Tuesday, August 01, 2023

Massey University aviation students receive commercial pilot’s licences in Palmerston North ceremony

Massey University 76 cohort celebrated receiving their commercial pilot’s licences, also known as their wings, at a ceremony in Palmerston North.

The School of Aviation’s wings ceremonies take place as each cohort completes the flight-training component of the Bachelor of Aviation (BAv). For most, getting their commercial pilot’s licence is just as significant as their graduation ceremony.

This year, 30 students received their wings at the ceremony last Thursday at the Globe Theatre.

The group included one international student, Shagun Sharma, whose parents flew from India to attend the ceremony.

The valedictory speech was delivered by Isaac Leigh. Leigh reflected on the many late nights and early mornings he and his fellow students had been through.

“From those early days when our landings resembled rollercoaster rides to the first time we legally flew through clouds with finesse and confidence, we have come a long way.

“We’ve made it through gruelling flight exams that seemed to ask us questions from a parallel universe, and we’ve experienced those awkward moments when plans or landings didn’t go exactly as planned. Let’s just say we’ve left a tyre skid or two on several runways across New Zealand.”

William Brightwell was awarded the School of Aviation Outstanding Student Award. His interest in aviation comes from his father being a helicopter pilot and the stories he told.

He says he’s thoroughly enjoyed his time at Massey and is looking forward to getting further involved in aviation with Air Chathams and pursuing an instructor’s rating.

Benjamin Carlisle received the Airways Corporation Academic Award for the highest grade-point average in the compulsory papers of the air transport pilot major of the BAv.

Nina Devlin was awarded the Zonta Club of Manawatū Aviation Award in Honour of Amelia Earhart. This award recognises exceptional female aviation students who exhibit the key professional attributes of the BAv programme.

The school’s BAv alumni now include a second father-and-son combo. Alex Petrovich, who received his wings last week, is the son of Andrey Petrovich, who graduated with his BAv in 2007.

The guest speaker was captain Christine Ody, the general manager of pilots at Air New Zealand.

01/08/2023 Manawatu Guardian/NZ Herald

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