Commanding Officer of the RAAF’s 3SQN, WGCDR Terry van Haren, has become only the second RAAF pilot to achieve the milestone of 3000 flight hours in the F/A-18 Hornet.
The milestone was achieved during a flight at the recent Pitch Black 10 exercise, with ‘TVH’ being welcomed back from the sortie and presented with his 3000 hours patch by OC 81WG, GPCAPT Gavin Turnbull.
The only other RAAF pilot to achieve 3000 hours is the Commander of Air Combat Group, AIRCDRE Mel Hupfeld. “This is a spectacular achievement and I congratulate you,” AIRCDRE Hupfeld said. “We may not see this achievement in the future as we move to more simulation training, which makes this milestone even more special. Achieving 3000 hours doesn’t come without a lot of effort, though. There has been a lot of quality and significant input from across Air Force over the years that have contributed to this achievement. It is not only just the green suiters who have contributed, but also the maintenance workforce, to generate 3000 hours of flying capability.”
After flying Caribous with 38SQN for three years, WGCDR van Haren completed his Hornet Operational Conversion (OPCON) in 1993. He completed the Fighter Combat Instructor (FCI) course in 1997, and flew with the RAAF’s F/A-18 deployment to Iraq in 2003, and was awarded a Distinguished Service Medal for his “exceptional leadership in warlike operations.”