Lieutenant Todd Woodford.
Lieutenant Todd Woodford. Craig Barrett

Todd's jet-propelled career

FLYING fighter jets is just a dream for most young men but it has become a reality for former Hervey Bay local Todd Woodford.

The 23-year-old is flying F/A-18 Hornets at the RAAF Base Tindal in the Northern Territory.

Lieutenant Woodford joined the navy in 2004 intending to fly helicopters but was offered the chance to undergo fast-jet training with the RAAF when he earned his wings in 2008.

“The opportunity seemed too good to refuse,” he told Navy News reporter Melanie Schinkel.

His parents, Cathy and Shane Woodford of Urraween, are justifiably proud of his achievements.

Ms Woodford said Todd, who had wanted to fly since he was 14, was dux of Urangan State High School in 2003 and scored an OP1.

He then studied aeronautical engineering at the Defence Force Academy in Canberra.

She said her brother Guy Burton, who had been in the army, was a big influence on Todd and the discipline and the lifestyle of being in the military suited him.

Ms Woodford said Todd's 18-year-old brother, Nathan, was contemplating joining the army.

Lt Woodford was dux of the F/A-18 training course which included day and night flying, air-to-air and air-to-surface attacks, 40 hours in the simulator and 80 hours of dog-fighting time.

“It was a lot of work – many 12-hour days and sometimes two missions a day,” he said.

“The feeling of relief and excitement at the end of three-and-a-half years of intensive flying training was indescribable and made all the hard work worthwhile.”

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