When did you become a commercial Helicopter Pilot? 2005 (Aged 20)
How did you get into flying Helicopters? Well for me I have never known life without helicopters, we have always had one or more in the backyard, it took a long time for me to realise that it wasn’t ‘the norm’ to have a chopper parked in the backyard. I am third generation pilot as my grandfather flew aeroplanes and my dad flies’ helicopters (but started in Planes).
What was training like? Training was intense to say the least. But they break everything down, so you are only learning one thing at a time then gradually bring in new things as you progress. The first time I flew solo was pretty scary but absolutely exhilarating as I was fully in control of this flying machine!
Did you always want to become a pilot? Umm no, I had no idea what I wanted to do. When I left school, I worked on our family farm in the vineyard for a few years. Then one day I was looking out at the helicopter sitting on the helipad and thought….’I want to fly that’ and that was that. I started my journey a few months later and gained my licence just before my 21st birthday.
Most memorable flight to date? I’ve been lucky enough to have had many but most involve either sunrise or sunset flights…..that time of the day is just magical and I feel so blessed to have been able to see and do what I have. Most jobs I have done were a once in a lifetime experience for my clients but an everyday experience for me, which I am so grateful to have had.
Where do you see yourself in 5/10 years? Not really sure exactly, probably doing the same thing as I’m doing today, which I am totally fine with as every day is different and I love what I do.
What aircraft can you fly? Robinson R44, R22, Bell47, and the Bell206 series.
What other things do you do? Work in the office sometimes (don’t really like that though), look after our cattle, out in the tractor (doing whatever is required), I’ve been operating our grape harvester for the last 15 years, I do whatever job is needed to be done really. I ground crew and “front of house” most of the time. But most importantly I am the mother to 2 beautiful little people.