A Windsor woman has completed a gruelling induction course for one of the most dangerous jobs in the Royal Navy.

Sophie Levy, 22, has qualified as a naval airman and is now serving on the flight deck her first ship, the support vessel RFA (Royal Fleet Auxiliary) Argus. The job title is an old-fashioned one as nowadays men and women can train to become naval airmen.

She will work as part of the team of aircraft handlers who have to manoeuvre and secure navy helicopters at sea, often in difficult and dangerous conditions. As a result, they train extensively to cope with any dangers that might arise involving aircraft operating at sea.

Naval Airman Levy, an able rating, was part of a group that has just completed nine months of demanding training at Royal Naval Air Station Culdrose, at Helston in Cornwall. As well as routine tasks on the flight deck, the airmen and women also train for emergencies such as fires or rescues from crashed aircraft.

At a special event last month, where they ‘passed into’ the Royal Naval School of Flight Deck Operations, friends and family watched the new airmen and women on parade and were treated to a demonstration of their firefighting skills.

Naval Airman Levy has now joined 1700 Naval Air Squadron, which is also based at Culdrose, and been posted to her first ship. She said: “I am working on the flight deck, that’s my primary role. It’ll also be my first time serving on a ship.

“It feels like all the months of training is done and now you get to do the real job. The training itself was really good. I learnt a lot and I really had to push myself. Now I have to put it into practice.

“I joined the Royal Navy after my A-levels – it’s just something I’ve always wanted to do since I was little.”