Prince Harry WILL fly Apaches after all despite claim he doesn't have brain capacity

He's often been mocked for not being the brightest of people, but you can't fault Prince Harry for wanting to his duty for his country.

Prince Charles's younger son, 25, is currently learning to fly with the Army Air Corps, the British Army's aviation branch, and he once said he doesn't have the "brain capacity" to fly Apache helicopters. But now he may have been proved wrong.

Sources at the gloriously-named Middle Wallop in Hampshirehave revealed that he is being considered to pilot the demanding aircraft after doing well on his current training.

This means that he may finally fulfill his dream of returning to the frontline where he served in December 2008 (he had to return home early - and he was extremely disappointed - after an American website strangely decided to reveal to the world that he was there).

This means Harry may be taking on the Taliban at the controls of a British Army Apache as early as next year.

Prince Harry WILL fly Apaches after all despite claim he 'doesn't have brain capacity'

By Katie Nicholl
28th February 2010
Daily Mail

Flying ace: Harry has shown enough skill to be considered for the Apache

Prince Harry famously said he didn’t have the ‘brain capacity’ to fly an Apache attack helicopter – but now it seems he may be proved wrong.

Sources at the Army Air Corps headquarters in Middle Wallop, where the Prince is learning to fly, have told The Mail on Sunday that Harry is being considered to pilot the demanding aircraft after doing well on his current training.

If Harry does graduate to an Apache, it could help his dream to return to the front line in Afghanistan, where he served in December 2008, as there is a shortage of Apache crews.

Until now, he has been learning to fly a Lynx utility helicopter, used for support and convoy protection as well as ferrying troops around; but Apaches have a more direct combat role.

And if training goes well, he could be deployed in Afghanistan at the controls of an Apache as early as next year.

One of his superiors at Middle Wallop, Hampshire, said: ‘Harry has done better on his course than we were expecting and that is why the Apache is now being considered for him.

'You have to be able to take in a lot of information very quickly and have good situational awareness and Harry has proved that he has.’

‘He has a good idea that he has been shortlisted and he’s really had his head down as he has a lot of work on at the moment. His dream is to fly an Apache and we’ve told him it will all depend on how he does on the next part of the course. It certainly hasn’t been ruled out.’

Harry will undergo another six to eight weeks of training before any decision is made.

A Clarence House aide said yesterday: ‘Harry will fly whatever he is told to fly. He has an idea of what he’s being lined up to do and he’ll be delighted if it is the Apache. He’s enjoyed the Lynx but if he’s good enough for the Apache he won’t turn it down.’

If Harry is successful he will spend eight months training on the twin-engined helicopter, which can be armed with 16 Hellfire missiles, 76 CRV-7 rockets, four air-to-air missiles and a M230 30mm chain gun.

The first part of his training will take place at Middle Wallop, then he will move to Wattisham Airfield near Ipswich.

A British Apache helicopter fires anti-missile flares: The Apache is a four-blade, twin-engine attack helicopter which can be armed with 16 Hellfire missiles, 76 CRV-7 rockets, four air-to-air missiles and a M230 30mm chain gun

‘At the end of the training Harry will be limited combat ready and could be sent to theatre, but in reality he will not be sent to the front line until six to eight months later,’ said a military source.

‘The Apache can disorientate a lot of pilots because of its technical demands. For instance the pilot receives his information through a monocle that covers one eye.You have so much information coming in all the time, it is very demanding. They are hard work.’

Indeed, last year Harry seemed to accept that he could no longer fulfil his dream of flying an Apache, citing ‘brain capacity – I don’t know if I’ve got it for the Apache’. However, that lack of faith now seems premature.

‘There is a constant requirement for Apache crews,’ the military source added. ‘We are resourced for 50 Apache crews with an aspiration to grow to 60. We currently have just over 40. The operational need means this aircraft does give Harry his wish to return to the front line a lot sooner than he would have done with the Lynx.’

If the 25-year-old does graduate to the Apache it may mean that he is not able to join his brother in South Africa for the football World Cup in June, as his training will have to come first.

A spokesman for Prince Harry said: ‘The Apache has not been ruled in or out by the Army Air Corps.’
i have the brain capacity to fly an apache, i guess when they get shot down you loose a smart mind
What many fail to realise is that it doesn't take "brain power", or in reality intellect, to fly either airplanes or helicopters. Courses and aircraft are now designed where so much brain power is needed to pass the course and understand the systems they weed out those they really need. In fact, some of the worst pilots are intellectuals. I have seen where some have graduated with 4.0 (or better) in engineering or other science based degrees, impress the heck out of instructors, and still fly blindly through the worst of weather and make the poorest operational decisions you can believe. Much is made of the equation of acedemia to intellegence; in fact, the US if not demands an acedemic background, at least is extremely discriminatory toward it for acceptance as a flight crew member, and their safety statistics are certainly not stellar in comparison to anyone else's, especially Canada's with some of the worst terrain and weather imaginable. My experience is that those of average I.Q. (as measured by eggheads) make the safest and most conscientious and situationally aware crew members.

Harry may prove his nay sayers wrong and become an above average pilot, I wish him well. As a co-worker said, "an average person doing a hero's job".

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