Sky’s the limit for Timorese flight graduate

Babcock Australasia (Babcock), the aerospace and defence company, have announced that flight student and Babcock employee, Pedro de Jesus Ximenes Belo, has graduated from Flight Training Adelaide and is on track to join the Babcock Offshore Services Australia team operating across the Timor Sea.

Pedro de Jesus Ximenes Belo participated in a 61-week course, involving 165 lfight hours and 54 simulator hours. Babcock Photo
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Belo joined Babcock in 2017 as part of a targeted recruitment process in Timor Leste. He’s a trainee pilot amongst a wider team of locally sourced talent engaged by Babcock, with a focus on fostering local knowledge and capability as opposed to relying on importing skilled staff. With some previous flying experience, he completed company inductions in Dili before travelling to South Australia to begin the intensive commercial pilot (helicopter) training course with Flight Training Adelaide.

The 61-week course involved 165 flying hours, 54 simulator hours and approximately 900 hours of ground school. Living away from home in a different country with English as a second language, he’s had to put more effort in than most students.

Belo graduates with a Commercial Helicopter Pilot license, a diploma in Aviation Commercial Pilot License (CPL), and a multi-engine Command Instrument Rating. He’s also successfully completed a Multi-crew Co-operation course, providing him with the skills to work within a multi-crew environment.

One of seven siblings, Belo says he very much enjoys working in aviation and is extremely grateful to work and train in his chosen field in his home country as there are few opportunities available locally. He intends to stay in Timor Leste and fly offshore at the conclusion of his training.

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Andrew Cridland — managing director of Aviation Offshore — said Belo’s achievement is a credit to his hard work and passion, and represents a concerted effort by Babcock in developing a local workforce and supporting the wider community in Timor-Leste. “Babcock is proud to be supporting dedicated individuals like Pedro in his pursuit of success, and we look forward to his continued efforts complimenting the Offshore Services team in the near future.”

After some well-deserved time off, Belo will undertake further training through Babcock to be type rated on the H175. He’ll complete the H175 technical training in Dili, followed by six weeks of simulation training in France.

As part of Babcock’s Offshore Services Australia team, Belo joins 19 Timor-Leste nationals who are providing offshore helicopter services to ConocoPhillips as the operator of the Bayu-Undan Joint Venture Project in the Timor Sea. ConocoPhillips awarded Babcock the contract in April 2017, and services began in January 2018.

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