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Fourteen Bachelor of Aviation students were told they had “dared to dream and had succeeded” when they were presented with their Wings at a ceremony at the Milson Flight Systems Centre this week.
They have successfully completed training at Massey University’s School of Aviation and are now fully qualified professional pilots. Giving the guest speech Captain Chris Kriechbaum from Air New Zealand told them that pilot-wise, the world industry was in good heart and it was a great time to be entering it.
Captain Kriechbaum, who oversees the development of pilots for the airline in his role as manager of operational development, spoke about the Massey’s partnership with the newly-launched Air New Zealand Aviation Institute.
“As a pre-eminent training organisation, Massey was selected after an extensive consultation and selection process. The Massey programme was the only one which offers a degree, which is significant as we look for future management roles within our group,” he said.
“It is also the only one that currently trains in glass cockpit aircraft, a significant factor when we made our decision. The partnership will train future Air New Zealand pilots and it is our privilege to be associated with Massey’s quality programme.”
The University is one of five training partners involved in the scheme which has been set up to ensure a supply of high quality pilots to the industry.
Receiving their Wings insignia were: Reuben Bhatt, Sam Brown, Lonic Harkness, Corey Harris, Sam Henderson, Nick Jenkins, Malith Keenawinna, Jintavat Khamphonsri, Jason Liu, Wan Shen, Phillip Stephenson, Daniel Tear, Jakob Tulloch and Teerawit Pulpinyo.? Jolyon Thompson received a Certificate of Aviation – Helicopter.
Awards were also presented to top-performing students. Phillip Stephenson, of Tauranga, won the Air New Zealand Flying Award. Lonic Harkness, of Taupiri near Hamilton, won the Airways Corporation Academic Award, Feildair Engineering Ltd Aviation Systems Award and Hugh Francis Navigation Award. Nick Jenkins, of Christchurch, won the Massey University School of Aviation Outstanding Student Award.
School of Aviation Chief Executive Ashok Poduval congratulated the Wings recipients on their success. “It is your commitment, passion and dedication that has brought you to this milestone,” he told them. “Don’t let it go.”
He urged Massey students who may go overseas for employment to eventually “bring your talent home.”
Massey is one of the few tertiary education institutions in the world to combine professional pilot training with university degree qualifications. Bachelor of Aviation Management students also attended the ceremony and had photographs taken with the University’s $8 million aircraft fleet.