Home Aviation Services War Artist Gallery Commissions Interesting Stuff About/Contact

ABOUT / CONTACT (see below) HI       

Conway Bown was born in Sydney in 1966 and educated at The Scots College. After leaving school, he held down a number of jobs to pay for his flying lessons; waiting tables, tending bar, salesman, anything that would earn dollars to go towards flight training. After a number of months working in the United States for a law firm, he joined the Army in 1990 and was initially posted to the Land Warfare Centre in Canungra QLD for officer training and then commenced flight training.

CT4-A Airtrainer from 1 FTS

First posting was in January 1991 to No 1 Flight Training School (1FTS) at RAAF Base Williams - Point Cook outside of Melbourne, the birthplace of Australian military aviation. At this time, all military aviators; Army, Navy and Air Force, were trained on fixed-wing aircraft whereupon the Air Force and Navy pilots would proceed to No 2 Flight Training School at RAAF Base Pearce and the Army pilots would proceed straight to helicopter training. After almost six months of training on CT4-A Airtrainers, he graduated and was then posted to the Australian Defence Force Helicopter School (ADFHS) at RAAF Base Fairbairn in Canberra. At ADFHS, he commenced his basic rotary-wing training on the Aerospatiale AS-350B Squirrel helicopter. This training included formation flying, low-level flying, external load operations and winching.
AS-350B Squirrel from ADFHS

S-70A-9 Black Hawk of 5th Aviation Regiment
After graduating ADFHS he was allocated to S-70A-9 Black Hawk helicopters and commenced type conversion onto the aircraft and then Regimental Officers Basic Course at the School of Army Aviation at Army Airfield Oakey on Queensland's Darling Downs. Earning his wings in May 1992, he was posted to 5th Aviation Regiment in Townsville. 5 Avn Regt is the Army's airmobile regiment and was equipped with S-70 Black Hawks and UH-1H Iroquois. Flying Black Hawks for A Squadron for three years, he experimented with art, creating various works of varying quality.


CH=47D Chinook of 5th Aviation Regiment

In the US at the US Army's Aviation Centre, Fort Rucker, Alabama training on Chinook helicopters.
After attaining about 800 hours on Black Hawks, he was then selected to proceed to the United States to train on the huge CH-47D Chinook helicopters. In March 1995, whilst at Fort Rucker in Alabama, he drew a picture of the cockpit of the Chinook which was well received. So popular was this picture that he had copies printed and sold them to members of the US Army. This spawned the idea to pursue his interest in art more seriously and so upon return to Australia, he drew a picture of a soldier called 'Digger - Heir to Anzac' and then sold the prints. This was the start of his art career at age 29.
Digger - Heir to Anzac

In East Timor as the LZ commander in Balibo on Operation LAVARACK. The house in the background is the house in which 5 Australian journalists lived before allegedly being executed by Indonesian special forces in 1975
For the next ten years, he flew Chinook helicopters for C Squadron, 5th Aviation Regiment becoming a Unit Test Pilot, Squadron Second-in-Command and detachment commander on a number of operational deployments. In 1999 he was deployed to East Timor (left) as the Army Liaison Officer on General Cosgrove's HQ and then on 3 Brigade HQ. The next year were two deployments to support the Olympic Games security operations. In 2001 he decided to take a tilt at federal politics running for the seat of Herbert as an independent. Whilst not winning the seat, he was the most successful independent candidate without previous political experience in the 2001 election.


During this period of campaigning, the world changed with the fall of the twin towers in New York and the commencement of military operations in Afghanistan and Iraq. He returned to the Army in December of 2001 and the following year undertook a course in French language before returning to East Timor as the Army Aviation Detachment Commander supporting UN operations. Returning to Australia he assumed the role of Regiment Adjutant before being required to deploy to Iraq as an operational Chinook helicopter pilot and Test Pilot on Operation FALCONER in the Middle East (right).










In the Middle East during the war against Iraq as a Chinook pilot.

Flying the EMS chopper in the Torres Strait
Upon return to Australia, it was time to move on from administrative positions and pursue his flying and art and so he transferred to the Army Reserve which allowed him to continue flying for C Squadron. At this time he started flying for civilian organisations. Whilst flying powerline patrol (right) in an MD-500, he had a tail rotor failure which caused his aircraft to spin out of control. After his crash, he was called by the office of the Chief of Army and it was requested he return to Army duty as the Army's Official War Artist whereupon he returned to Iraq with paints and pencils.

Whilst undertaking his assignment to complete a certain range of artwork for the Army as the Army's War Artist, he continued to fly for civilian organisations. He flew an Emergency Medical Services helicopter in the Torres Strait (left) and then the border security helicopter in East Arnhem Land and the Eastern Gulf of Carpentaria for the Australian Customs Service.

Powerline patrol in Queensland.

Presenting Prime Minister John Howard with a copy of
'Desert Chooks' to mark Australia's involvement in Iraq.
Conway commenced his art career quite late in life and is completely self-taught. Originally working primarily in graphite pencil, he has now branched out into oil paints and watercolours. His work is in the collections of General Norman Schwarzkopf, General Cosgrove, former Prime Minster John Howard (left) and hundreds of other military art enthusiasts.

Conway is also an aviation consultant and trainer in Crew Resource Management (right) , Helicopter Underwater Escape Training and Emergency Breathing Systems training. He is a commercial pilot with ATPL (H) and CPL (A) and is a Director of RHO Aviation Training Services P/L and Independent Productions and Aviation Services. He accepts art commissions, portraits, aviation training and consultancy and commercial flying assignments as well as still serving as an Army Reserve officer.

Presenting Crew Resource Management training
to NSW Rural Fire Service


Conway Bown
PO Box 581
Mobile (Cell) Phone 0419028798 (International callers: +61 419 028 798)
Email: conway@ipas.com.au



HomeAviation ServicesWar ArtistGalleryCommissionsInteresting StuffAbout/Contact

Independent Productions and Aviation Services is the website of Conway Bown, Australian Army Official War Artist and Aviation Consultant. Services include portrait painting and other portraiture, aviation services such as CRM - Crew Resource Management - and Helicopter Underwater Escape Training - HUET - which may include Emergency Breathing Systems - EBS - training using Helicopter Aircrew Breathing Devices - HABD - or Helicopter Emergency Egress Device - HEEDs.

During 2006, Conway Bown deployed to the Middle East as the Australian Army's Official War Artist, what the US Armed Forces call Combat Artist. This website features the artwork created during this project as part of the Australian Army's Official Art Scheme.

For more information on War Art, Combat Artists, Helicopter Underwater Escape Training (HUET), Emergency Breathing Systems (EBS) or Crew Resource Management (CRM), please visit the relevant webpages:

HUET - RHO Aviation

CRM - RHO Aviation

EBS - RHO Aviation

Official War Artist - IPAS.