As a Navy Helicopter Loadmaster (HLM), you are a key member of a Seasprite helicopter crew, within 6 Squadron, RNZN. Your office is an advanced and agile aircraft designed to operate in a range of extreme environments all over the world.
- Starting Salary$55,617
About the role
The Navy’s helicopters are crewed by Navy personnel and maintained by Air Force personnel. Navy Pilots, trained by the Air Force, fly and crew the Super Seasprite helicopters, Navy Observers, trained by the Australian Navy, manage the mission and Navy Helicopter Loadmaster's perform varied tasks on-board. These range from winching, photography, load lifting, in flight refuelling and operating the Mag 58 machine gun.
The types of tasks your crew will be involved in are varied to say the least. You will work with the Pilot and Observer to ensure the mission is completed safely and effectively.
Some tasks are time critical in their execution, so you will be trained to quickly analyse the situation, determine a course of action and communicate it effectively to achieve the mission.
Job on base
6 Squadron is based at RNZAF Base Auckland in Whenuapai and is one of the force elements under the command of the Air Component Commander (ACC), Headquarters Joint Forces New Zealand. Whilst at sea, you will be under the command of the Maritime Component Commander (MCC), Headquarters Joint Forces New Zealand.
The majority of your time will be spent on flying missions, but you will spend the remainder of your time on base preparing for missions or carrying out training activities to enhance your trade knowledge and your core military skills. These include physical training, equipment checks, weapon drills, first aid, survival escape and evasion techniques.
As a Helicopter Loadmaster, you are required to maintain your technical knowledge of the aircraft and the way it is operated. You will also work on projects, and conduct secondary duties required to keep the Squadron running effectively. There is also time for exercise and sports to maintain your fitness.
Job on deployment
The helicopters can be deployed from RNZAF Base Auckland to Navy ships TE KAHA, TE MANA, CANTERBURY, OTAGO, WELLINGTON and eventually AOTEAROA. When on-board frigates TE KAHA and TE MANA, the aircraft primarily fulfils a combat and surveillance role and some transport and resupply capability. When deployed on-board Multi Role Vessel CANTERBURY and Offshore Patrol Vessels OTAGO and WELLINGTON the aircraft is primarily tasked to provide transport and resupply capabilities with some reconnaissance and surveillance.
You and your crew will contribute towards the ship, Navy and overall NZDF mission, you may find yourself flying around the globe at 260kph and 50ft above the ground or sea, being the eyes and ears for the Pilot and Observer. This could be everything from search and rescue to locating submarines or providing overwatch for a boarding team. You could also find yourself looking along the tail section of the aircraft as it descends into a forest clearing, or down a winch cable as you lift someone out of the sea.
Career progression and training
You will be required to complete Basic Common Training at HMNZS PHILOMEL, Auckland, before moving onto aircrew training at RNZAF Bases Auckland and Ohakea. These training courses will teach you escape and evasion techniques in survival situations, aviation medicine, principles of flight, and mathematics – all crucial skills for your Helicopter Loadmaster role. On completion of this initial training you will progress to the Helicopter Basic Course run by 3 Squadron in RNZAF Ohakea to learn the basics on the A109 helicopter and earn your brevet, the half wing that symbolises your qualification.
After the Helicopter Basic Course you will be streamed into working as aircrew for Seasprite aircraft, and posted to 6 Squadron, RNZAF Auckland to undertake the Seasprite Aircraft Conversion Course and Operational Conversion Course. Once you have completed your training ashore you will be posted to a ship with an aircraft as part of a Flight with a Pilot, Observer and Helicopter Loadmaster Instructor to complete your training at sea. You will then remain posted to the ship to begin your career as an operational Navy Helicopter Loadmaster.
This will involve travel opportunities and rewarding flying off the back of a ship out at sea. Later in your career, you may have the opportunity to fulfil a non flying role to assist with projects or develop your leadership potential. Eventually, you could be selected as an instructor where you will be able to develop and train new Helicopter Loadmasters at 6 Squadron or go on exchange to 3 Squadron at RNZAF Ohakea to instruct Helicopter Loadmaster students on the Helicopter Basic Course.
Upon successful enlistment into the Navy you will be posted to Devonport, Auckland. Here you will do 16 weeks of basic military training to find out if you have what it takes to be in the Navy, and learn various subjects including:
- Teamwork and support
- Naval history and customs
- Drill and parades
- Core mariner skills and weapons training
- First aid and firefighting
- Physical fitness
Survival and combined Non-Commissioned Officer Aircrew Course
To remain competent you will regularly conduct training in all aspects of the SEASPRITE’s capabilities and the aviation domain. Along with the Helicopter Loadmaster training, you will conduct specific training in advanced winching and load lifting techniques, warfare, meteorology, aircraft systems and leadership. You will continually be provided with the skills, mentoring and opportunities to be a successful serviceperson, both within your specialist trade and as a member of the NZDF.
Salary and benefits
Careers in the Navy are well-rewarded, as well as being diverse and exciting. As you become more experienced and move up through the ranks, gaining additional skills and qualifications, you will see your salary rise accordingly.
Upon Course Completion
Benefits and allowances
There are many additional benefits to being in the Defence Force, that will make your money go further.
For example, on top of your basic salary you can expect ‘Military Factor’. This provides you with significant extra financial rewards because of the commitment you’ve made to serve your country.
Free medical and dental
Access to subsidised equipment on base
Subsidised food on base
Competitive superannuation, up to 4% with KiwiSaver
Sponsored tertiary study programmes at all levels
Fitness and medical
Period of Service
- Be a minimum of 17 years of age upon entry.
- Be free of any criminal conviction for the previous two years.
- Must pass the Navy swim test, conducted wearing overalls and gym shoes:
- Swim of 50 metres and, on completion,
- Remain afloat unaided by treading water for three minutes.
You must have achieved NCEA level 2 with a minimum of 12 credits in each of English, Maths and a Science subject.
- You must be medically fit for service.
- Colour perception restrictions may apply.
There are strict citizenship and security requirements to gain the TSV security clearance required for this trade.
There may be a return of service period for this trade.
Please contact our 0800 number or talk to your Candidate Experience Facilitator for more information.