Rescue me: Prince William now a search pilot

After seven months of training, Prince William is set to graduate Friday as a fully qualified search-and-rescue helicopter pilot for Britain's Royal Air Force.

His London office said second in line to the throne William, known in the air force as Flight Lt. William Wales, is receiving a certificate and his Royal Air Force squadron badge in a small ceremony Friday.

The elder son of Prince Charles and his deceased first wife Princess Diana will co-pilot Sea King helicopters as part of a four-man crew based at RAF Valley in Anglesey on the north west coast of Wales.  T he post is located 220 miles west of London on the Irish Sea.

"The course has been challenging, but I have enjoyed it immensely," said William, 28.

"I absolutely love flying," he added, "so it will be an honor to serve operationally with the search and rescue force, helping to provide such a vital emergency service."

The prince completed 70 hours of flying time augmented by 50 hours in a simulator as part of training to get to grips with the helicopter.

William's younger brother Harry has served on the front line in Afghanistan with British armed forces and is training to fly Apache attack helicopters.