After a 20-year military career and close to a decade with Babcock Australasia, Senior Base Pilot Adam Richter understands the importance of responding quickly and deftly when the safety of others is at risk.
Adam’s quick judgement, expertise and training came to the fore when, together with Senior Base Aircrew Officer, Sam Fielder, and two South Australian Police (SAPOL) officers, he assisted in the recovery of a driver after a vehicle went off a cliff into the Murray River during a SAPOL search operation in September 2021.
The successful tasking saw Adam and Sam awarded the Commissioner’s Community Policing Commendation by SAPOL Deputy Commissioner, Linda Williams.
“Putting our training into practice, keeping people alive and getting them to help when they need it, as well as working with the police conducting airborne law enforcement operations to keep the community safe, are the most rewarding aspects of my job,” Adam says.
In his role, Adam plays an integral role in ensuring daily flight operations from Babcock’s hangar at Adelaide Airport are carried out safely and on time, while providing oversight for all pilot training and currency of qualifications.
“A typical day for me starts with handover from the outgoing crew, running pre-flight checks and inspections, assessment of any pending jobs, weather checks and planning for flight operations so that we can be in the air within 10 minutes of receiving a call,” he says.
“The other key aspect of my job as Senior Base Pilot is ensuring that our pilots are performing to the very highest standards that Babcock and the police and emergency services we work with expect.
“My role is to make sure that our people are complying with all of the regulations, that they are completing the required number of flight hours, and keeping their training and qualifications current, such as conducting instrument approaches, for example. From being a part of a high-performance team to keeping our people and the community safe, my job is incredibly rewarding.”
Adam says he always wanted to move to emergency medical services (EMS) flying after his career with the Australian Army, which included two operational deployments to East Timor, as well as deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan.
“I am immensely proud of my deployments with the Australian Army, flying Black Hawks in Timor, and in Iraq and Afghanistan providing ground support, advising our aircrews on tactics and defence, and working with foreign militaries,” he says.
After these deployments, Adam became a Qualified Test Pilot at the Aircraft Research and Development Unit (RAAF Edinburgh) full-time from 2008 to 2012 and then part-time from 2012 to 2017.
“During this time, I participated in flight test programs for a number of different aircraft types, including the Black Hawk, Chinook, and MRH-90 Taipan helicopters, and won the DJ Knights award in 2011 for excellence in flight test,” he says.
“Moving to the part-time role in 2012 helped me to transition to my civilian role with Babcock.”
“My military and civilian careers have been about service to our nation, as well as keeping communities safe, often by responding to high-risk, and sometimes life-threatening, situations.”