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Flight Sergeant Michelle Snape, Ruth Staer, Jessica Read, Jorja DeMamiel and Squadron Leader Jacqueline Killian at Pearce air base. Pictures: AUSTRALIAN DEFENCE FORCE

Flight camp at Pearce for young women

JACINTA Bray, 16, of Aveley, whose goal is to become an RAAF C-17 Globemaster pilot was among those who attended a flight camp for young women at Pearce air base.

Miss Bray said the camp gave her an opportunity to experience flying in not only a similar jet to what she could be training in but in a jet that she might be able to graduate to.

“My favourite activity was definitely the PC-9 flight,’’ she said. 

“Not only did it allow me to conquer my fear of aerobatics, it has provided me with a clear goal and an incentive to do my absolute best this year to achieve my dreams.”

The PC-9 flight and flight simulator impressed Cairenn Dawson and Jessica Read.

Miss Dawson said the camp allowed her to sample the different careers in the air force and was very inspiring.

“The activities we did at flight camp really increased my knowledge about the aviation careers in the air force,’’ she said. 

“I learnt so much about how to become a pilot and also what exactly the other roles do. 

“I also learnt a lot about how aircraft and other services work.’’

After attending the camp last month, she said she would like to become a pilot and fly C-27J Spartans.

Miss Read said every second of the camp she made the most of every opportunity in order to help fulfil her dream.

She said the flight simulator made her feel as if she was a solo pilot and it had been a sensational experience. 

“Also being able to meet many inspiring pilots and state of the art planes was also amazing,’’ she said.

Some of the career options she was interested in included air combat officer, pilot or drop master.

Flight camp officer-in-charge Squadron Leader Jacqueline Killian said the camp gave young women first hand exposure to flying roles as well as experience in the day-to-day routine of an air force base.  

Jacinta Bray of Aveley at the flight camp.

She said the participants had several opportunities to engage with air force members and defence force recruiting specialists to discuss possible careers within the military.

Other activities included a PC/9A flight and a C-27J flight, experiencing a Hawk aircraft simulator, time at No 2 Flying Training School, learning about fire, search and rescue procedures, pre-fitness assessment introduction and fitness conditioning, mentoring sessions and team building and public speaking activities.

She said the camp gave the girls an opportunity to experience life in the air force and see what they were able to do. 

“This is important as many young women don’t see the military, or aviation careers as something that is available to them,’’ she said. 

“Currently less that 13 per cent of the aviation roles are filled by women and the camp gives us an opportunity to show them that there are so many interesting and exiting jobs out there for them.’’

She said running the camps was really enjoyable. 

“It’s great to see girls who are just considering the air force at the start of the week end up saying ‘this is definitely for me.’

“It’s great to give them a positive experience and show the great opportunities the air force can provide in a career.’’

About Anita

Anita Mcinnes received a highly commended in the 2009 WA Media Awards suburban section for her reporting. Two of her sons were born at Swan District Hospital and for many years she was a partner in a small business, which operated in the Gingin-Muchea-Bullsbrook area. As a mature age student Anita studied journalism at Curtin University before working in Busselton, Dunsborough and Rockingham with West Regionals. She says the best part of her job is meeting eastern suburb residents and visiting the many attractions in the area.

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