Students step into the shoes of aviators

Perth students were recently given the unique opportunity to experience a typical day in the life of a Royal Australian Air Force member.

CAPTION: 2 Flying Training School trainee Pilot Officer Gabrielle Adamson takes Air Force Indigenous Youth Program participant Indiana Baines through the paces of a Pilatus PC-21 simulated flight at RAAF Base Pearce, WA. Story by Stephanie Hallen. All photos by Flying Officer Michael Thomas.

The students were participants in Air Force’s Indigenous Youth Program, which aims to provide exposure and opportunities for Indigenous students considering a career in the ADF.

During their visit to RAAF Base Pearce, students engaged in a physical training session, which included elements of Air Force’s entry requirement test.

Students also visited the Pearce Health Centre, where they rolled up their sleeves and had a go at stemming an arterial bleed on a medical training device.

Kent Street Senior High School student Indiana Baines said she was inspired to join the program to get her one step closer to fulfilling her dream.

“Even though I’ve had my heart set on becoming a fast-jet pilot, I decided to participate in the program so I could also get a better understanding of what other jobs are available in Air Force,” Indiana said.

“I am absolutely interested in joining Defence after participating in the program – being able to visit various places on the base, talking to serving members and hearing about their experiences has been inspiring and a really good opportunity.”

Other opportunities during the two-day program included a guided tour of 2 Flying Training School where the prospective aviators tried their hand at flying a simulated Pilatus PC-21, and spoke with current ADF pilot trainees.

Students were given an exclusive walk-through of a C-17 Globemaster III from 36 Squadron, and a Pilatus PC-21 and Hawk 127 static display provided by 2 Flying Training School and 79 Squadron respectively.

Santa Maria College student Abby Morton said her highlight of the experience was touring the C-17 Globemaster III, having never been on a plane before, “not even to travel on a holiday.”

“I saw this program as an opportunity to see what was available to me. Even though I haven’t decided exactly what it is that I want to do when I leave school, I can definitely see a potential future here in Defence,” Abby said.

“I would absolutely recommend the Indigenous Youth Program to other students, the experience has been amazing.”


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