Flying has been my dream since the age of 12, when my father and I used to build model aircraft together. Now I keep having to pinch myself when I fly, and don't have to pay for it!
I started a full time commercial pilot license course in May 2002, and never looked back. Every flight was a thrill, and I enjoyed the challenges that each flight brought. In September 2003 I finished my commercial pilots license with a NVFR (Night Visual) Rating, and entered the ever terrifying position of searching for the first job. Despite many negative comments like - 'You'll need to get an Instructor Rating' or 'You don't have enough hours' I pressed on with my research. Multiple telephone calls, personal meetings with pilots from many different companies, and much advice sought from people in all areas of aviation. One day, i was perusing the Employment section of the Newspaper, and Wham!, there it was. An ad in the newspaper for a stationhand/mustering pilot postion. A simple telephone call, and a resume sent, and they gave me the job - without me even holding a mustering endorsement. I did 20 or so hours flying people around and Aerial Spotting for the company, did my 15 hours training for a Low-Level/Mustering endorsement, and the hours really opened up.
Mustering is both rewarding and challenging. It really makes you get a 'feel' for what flying is all about. In a nine hour mustering day, you fly the plane for nine hours, no setting the trim and occationally adjusting your heading. This trains you to fly, unlike any other flying position i can think of, right when the training is needed the most - early on. I have worked on several stations around Queensland, and this has let me enjoy the thrills of travel, and meeting very interesting people.
I have no idea what the future holds for me, but the present holds challenges, and rewards that are different every day. I look forward to progressing to bigger and more technical aircraft. There is no shortage of pilot jobs for new pilots in Australia, if he/she is willing to move to the job, and adapt to a new lifestyle. After all, adventure has got to be a large attraction in the world of aviation.
Good luck in your flying career!
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