Harry, who may had struggled with some of the more academic aspects of the 18-month course, has taken a step closer to achieving his dream of becoming an attack helicopter pilot by taking to the air solo.
24-year-old “instinctive flyer” Dressed in his regulation khaki flying suit completed a 30-minutes sortie without an instructor, yesterday.
He was forced to abort his first landing but hit the ground smoothly on his second attempt. The Sun said, “He made a textbook landing after half an hour during which he appeared unflappable. ”
“Flying solo is a daunting prospect for every new pilot. But Harry had no problems.” A Source said.
A Clarence House spokesman said: “Prince Harry has done everything necessary to move onto the next stage of his training. The prince took his first solo flight a couple of weeks ago. He went up in the air for an intensive training flight with his instructor for an hour and then was told to go up and do it by himself. He is absolutely loving it.”
Harry, who originally trained as a tank troop leader in the Blues and Royals, transferred to the Army Air Corps in January. He will spend up to two and half years in training before becoming fully operational.
Over the next few days Harry will embark on the next part of his course which teaches trainee pilots to fly ‘blind’ with just their instruments and land on unfamiliar airfields. It is described by instructors as ‘extremely demanding’.
At the end of the segment he has to undertake four challenging tests and, if he passes those successfully, will transfer to RAF Shawbury in Shropshire, where Prince William is currently stationed, to start his helicopter training in earnest.
Although the two brothers will be on different courses – William is training to become a Search and Rescue pilot with the RAF – they plan to share a house together off the base for several months.