Gurkhas

Signaller dreams of becoming first-ever Gurkha Apache pilot

In February it was announced personnel could now apply to become a British Army pilot at the rank of private.

A signaller who grew up in the mountains of Nepal has set his sights high with an ambition to become the first-ever Gurkha Apache pilot.

At the start of this year, the Army changed the rules to allow soldiers to become Apache pilots earlier in their careers.

The minimum rank for applying is now private – provided they have a recommendation for promotion. 

Forces News went to meet the Gurkha who is dreaming big. 

Airtrooper Mangsang Limbu is a signaller in the 1 Aviation Brigade who ensures everything is in place before an Apache flies.

His dream to be an Apache pilot has become more of a reality after the Army Air Corps announced in February the minimum rank to become a British Army helicopter pilot had been lowered.

Soldiers from across the service can apply to become a pilot at the rank of private, with a recommendation for promotion to lance corporal.

Airtrooper Mangsahang Limbu said: "No Nepalese pilot ever has flown an Apache.  

Mangsang Limbu, signaller in 1 Aviation Brigade ensures everything is in place before apache flies 25052022 CREDIT BFBS
Airtrooper Mangsahang Limbu makes sure everything is in place before an Apache flies.

"When I was a child I was born more in the mountain area where there used to be a helicopter flying around.

"I was always fascinated – but I thought I would never achieve it because it's going to be hard and you also need a lot of money and education."

The signaller said: "To fly one it just feels like a... dream to me, like a big, big, massive dream.

"If I become one that would be for the whole country not only my family."

He added that it would not only be a "great achievement" for him but "for everyone".