Megan Stephens behind the controls of her training aircraft (Photo: TAFE Qld)

October 16, 2020

The sky’s now the limit for Nanango’s Megan Stephens, 19, the first graduate from TAFE Queensland’s Diploma of Aviation.

Delivered under the guidance of TAFE Queensland’s partner, Airwork Aviation in Caboolture, Megan successfully obtained her diploma and a Commercial Pilots Licence.

Megan decided to become a pilot after high school.

She was determined to have a career that would be both challenging and interesting in the long term.

“I wanted to study a qualification that would challenge me and lead to a career where I wouldn’t get bored, and becoming a pilot is exactly that,” Megan said.

“When I talk to my friends who are studying in classrooms, I’d just think ‘well, this week I’ve been out flying’ and my classroom was over the coast, Moreton Island and the inner west.

“Now that I’m qualified, the view from my ‘office’ will always be beautiful and forever be changing. Also, I’ll constantly be challenged every time I get behind the controls while exploring the world.”

Megan chose to study with TAFE Queensland because the diploma only took her nine months to complete and included 200 hours of practical flying.

“I was drawn to fixed-wing because there are so many opportunities for career progression within different industries and with the large airlines,” she said.

“I found the structure of the course great. Nine months is shorter than other courses out there and putting all my time and effort into the theory for the first 12 weeks meant I knew what to expect when I got behind the controls for my first flight.

“The best thing about studying in an aircraft hangar is as we learn aircraft theory, we’re able to walk into the hangar and see the engineers working on the plane. Seeing what we’re being taught helps embed what we’re learning and sets us up to pass.”

Megan is now looking to start her aviation career in the agriculture industry before eventually joining the Royal Flying Doctor Service or becoming a flight instructor.

“It’s crazy to think that in just nine months I’ve gone from never having touched a plane to now being qualified, capable and confident enough to fly one!” she said.

The Diploma of Aviation (Commercial Pilot Licence – Aeroplane) is a full-time, 38-week course.

Caboolture airfield is outside of controlled airspace which allows students to spend more time flying and less time waiting for air traffic control.

In the course, students learn how to perform normal and emergency commercial pilot duties including passenger, charter, and cargo operations.

Successful completion of the course gives graduates the knowledge and practical skills needed for a successful career as a commercial aeroplane pilot in industries including rural operations, joy-flights, air transport charter operations and search and rescue.

Megan Stephens at the Caboolture Airport (Photo: TAFE Qld)

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