JUST six months after being announced as the first ever recipient of the Peter Teakle Aviation Scholarship, Hannah Cash has completed her first solo flight.
Applying for the scholarship last year, Miss Cash said it was the work of water bomber pilots in local fires in 2005 and 2009, and in the 2009 Yarra Valley bushfire that gave her an appreciation for the work of the pilots.
She said she was nervous for her first solo flight on Sunday, especially when the instructor stepped out of the plane.
“That was when I got really nervous, it hit home that no one would be in there with me and I would have to figure it out on my own,” Miss Cash said.
Miss Cash said she was at her most nervous when taxiing out onto the runway and landing but in the air her training kicked in.
“I loved it, once I was up there I was just really concentrating, making sure I was doing all the things I needed to,” she said.
“There was quite a bit of other air traffic at the time so that was interesting communicating with them as well.”
She said her lessons so far had included things like training in straight and level flying, and climbing and descending but now she had completed her first solo flight, she would begin more advanced training.
Miss Cash said she had a lot of solo time to do and a few more exams.
“I have to complete 15 hours of solo flight time, I did 20 minutes in my first circuit and then 0.7 of an hour before I had to come back in because of the wind,” Miss Cash said.
She said this year she hoped to travel to Parafield Airport so she could take lessons for a week and complete a block of her training at once.
“Here I can only have lessons when the instructors come over so it would be good to get more lessons out of the way,” she said.
“I have to say thanks to Peter (Teakle) because without him I wouldn’t have this opportunity.”