Introducing Air Commodore (retired) Chris Beatty DFC. AFC.
Chris’ flying career started when he learnt to fly light aircraft with the Air Force cadets at Parafield in 1963. He joined the Royal Australian Air Force in 1966 graduating on No 64 Pilots.
In 1968, Chris saw a significant expansion of the Australian Forces in Vietnam which included No 9 squadron’s helicopters. Half of his pilots course were converted onto helicopters and all posted to fly Iroquois helicopters in South Vietnam. The Squadron was based in Vung Tau Phuoc Tuy Province as part of the 1ST Australian Task Force.
In Vietnam, Chris flew both Assault and gunship versions of the Huey sometimes under interesting combat conditions.
He was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross as a helicopter Gunship pilot with No 9 Squadron in the Vietnam conflict
In 1975, Chris had a three year assignment as a flying training advisor to the newly established Singapore Air Force.
Chris has flown in three aerobatic and formation display teams including the Roulettes as Roulette 4 on Macchi jets and was leader of the 1981 Chinook Diamond Jubilee Display Team.
He introduced the RAAF Balloon into service in 1990.
He left the permanent Air Force in 1987 to take up a position as Chief Pilot for Bell Helicopter but rejoined the RAAF in 1989.
He spent five years in the Operational Requirements/Force Development Branch of the ADF which included a three year assignment to the Pentagon in USAF Plans and Operations Division.
Throughout his military career he held a number of senior appointments most notably as the Director of Flying Safety for the Air Force and ADF and the Commanding Officer No 12 Chinook Squadron. He was awarded an Air Force Cross flying Chinooks with No 12 Squadron.
In 1999 he was promoted to Air Commodore to take command of the RAAF’s Combat Support Group which was responsible for operating Dili and Bacau airfields during the East Timor campaign.
His final assignment was as the Commander Air Forces Training Command.