At the end of 2017 RAAus announced their annual flying scholarship winners and among them was Bradley Leksas of Gawler Airfield Squadron in South Australia. We recently had a chance to speak to Bradley about the scholarship.
Congratulations on receiving an RAAUS Scholarship, can you tell us about the about it?
The RAAUS Scholarship enabled me to conduct training is Light Sport Aircraft. The scholarship I received was valued at $1500 which got me 90% of the way through my LSA training at the Adelaide Soaring Club.
Where did you hear about the scholarship, and what was the criteria?
I was already a member of RAAUS when I applied for the scholarship, I received an email from them when applications opened so I decided to apply. The criteria to apply for the scholarship is to be a financial member of RAAUS, that’s it, then it’s just the application itself, you have to write 2 essays (1500 words in total) as well as provide 2 references of 500 words each as well as a few other things. More information can be found at https://www.raa.asn.au/fly-with-us/scholarships/
What will the scholarship help you to achieve?
The scholarship helped me achieve my Recreational Pilots Certificate, the scholarship got me solo as well as very close to my flight test.
How long have you been flying for, and what stage are you up to?
I started using my scholarship in July 2017, but I have been flying before that. In 2016 I also won an Australian Air League scholarship valued at $1000 which I used to learn how to fly gliders at the Adelaide Soaring Club. I have worked my way to achieving my RAAUS Recreational Pilots Certificate, I also have a Nose Wheel, Human Factors, Radio Operator, Passenger and Navigation Endorsements.
Can you tell us about your most memorable flight?
My most memorable flight would have to be my first solo flight. I remember it was a hot Friday afternoon, I was out with my instructor, we had been doing EFIC and EFATO (Engine Failures in the Circuit and Engine Failures after take-off) and he told me to do one final circuit and make it a full-stop landing. As we were taxiing back to the apron he said to me “How would you like to go do a few on your own?.” At that moment I felt butterflies in my stomach. When I got airborne I remember just thinking “I’m flying an aeroplane by myself!” Below is a photo of me after my first solo with my instructor congratulating me.
Do you plan to pursue a career in aviation?
I plan to pursue a career in commercial aviation, hopefully flying for Qantas or Virgin Australia. This year I am hoping to study the Associate Degree in Aviation at Bruce Hartwig Flying School at Parafield Airport. This will give me my CASA PPL, CPL, Multi Engine Command Instrument Raiting and ATPL, which we qualify me to fly and get payed to do it!
You’ve been a member of the Australian Air League for nearly 5 years, where did you first hear about the League?
I have been a member of the Australian Air League since April 2013, I first heard about the AAL at the Parafield Airshow, cadets were walking around promoting the AAL.
How has the Australian Air League helped you with your interest in aviation?
The AAL has helped me by educating me further and encouraging my flying by awarding me a scholarship to fly and teaching me things like the phonetic alphabet, aero engines and other aviation related things.
Anything else you would like to add?
I encourage anyone who has a dream of flying to achieve their dream. The sky is the limit for some, but for others it’s home. I also encourage you to start flying with RAAUS, it’s a very affordable way to fly, and your RAAUS licence is able to be transferred to a CASA licence (Which is going to cut a semester out of my training at Parafield also making it about $30,000 cheaper) and there is such a community vibe at RAAUS, especially if you join a club such as the Adelaide Soaring Club.
The 2018 RAAus Scholarships are now open – information can be found here.