Head in the clouds

Gatton Star - - LIFE -

GAT­TON teenager Re­becca Hal­la­han could be for­given for hav­ing her head in the clouds.

The Glen­nie School Year 12 stu­dent was one of 22 high school stu­dents from across the state to par­tic­i­pate in an avi­a­tion camp at the Univer­sity of South­ern Queens­land’s Spring­field cam­pus.

The USQ Avi­a­tion Two-day Ex­pe­ri­ence was de­signed to give stu­dents a taste of USQ’S avi­a­tion pro­gram and ex­pose them to ca­reers in the boom­ing in­dus­try.

Stu­dents also got to ex­pe­ri­ence what it’s like to take off, fly and land a Boe­ing 737 by get­ting be­hind the con­trols of USQ’S world-class flight sim­u­la­tor.

Re­becca, 17, is con­sid­er­ing a ca­reer in avi­a­tion and said the camp pro­vided great in­sight into the path­ways and ca­reer op­por­tu­ni­ties avail­able in the avi­a­tion sec­tor.

“Over the years, I have been drawn to ma­chin­ery, tech­nol­ogy and en­gi­neer­ing, but planes have al­ways fas­ci­nated me,” she said.

“While the sim­u­la­tion ex­pe­ri­ence was the highlight, I found the camp very use­ful be­cause I got to learn about the many job op­por­tu­ni­ties there are for peo­ple who want to work in the avi­a­tion in­dus­try, but don’t want to be a pilot.”

Over the two days, Re­becca got to in­ter­act with USQ’S avi­a­tion aca­demic staff and stu­dents, as well as par­tic­i­pate in pro­fes­sional de­vel­op­ment work­shops.

The camp also fea­tured guest speak­ers, in­clud­ing Al­liance Air­lines Chief Pilot Rick Heaton, pilot Ta­mara Vessi and Qan­taslink Chief Pilot Cap­tain Adrian Young, who pro­vided de­tails of the Qan­tas Group Fu­ture Pilot Pro­gram.

The camp co­in­cided with the an­nounce­ment that Toowoomba’s Well­camp Air­port will be the home of the first Qan­tas pilot training academy.

The multi-mil­lion dol­lar Qan­tas academy is set to open in mid-2019 and USQ Head of Avi­a­tion and Lo­gis­tics Pro­fes­sor Paul Bates said it was great news for fu­ture pi­lots.

“The univer­sity al­ready has a strong con­nec­tion with Qan­tas and our stu­dents who are ac­cepted into the Qan­tas Group Fu­ture Pilot Pro­gram will now have a re­gional and lo­cal cen­tre for flight training,” Prof Bates said.

PHOTO: CON­TRIB­UTED

IN CON­TROL: Re­becca Hal­la­han in the USQ’S 737 flight sim­u­la­tor.

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