OL Spotlight
Iona E. Urquhart (2013)
Monday 27th November 2023
For this OL Spotlight we're delighted to feature Iona Urquhart (2013), who is training as a Fleet Arm Pilot with the Royal Navy.

Q1. What does your role in the Royal Navy involve?

"I’m training as a Fleet Air Arm pilot learning to fly the Royal Navy’s Merlin Mk2 helicopter at RNAS Culdrose. I’ll deploy on aircraft carriers or frigates with the primary role of defending the task group and looking for enemy submarines."

Q2. What has been the most exciting experience of your career so far?

“Last year at RAF Valley we flew the Jupiter helicopter and learnt how to winch people to and from boats, cliffs and fast moving RIBs. Putting someone out on a wire dangling beneath the aircraft really highlights the teamwork, risks and satisfaction involved in military flying.”

Q3. What's next for you?

"All going well, I’ll receive my wings next year and move to the front line on 820 Naval Air Squadron. We’ll embark on Royal Navy ships as a whole squadron or as part of a small crew. We could sail as far as the South China Sea, looking for submarines, conducting search and rescue, transporting troops, and assisting in disaster relief and humanitarian aid."

Iona's time at Loretto:

"I genuinely wouldn’t have joined the Royal Navy if I hadn’t been a part of CCF at Loretto, so I must say thank you to the staff for their early inspiration, especially Dave Howie and Geoff Harbison. From visits to HM Naval Base Clyde to sailing yachts off the west coast, those first insights made me think maybe this isn’t just another extracurricular activity. Outside of flying I still play a lot of sport and have loved putting my school hockey and tennis skills to use, particularly at Interservices’ competitions against the Army and RAF!”

Future OL Spotlights

To be featured yourself or to nominate someone else, please get in touch at society@loretto.com.
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