Year 9 project leads to first solo flight

17 December 2015
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Beaconhills College’s innovative Year 9 program has led to 15-year-old student Bryce Hathaway making his first solo flight at Tyabb airport as part of his pilot’s certificate.

Bryce took to the air alone in an A22 Foxbat aircraft at the Peninsula Flying School at Tyabb, recording the exciting event and posting the video on Youtube.

Bryce used Beaconhills’ Personal Best project in Term 4 of 2015 to kickstart his certificate training, spending the allocated day each week on theory and flying training. Personal Best gives students a term to create or pursue a major project that is their personal passion.

He was allowed to complete his first solo flight just under five hours into the certificate’s required 20 hours of flying. But as the grandson of a keen aviator, Bryce is no stranger to the skies.

“My grandfather has had 30 years of recreational flying and I’ve been going up with him since I was seven,” Bryce said.

He said it was a nerve-wracking experience flying alone for the first time, without the safety-net of an instructor sitting alongside. However, as the video shows, he was in complete control and executed a perfect landing.

“In the video I retell the feelings and thoughts I had while flying,” he said. “I tell you now I got very nervous when the instructor told me I was ready to do it on my own!”

He thanked family friend Mike Rudd for allowing him to use the plane during his training and the College for giving him the opportunity – through Year 9 Personal Best – to pursue his passion.

Once he achieves his pilot’s certificate, Bryce said he would consider whether to to continue as a recreational flyer or aim for a commercial pilot’s licence and a career in aviation.

Watch Bryce take his first solo flight  on Youtube

Bryce Hathaway headshot


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