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Prince Harry Shows Off Helicopter Combat Skills at Air Show

Monday, 10 Jun 2013 07:17 AM

By Clyde Hughes

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Prince Harry got a chance to show off some of his military skills as part of an Apache attack helicopter crew performing stunts at the RAF Cosford Air Show in Shropshire, England Sunday.

The youngest son of Prince Charles and the late Princess Diana, known as Captain Wales in the British Army, was a co-pilot gunner on the helicopter as it performed maneuvers during the air show in front of a large crowd, said The Mirror.

Prince Harry, 28, returned to England in January after a five-month tour in Afghanistan, where he co-piloted an Apache with the RAF’s 662 Squadron. The Cosford Air Show attracts thousands of people annually with aerial demonstrations including this year the Red Arrows, RAF Chinook transport helicopters, and the RAF Falcons parachute display team.

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"This year the pool of display aircrew have been drawn from 662 Squadron AAC which has recently returned from a very successful operational tour of Afghanistan," Lt. Col. Tim de la Rue told the London Evening Standard. "Today's aerial display crew was Staff Sergeant Jamie Boakes, as pilot, and Captain Phil Wilson and Captain Wales as the two front seat co-pilot gunners; all of whom are delighted to have been selected for their respective roles this summer."

The air show brought together a variety of aircraft, including the Royal Air Force, aerobatic displays and vintage aircraft. It celebrated three anniversaries: the 75th anniversaries of the Royal Air Force Cosford and the Spitfire entering RAF service, along with the 40th anniversary of RAF service of the Jaguar jet.

Prince Harry has used the military and his charity work to create his own identity. He entered the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst in May 2005. He was commissioned second lieutenant in 2006. In February 2008, Prince Harry completed more than two months service with the British Army in Helmand province, Afghanistan, as a forward air controller for NATO forces.

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In April, 2008, he was promoted to lieutenant. In January 2009, he began a two-and-a-half year training course to become a fully operational, full-time Army Air Corps helicopter pilot. Prince Harry supports a number of charities and organizations, and holds two honorary military appointments in the Royal Navy and the Royal Air Force.

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