November has been an important month for me. Not only did I put P-plates on my first car but I also attained my RA-Aus Pilot Certificate, the freedom and independence of which is pretty good really.

Several people have been instrumental in helping me to achieve this goal. I would like to acknowledge the expert guidance of Martin Hughes, my flight instructor, as well as the mentoring of Phil Ryrie throughout my time in the SMGS Aviation Academy. Mr Hughes’ wealth of knowledge and experience is greatly valued in the aviation community. He previously trained the Red Arrows and I’m privileged to fly with him in one of the most beautiful places in Australia.

Aviation has become a major part of my life; it’s a source of motivation which entices me to improve in all aspects of life.

The SMGS Aviation Academy, which is led by Phil Ryrie, has awarded me the opportunity to pursue not just a career but a passion for aviation. It allows students to adapt their subjects in order to prepare for a future they might otherwise be oblivious to. There are many benefits in learning to fly during school, not least of which is the early discovery of something which can challenge you and come to define you, nurturing responsibility and persistence.

I have been very fortunate to have received an RA-Aus GYFTS scholarship which has helped me hugely throughout my flying training. I can now take passengers and hope to be learning to fly cross-country in the coming months, all while completing my final year of school.

Nicholas Nanninga, Year 12

To learn more about our Aviation Academy, click here!