Mark Eagleson

Mark Eagleson has more than 20 years’ experience in the Australian Army. Starting out as a combat medical assistant, he made the change to Army Aviation as an Aircrewman Loadmaster on Black Hawk helicopters, UH-1H Iroquois gunships before transitioning 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/cabin safety aspects of aviation. During this period, Mark trained as a CRM facilitator.

After leaving the Army in 2004, Mark went on to manage and develop the  Army HUET capability for the Australian Army as a contractor where he was involved in the training of thousands of military and civilian trainees in HUET and EBS. Mark is considered one of the most experienced AEUS/HUET and EBS trainers in the Asia – Pacific region.



Mick 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 provided services to 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 trainees in evacuation techniques, escaping submerged helicopters and in sea survival skills. 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.


Brett Knowles

Brett started his aviation career in 1987 with the Royal Australian Navy, qualifying as a Naval Aircrewman with the naval Fleet Air Arm.  During that time Brett flew numerous Fleet support rotary wing operations and also was embarked ships company on HMAS Success and later HMAS Stalwart.  During the later posting, Brett was the Flight Aircrewman on-board a naval Wessex 31B Helicopter when it suffered an engine failure and subsequent ditching off the coast of Malaysia. 

Brett joined the Rotary Wing Aeromedical & SAR industry in 2002 flying as crew on the Bell 412 helicopter and was employed with Emergency Management Queensland Helicopter Rescue, CareFlight Queensland and later with Australian Helicopters, Horn Island before later returning to EMQ Helicopter Rescue, Archerfield Base.

Brett Completed his Commercial Pilot Helicopter Licence in 2010 and joined Heliwest Group in 2012 working as an EMS & SAR pilot in Queensland and later in the Pilbara region.  Brett also holds a Grade II Flight Instructor Rating.

Today, Brett flies as a line pilot on the AW139 helicopter for oil & gas contract operations at Barrow Island WA.  An accomplished aviator who is passionate and committed to excellence in our industry.


Brett Thomas

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

During his career he was involved with international exercises with a number of countries including Malaysia and Singapore, just to name a few. He was involved with operational deployments 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 has been actively involved instructional activities including adventure training courses in the areas of kayaking and rafting. After 21yrs in the ARA, Brett transferred to the Active Reserves. Brett is married with three children and enjoyed playing Australian Rules football and still enjoys adventure training in white water kayaking throughout Australia. He now relaxes by fishing at his holiday house in Stansbury SA.


David Hardstaff

“Dave” has been an Aircrewman Instructor for more than 25 years in both the military and civilian organisations. Dave initially qualified as a Loadmaster on Blackhawks before taking an Instructors position in Canberra teaching ab-initio students on the AS350BA Squirrel. After leaving the military full time he continued to fly as an Army reservist Loadmaster and commenced EMS flying operations . Flying as both a Rescue crewman and Aircrewman he developed an interest in paramedicine. It was during the EMS operations Dave diverged and became a qualified Paramedic in 2001.

After 5 years working as a Paramedic he returned to flying as a Pilot. Dave holds a Commercial Pilots Licence (Helicopter) and a Private Fixed-wing (aeroplane).

Combining his skills as an Aircrewman, Pilot and Paramedic on EMS helicopters around Australia and in the Solomon Islands has given him a unique insight into EMS operations.

Dave maintains currencies in all areas of aviation and paramedicine. He flies as a helicopter flight instructor, trains Aircrewman NVG instructors whilst working on-road as a paramedic in Qld.