RAAF FLIES INTO TOWN

Air Force pi­lot re­turns home to en­cour­age stu­dents

South Burnett Times - - FRONT PAGE - Michael Nolan michael.nolan @south­bur­nett­times.com.au

TO­DAY’S high school stu­dents are faced with a range of ca­reer op­tions unimag­ined by gen­er­a­tions past.

But the plethora of choice can be daunt­ing and their work­ing lives can seem far away when they are faced with daily grind of class­room as­sign­ments and ex­ams.

To help stu­dents fo­cus on that all im­por­tant study Royal Aus­tralian Air Force pi­lot and Kin­garoy State High School grad­u­ate Flight Lieu­tenant Oliver Ker­snovski said they should de­velop firm goals.

This is the mes­sage he de­liv­ered as guest speaker at his for­mer high school’s awards night on Thurs­day.

“Goals are great,” Flight Lt Ker­snovski said.

“They help you fo­cus and they give you di­rec­tion.

“It’s hard to study if you don’t know what you’re do­ing.”

Mr Ker­snovski grad­u­ated from Kin­garoy State High School in 2009 and en­tered the Air Force the next year.

When the high school asked him to speak at the awards night, he re­quested to be dropped off in town dur­ing a train­ing ex­er­cise with a new Spar­tan C-27J his crews have been work­ing with.

They landed the plane at Kin­garoy Air­port on Wed­nes­day and opened it to the public.

He said the plane and his role as an Air Force pi­lot had taken him around the world may times over.

“In the Air Mo­bil­ity Group I’ve been lucky enough to visit over 30 coun­tries this year,” Flight Lt Ker­snovski said.

“I’ve been able to go a lot of places and see a lot of dif­fer­ent things.”

One de­ploy­ment re­quired the crew to fly through the moun­tain­ous ter­rain of Pa­pua New Guinea as­sist­ing with the is­land na­tion’s elec­tion ear­lier this year.

“It was very re­ward­ing to spread democ­racy,” Flight Lt Ker­snovski said.

“If you think about Pa­pua New Guinea, it’s an is­land na­tion but peo­ple for­get, even though it’s so close to Aus­tralia but it’s one of the poor­est coun­tries in the world.

“We helped out a lot, we got to fly the elec­tion per­son­nel and ma­te­ri­als out to the dif­fer­ent parts of the coun­try.

“But fly­ing up there has unique chal­lenges, the weather, the height of of the ter­rain. The moun­tains are twice the height of Aus­tralia’s tallest moun­tains.”

“All of those con­di­tions fit to­gether and they can kill you if you get it wrong.”

Flight Lt Ker­snovski said he wouldn’t have achieved his dream of fly­ing in the Air Force if he had not ap­plied him­self at school.

“I’ve been for­tu­nate enough to fly a range of aircraft and I’ve met an awe­some bunch of peo­ple.”

“My time at the academy was great, I got to live and train with 300 like-minded peo­ple who were there to do the same job as me.

“The pi­lot course it­self was prob­a­bly one of the hard­est things I could imag­ine.

“The way the train­ing is con­ducted is to set you for a fu­ture fly­ing com­bat aircraft, it some­thing I could never have imag­ined.

“To achieve that and be awarded my wings that I proudly wear in my chest every day was a great feel­ing.”

PHO­TOS: MICHAEL NOLAN

SPE­CIAL GUEST: Air Force pi­lot and Kin­garoy State High School grad­u­ate Flight Lieu­tenant Oliver Ker­snovski re­turned to the re­gion to speak at his school’s awards night, and brought a RAAF C-27J Spar­tan with him.

Fly­ing Of­fi­cer Sean Joyce with Corey Whitestyles.

PHO­TOS: MICHAEL NOLAN AND WILL HUNTER

TAK­ING FLIGHT: Load Mas­ter Sgt Joshua Bak­ers talk­ing to Kin­garoy State High School stu­dents in the C-27J Spar­tan.

The Royal Aus­tralian Air Force C-27J Spar­tan lands in Kin­garoy on Wed­nes­day.

Air Force pi­lot and Kin­garoy State High School grad­u­ate Oliver Ker­snovski talk­ing to high school stu­dents.

The RAAF C-27J Spar­tan flies over Kin­garoy.

Bai­ley Mil­lar was keen to try on a the pi­lot’s flight hel­met.

The Spar­tan arrives at Kin­garoy Air­port.

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