RHO Aviation Training Services’ mission is to provide training and services that reflect best industry practice, in accordance with the requirements of governing authorities, in an efficient, safe, cost effective and equitable way so that we meet and exceed the expectations of our clients. We do this so as to improve the manner in which we, as professionals, operate within the aviation environment.

Our History

RHO Aviation Training Services P/L was founded in July 2006 as an adjunct to Independent Productions and Aviation Services, a business that centred on providing Crew Resource Management, Commercial Piloting services, aviation consultancy and aviation and military artwork.

After deciding to venture into the field of Helicopter Underwater Escape Training and in an effort to provide excellent training at an affordable price, RHO Aviation sought just the right training device. Finally, the HeliPET procedural trainer was acquired. The HeliPET filled the niche between the SWET chair and the large and cumbersome ‘dunkers’ and full-simulators and has been made available to RHO Aviation for our training purposes.

Incorporating Emergency Breathing Systems into the curricula, RHO Aviation Training Services P/L was now a ‘one-stop shop’ for helicopter training and services in the Australian rotary-wing and GA industries.

Our People

Mark Eagleson

Mark Eagleson has more than 20 years experience in the Australian Army. Starting out as a medic, he made the change to Aircrewman Loadmaster on Black Hawk helicopters where he was a Special Operations loadmaster and then on the Iroquois Gunships where he manned the ‘twin 60s’ as a door gunner/loadmaster before moving onto Chinook helicopters.

Mark then became a qualified member of the Directorate of Flying Safety – ADF where he was involved in the investigation of aircraft accidents and the management of the crewman safety aspects of aviation. During this period, Mark trained as a CRM facilitator.

After leaving the Army, Mark then went on to manage and develop the HUET training capability of the Australian Army for a private contractor where he was involved in the training of more than 3000 students in HUET and EBS in military and civilian courses. Mark is considered one of the most experienced HUET/EBS instructors in the Asia – Pacific region.

Mark is also qualified and currently conducts operations in border surveillance using FLIR, and in EMS and SAR operations as a crewman on helicopters whilst still managing and training in HUET and EBS.

Michael Tonetto

Michael ’Mick’ Tonetto has had a wide and varied aviation career. He served in the Australian Army as an aircrewman loadmaster instructor with the Army’s Black Hawk capability and then progressed into a civilian aviation career specialising in SAR/EMS operations. He has worked for a number of renowned helicopter operators including CHC Australia and Australian Helicopters.

Mick spent a number of years as the senior HUET instructor conducting military and civilian HUET and EBS courses. To date, Mick has trained more than 3000 students in evacuation techniques, escaping submerged helicopters and in sea survival skills. Mick also holds SCUBA qualifications. If that’s not enough, Mick has also taken time out of his busy schedule to enhance his aviation skills by achieving tertiary qualifications in Air Transportation Management. He also holds an Air Transport Pilot Licence (Helicopter) and private fixed-wing aeroplane licence.

Rob Fox

Rob Fox (Kiwi Rob) since 1981 has spent a varied career path with over 30 years service in the military and emergency services community. From 1981, for 12 years, he served in the New Zealand Army and Royal New Zealand Air Force in various roles which included Infantry, Engineers, Combat Transport and Aircrew before a further 15 years in the New Zealand Police. While serving in the Police he resided and worked in some of New Zealand’s most remote areas including the South Islands West Coast and Southern Alps and Stewart Island New Zealand’s most southern inhabited island.

He is Search & Rescue qualified, was attached to the Police Aerial Drug Recovery Team, trained with NZ Coastguard and as attended numerous Land and Marine SAR emergencies and searches in the aviation capacity and as Incident Controller. As a Police Officer in Search & Rescue he also served as the Coroner’s Investigator into such fatal incidents.

From 1999 Rob also initiated and operated a youth fitness and outdoor pursuits challenge training programme which now operates in seven other centres in New Zealand. From 2004 Rob continued in aviation SAR/EMS working for the West Coast based Solid Energy Rescue Helicopter in Greymouth New Zealand as a SAR Aircrewman before moving to Adelaide Australia in the same capacity with the Adelaide based Motor Accident Commission Rescue Helicopter Service (MACRHS) with Australian Helicopters.

Brett Thomas

Brett’s career has spanned 20 years within the ADF as an Air Defender in the Royal Australian Artillery. He has spent most of his career posted to 16th Air Defence Regiment, 110th Air Defence Battery in which he operated the Ground Base Air Defence Rapier system. He discharged from the Australian Regular Army (ARA) in 2009 as a Warrant Officer.

During his career he has many international exercises with Malaysia and Singapore, just to name a few. He was involved with one Operational deployment which was to East Timor as part of INTERFET. During this time he was deployed with the Force Extraction Team (FET). The FET provided the ADF, in conjunction with AQIS, a method to repatriate soldiers on return to Australia.

From 2003, he was involved with the School of Artillery an instructor.The other passion within Defence for Brett is that he continues to instruct Adventure Training courses in the areas of White Water Kayaking and Rafting.After 21yrs in the ARA, Brett transferred to the Active Reserves as Battery Sergeant Major with 48th Field Battery.Brett is married with three children and enjoyed playing Australian Rules football and still enjoys Adventure Training in the white water kayak capacity in the SE of Australia. He now relaxes by fishing at his holiday house in Stansbury SA.

Phil Irwin

Phil spent 16 years in the Army including Army Aviation as an aircrewman. He then worked with a number of other aviation organisations which include Toll in the Solomon Islands, United Aero, Careflight and more recently CHC Helicopters. Phil has been instructing HUET and EBS courses since 2008 and has vast knowledge of both subjects.

Phil was one of the aircrewmen involved in the Blackhawk ditching off the coast of Fiji in 2006. Through that experience he is committed to passing on the valuable lessons learnt to instil the fundamentals of aircraft escape ultimately increasing your chances of survival.