World

Britain's Prince William passes final flying tests, becomes search-and-rescue chopper pilot

This image released by the British Ministry of Defense on Friday Sept. 17, 2010 shows Prince William at the controls of his Sea King helicopter in Bangor, Wales.

This image released by the British Ministry of Defense on Friday Sept. 17, 2010 shows Prince William at the controls of his Sea King helicopter in Bangor, Wales.  (AP)

LONDON (AP) — After seven months of training, Prince William is going to graduate as a fully qualified search-and-rescue helicopter pilot.

His London office said William, who is second in line to the throne, is receiving a certificate and his Royal Air Force squadron badge in a small ceremony Friday.

Known in the air force as Flight Lt. William Wales, he will fly Sea King helicopters with the search-and-rescue unit at RAF Valley, located 220 miles (350 kilometers) west of London on the Irish Sea.

William, 28, said the course was challenging, but he "enjoyed it immensely. I absolutely love flying, so it will be an honor to serve operationally with the search-and-rescue force."

William's younger brother Harry is training to fly Apache attack helicopters.