1998. Air Vice-Marshal Skidmore joined Aerospace Technical Services in 1998 as the Senior Test Pilot and Business Development Executive, positions he maintained following the company’s acquisition in 1999 by Raytheon Systems Company
Air Vice-Marshal Skidmore rejoined the RAAF in 2000 and completed the Defence Staff Course at Weston Creek before being posted again to the Aircraft Research and Development Unit, this time as the Commander. From 2003 he was Director of Operational Requirements for the New Air Combat Capability project.
Prior to assuming the position of Joint Force Air Component Commander in 2005 he attended the Defence and Strategic Studies Course at the Australian Defence College, Weston Creek. During 2005 he was deployed to the Middle East Area of Operations where he served as the Director Combined Air Operations Centre. For this service he was awarded a Commendation for Distinguished Service in the 2007 Australia Day Honours List.
Air Vice-Marshal Skidmore was appointed to his current position as the Air Commander on 27 June 2008. In this position he provides specialist air advice on raise, train, and sustain issues to the joint environment.
Air Vice-Marshal Skidmore is married to Caroline and they have two children, Nicole and Thomas
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 News Breakers – Air Force Reserve – December 2013
2
What’s inside?SQNLDR Peter Meehan, Specialist Reserve, Editor.
100 years of Australian military aviation history was captured in less than 60 seconds recently by AVM Mark Skidmore AM, Active Reserve, at the Air Force Museum, RAAF Williams, Point Cook in Victoria.
A British & Colonial Aeroplane Company Bristol Boxkite replica, built from a set of 1910 Bristol Boxkite ‘plans’, completed a program of flight testing on 11 September, which included an air-borne pass of 1,000 metres in distance with a top speed of about 65 kms per hour.
Photo: Air Force Image Gallery
Active Reservist AVM Mark Skidmore, AM takes to the sky in a Bristol Boxkite replica aircraft, as part of its maiden flight testing.
The seven year painstaking Boxkite project was the brainchild of GPCAPT Ron Gretton AM (Ret’d) and WGCDR Geoff Matthews (Ret’d). Both engineers were spurred on by recognition for 1914 Australian WWI aviation frontiersmen during the forthcoming 2014 Centenary of Military Aviation (CMA14), celebrations.
The Boxkite, constructed with exacting precision, is expected to be a major draw-card at the CMA14 planned for 1 and 2 March at the world renowned RAAF Museum, Point Cook, birth place of Central Flying School (CFS), in 1913 and the Australian Flying Corps (AFC), in 1914 and the RAAF in 1921.
EDITOR:
SQNLDR Peter Meehan SOC DGRES – AF
News Breakers – Air Force Reserve – December 2013
3
AVM Skidmore told News Breakers, ‘It was an exhilarating and humbling experience to test-fly the Boxkite and I’m honoured and proud to follow those aviators who pioneered military aviation in Australia’.
‘The handling characteristics were as we expected after having significant discussions with engineers at the Shuttleworth Collection in the UK – they fly the Boxkite built for the movie Those Magnificent Men in Their Flying Machines’.
‘The RAAF Museum built Boxkite is not an easy aircraft to fly. However, she also wasn’t extremely difficult to fly – maintaining concentration to keep straight down the runway with minor corrections was required in all three axis. But, more importantly, I could keep her straight and in the air at a reasonable height’.
Photo: Air Force Image Gallery
Boxkite Project Manager, Ron Gretton, AM (left) and Assistant Project Manager, Geoff Matthews (right) stand proudly with their Bristol Boxkite replica aircraft and their pilot, Active Reservist AVM Mark Skidmore, AM.
AVM Skidmore reflected, ‘The men and women who went flying in those machines 100 yrs ago did not know as much as we do about aerodynamics, stability and control. But, they still went flying. Brave or foolish, you be the judge – they certainly pushed the boundaries and I’m glad that they did, as we now have some remarkable machines to take into the skies – thanks to their magnificent efforts’.
‘I now also have the honour of being the only Air Force pilot who has flown both the fastest and slowest aircraft in the RAAF’.
Footnote:
AVM Mark Skidmore AM, Active Reserve, is a former RAAF F-111 strike aircraft pilot and test pilot with the Air Force’s Aircraft Research and Development Unit (ARDU), at RAAF Base Edinburgh, SA. AVM Skidmore was Air Commander Australia 2008-2012.
The 1910 developed Boxkites, two of which were initially operated by the AFC from 1914 to 1917 at Point Cook, were powered by a 37kW Gnome rotary engine. The aircraft considered ‘state of the art’ in its time and also one of the most successful trainers of the era.
The Bristol Boxkite has a rich history in the evolution of military aviation in Australia, it was the first official military aircraft built in this country and used to train our first military pilots.
Photo: Air Force Image Gallery
Active Reservist AVM Mark Skidmore, AM at the controls of the Bristol Boxkite replica aircraft.
Developed in the UK in 1910, the Bristol Boxkite first flew on 29 July of that year. A Bristol Boxkite was flown in Australia for the first time on 1 March, 1914 when LT Eric Harrison, an aviation instructor with CFS, took one into the air at Point Cook.
News Breakers – Air Force Reserve – December 2013
4
The first Bristol Boxkite to be built in Australia was constructed by CFS at Point Cook and flew its maiden flight on 10 August, 1915.
LT Harrison’s historic flight in 1914 is however, recognised as the starting point of military flying in Australia.
Photo: Project 2014
The three-piece wheel hub ready for assembly. Four of these were needed.
Video compile of the test flight and interview with Active Reservist AVM Mark Skidmore, AM is available at: http://video.defence.gov.au/?mediaId=cc26557c-49db-49ff-8954-bc67bf890185
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The RAAF T&E challenges with the introduction of new capabilities over the next decade

Air Vice-Marshal Mark Skidmore

Air Commander Australia (ACAUST)
Royal Australian Air Force

Air Vice-Marshal Mark Skidmore

Air Vice-Marshal Mark Skidmore joined the Royal Australian Air Force in 1977 and successfully completed Number 113 Pilots Course and was posted to Number 1 Squadron, RAAF Base Amberley to fly F-111s.Following his tour on F-111s, Air Vice-Marshal Skidmore undertook the United States Navy Test Pilot School Fixed Wing course in 1985. At the completion of the course he was posted to the Aircraft Research and Development Unit, RAAF Base Edinburgh, where he flew F-111, Mirage, MB-326H, CT-4A and Dakota aircraft.In 1989, Air Vice-Marshal Skidmore returned to RAAF Base Amberley and completed tours at Number 1 Squadron as the Operational Flight Commander and Number 82 Wing as the Operations Officer. This was followed by a posting as the Flight Test Director on the F-111C Avionics Update Program in California, USA. Returning to Australia in 1996, he served as the Staff Officer Operational Systems at Headquarters Air Command, RAAF Base Glenbrook, before resigning from the RAAF in March 1998. Air Vice-Marshal Skidmore joined Aerospace Technical Services in 1998 as the Senior Test Pilot and Business Development Executive, positions he maintained following the company’s acquisition in 1999 by Raytheon Systems Company.Air Vice-Marshal Skidmore rejoined the RAAF in 2000 and completed the Defence Staff Course at Weston Creek before being posted again to the Aircraft Research and Development Unit, this time as the Commander. From 2003 he was Director of Operational Requirements for the New Air Combat Capability project.Prior to assuming the position of Joint Force Air Component Commander in 2005 he attended the Defence and Strategic Studies Course at the Australian Defence College, Weston Creek. During 2005 he was deployed to the Middle East Area of Operations where he served as the Director Combined Air Operations Centre. For this service he was awarded a Commendation for Distinguished Service in the 2007 Australia Day Honours List.Air Vice-Marshal Skidmore was appointed to his current position as the Air Commander on 27 June 2008. In this position he provides specialist air advice on raise, train and sustain issues to the joint environment.

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