Hay­ley set to get her wings

Selwyn and Ashburton Outlook - - YOUR PAPER, YOUR PLACE - DE­FENCE

Rolle­ston’s Hay­ley Vin­cent, 19, al­ways knew she wanted to be a pi­lot in the Royal New Zealand Air Force (RNZAF).

Now Of­fi­cer Cadet Vin­cent, she has just com­pleted the Ini­tial Of­fi­cer Train­ing Course at the RNZAF base Wood­bourne and will work to­wards com­plet­ing her pi­lot’s course, be­gin­ning in Au­gust.

‘‘It has been such a long time that I’ve been work­ing to­wards the wing’s [pi­lot’s] course. It has al­ways been some­thing far off in the dis­tance. I have heard so much about it and it is now re­ally close. I can’t wait,’’ she said.

Vin­cent and Of­fi­cer Cadet Olivia Lan­dau would be the first women to learn in the RNZAF’s new T-6C Texan air­craft, which was used to train all RNZAF pilots.

‘‘The Texan is an amaz­ing air­craft. It will be very in­ter­est­ing to learn to fly on this new plat­form,’’ she said.

Vin­cent said the best thing so far about join­ing the Air Force was the peo­ple and friend­ships.

‘‘It is ex­actly what I thought it would be – the friend­ships and ca­ma­raderie and the re­ally close bonds that you have with ev­ery­one. You be­come re­ally close to the peo­ple you work with.’’

‘‘To know that my day job, so far, has been about run­ning round in the bush do­ing var­i­ous tac­ti­cal ex­er­cises is so dif­fer­ent to the av­er­age per­son my age.’’

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