Bernard Dolinski and Thomas Watson are flying high after each achieving their commercial pilot licence thanks to CQUniversity’s Aviation program.
The pair, who live and study in Bundaberg, have spoken highly of the course, crediting the skills and knowledge they’ve acquired for helping them secure their accreditation.
“I’m so relieved,” Bernard said.
“It’s been a long slog with a lot of study and assessment required that goes above and beyond what the course itself requires.
“I’m looking forward to getting out there with that first charter job.”
Thomas said receiving his commercial pilot licence was extremely rewarding.
“I’ve barely scratched the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the amount of knowledge I can gain as a pilot and I look forward to starting my career in an industry where you never stop acquiring knowledge,” he said.
Thomas said he’d always dreamed of becoming a pilot.
“I’ve always had an interest in aviation but never thought I could ever get a pilot’s licence, let alone make a career out of it as I didn’t know anyone who flew planes,” he said.
“Once I found out I could study aviation through a university degree there wasn’t much hesitation.
“I knew it would be something I’d enjoy because of the skill set required.
“I chose to study at CQUniversity because they offered the course at Bundaberg which meant I didn’t have to move to a capital city where the cost of living would have been too expensive for me.”
Bernard said he became interested in becoming a pilot as a child.
“It was always there – from having lunch at the Qantas Founders Museum in Longreach whenever we did the fortnightly shopping trip growing up, to designing/building/flying radio-controlled planes through high school, to my initial plan after school to study mechanical engineering to build a career designing aircraft, until I found out I could get my licence through a uni course and fly them instead.”
Both said they thrived while doing their Bachelor of Aviation (Flight Operations).
“I did the Bachelor of Aviation (Flight Operations) and the Graduate Diploma of Aviation (Flight Operations) concurrently,” Bernard said.
“The ability to take the opportunity in the training to do some trips across remote areas really expanded the horizons of the situations you normally experience in the day-to-day training.”
“Flying across areas you haven’t seen before, new airports and remote strips that are all different and unique in their own way, with their own local weather characteristics.”
Thomas said the flight training he received from CQU and Aviation Australia meant he could learn one thing in the classroom and go out and apply it in the air.
“Due to the course being non-integrated I received a lot more flight hours compared to an integrated course, this gave me a lot more experience behind the controls of the aircraft and made learning how to fly multi-engine instrument operations much easier,” he said.
Both hoped to turn their commercial pilot’s licences into careers.
“A dream job right now would be flying PC12s for the RFDS,” Bernard said.
“There’s so many different avenues and careers in the industry though that there could be something more interesting that you don’t even know exists until you come across someone doing it.
“I don’t have a particular job that I would consider a dream job as I just love being in the air flying, and any pilot job is just that,” Thomas said.