Students try gliding
On Saturday 1 September four students went to the Wellington Gliding Club training facility at the Papawai Airfield, Greytown. The students were taken through the facility which included the flight simulator and the winch. The winch is a $160,000 V8 engine which is attached to two ropes for pulling the gliders into the air. Mr V. Grant spoke with the families and students and explained the career paths previous students have taken once they graduate and become fully certified glider pilots. Gliding is considered a "first step" in any aviation field. Club members have all moved on - 3 fly helicopters; 1 flies for Air NZ; 1 is a stunt pilot in Queenstown; several are in the airforce; 1 in avionics and a number are working in various aviation fields.
"One international student is heading home soon to become an air traffic controller at Bremmen International Airport! Gliding is a "taster" or a window into the future", said Mr Grant.
After the orientation of the club facilities the students were given a chance to fly a glider and help with the other take off and landing tasks which are all shared around by the club members.
The club made the Chanel students feel extremely welcome and were invited back to the club if they would like to pursue gliding. The event was made possible from the support provided by Mrs Pender in the Career Dept.