London: Prince Harry, the third-in-line to
the British throne, has reportedly topped in the class during
his Apache attack helicopter training in the US.
The 27-year-old, who gained his wings earlier this year,
is said to be an "exceptional" pilot, even among the elite
corps of airmen chosen to fly the two-man attack helicopters,
-- in fact, he has scored highest marks in all the challenges
he faced at Naval Air Facility in California, `The Sun` said.
A senior Army source said: "It sounds like a con, but
Harry is genuinely shaping up to be one of the best young
Apache pilots this country has ever seen. His US instructors
have to treat him the same as everyone else, as we all do in
the British Army. But they have turned round and said, `My
God, this guy is the real deal`.
"There are many skills needed to be a top-drawer Apache
pilot but apparently it`s Harry`s flying that is particularly
impressive. His handling, hand-eye co-ordination, reaction
speeds -- he`s a natural. Any doubters who said, `Harry is
Royal -- he`s getting special treatment` can leave the room
now. His talent is leaving his trainers open-mouthed."
Harry is one of 20 British trainees spending two months
at the Californian complex. He is currently taking part in
Exercise Crimson Eagle, which gives Army Air Corps pilots
vital experience in live firing exercises on vast military
ranges in the south western United States.
The Prince, who fought in Afghanistan with the Household
Cavalry against the Taliban in 2008, is almost certain to be
deployed with his squadron late next year, and has the full
support of the Queen and his father Prince Charles.