Port Adelaide NCO Awarded Flying Scholarship

Corporal Preethika Ganiger from the Port Adelaide Squadron of the Australian Air League  was recently awarded a flying scholarship through Recreational Aviation Australia (https://www.raa.asn.au/)

Preethika completed the application, and attached the supporting reference letters including one from South Australia Wing OC Gp.Comr. Martin Ball.

The application also required an essay of no more than 1000 words, but of this requirement Preethika said, “I mean how could you write something like wanting to achieve a childhood dream in just 1000 words? Impossible.”

After submitting the application Preethika then had to wait 4 long months.

Finally, in July she received a letter advising she was successful in beating out 81 other entrants, in obtaining the scholarship and is now well on her way in achieving her flying goals.

Reflecting on this achievement Preethika said, “As a cadet of the Australian Air league, the coaching and knowledge of Aviation and air experiences and support from the officers and educators are true key to achieve this scholarship.”

All of us here at Port Adelaide Squadron, wish her the very best in her pursuit of her flying dream.

Vietnam Veterans Commemoration 2018

Victoria Groups Squadrons have been invited to participate in the Yarra Valley & Outer Eastern Vietnam Veterans Day Commemoration: 52nd Anniversary of the Battle of Long Tan on Sunday 12th August 2018 in Lilydale.

Please see the attached circular for all details. Squadrons are requested to contact Gp.Comr. Alastair Thomas if a contingent from their squadron will be in attendance by Saturday 4th August by forwarding a completed nominal roll (also attached).

RAAF Korean War Pilot Awarded

At a ceremony at the Australian War Memorial in Canberra, RAAF Flying Officer Phillip Zupp MID was posthumously awarded the United States Air Medal for his actions during the Korean War. This presentation was made by Charge D’Affaires A.I. Mr. James Caruso and accepted by Zupp’s son, Owen Zupp who is himself a Qantas pilot and author.

The Citation for the US Air Medal reads.

“On 6 February 1952 Sergeant Phillip Zupp distinguished himself by meritorious achievement while participating in aerial flight as a Meteor Mark Eight type aircraft pilot, Number 77 Squadron, Royal Australian Air Force, near Kimpo, Republic of Korea, on 6 February 1952. On that date, Sergeant Zupp conducted a search for a downed pilot in an area heavily defended by enemy anti-aircraft fire. Sergeant Zupp sighted what he believed to be distress panels and in coming down to a dangerously low altitude to investigate he received an explosive burst of enemy fire which destroyed his canopy and wounded him in the face. Despite shock and low altitude Sergeant Zupp was able to regain control of his aircraft and return safely to base. The professional skill and airmanship displayed by Sergeant Zupp in the dedication of his service to his country reflect great credit upon himself and the Royal Australian Air Force.”

Zupp had previously served during World War Two with the Australian Army in the 2/10 Cavalry Commando Squadron before re-enlisting in the RAAF in 1949, firstly as a mechanic before being selected to undertake flying training. In Korea he flew 201 fighter missions and was “Mentioned in despatches” by the Commonwealth.

Following on from his RAAF service, Phillip became a civilian pilot are accumulated more than 23,000 flying hours in areas as diverse as charter flying, flight instruction, Qantas, scientific research flying in to rain-making and aeromedical sorties for the Aerial Ambulance.

His story is record in the book “Without Precedent” written by his son Owen.

 

Young Pilot Receives His Wings

Group Commissioner Martin Ball presenting Warrant Officer Bradley Leksas with his pilot wings

17 year old Bradley Leksas, a Warrant Officer at the Gawler Airfield Squadron of the Australian Air League, was recently awarded his AAL Wing by Group Commissioner Martin Ball, Officer Commanding, South Australia Wing.

Bradley is a keen aviator and joined the AAL back in April 2013 and through his dedication has progressed through the ranks to reach the rank of Warrant Officer in November last year.

The AAL assisted Bradley with flying activities and education courses such as the Theory of Flight, Navigation and Aero Engines to name only a few.

Annually, SA Wing awards two $1,000 scholarships to older cadets to undertake flying training. Bradley was awarded his scholarship in August 2016 completed his flying that Adelaide Soaring Club flying gliders. This led Bradley to apply for a second scholarship from Recreational Aviation (RAAus) which he was also successful in winning. Continuing with the Adelaide Soaring Club he commenced his flying training on Light Sports Aircraft in July 2017.

Bradley was awarded his Recreational Pilots Certificate and as a result qualified for the award of Australian Air League Pilot Wings to wear proudly on his uniform.

Bradley plans to pursue a career in commercial aviation, hopefully flying for Qantas or Virgin Australia and is now completing an Associate Degree in Aviation at the Bruce Hartwig Flying School at Parafield Airport and hopes this will lead to his Private Pilot’s licence.

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