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Students at The Armidale School are taking to the skies, propelled by the one of the broadest subject choices on offer at a regional school.
Aviation Studies is one of the most popular of 63 semester-long electives available to Year 9 and 10 students this year, and is giving them insight into what it takes to become a qualified pilot.
Using a flight simulator in class, students have familiarised themselves with aircraft instruments and the concepts of aerodynamics and airmanship, radio communication and aerial navigation.
In collaboration with the Armidale Aero Club, students have also performed pre-flight checks of a Cessna 172 and taken to the skies at two trial introductory flights. It gives them a hands-on opportunity to sit in a pilots seat alongside a flight instructor and fly an aircraft. Theses events have also been popular with parents, who have joined their sons and daughters for the experience.
“Flying gives you so much freedom, I’m looking forward to getting my unrestricted licence when I turn 17,” said Angus Earle, of Dingadee, Mungindi, NSW. Angus is one of several to commence flight instruction and has already gone solo.
“The Aviation elective has been great for the theory that I need in my written exams for flying. With so many electives you can try different things, and get an understanding of what you might want to specialise in for the HSC and later in life.”
In addition to flying, Angus is a member of the TAS GPS Rifle Shooting team, and also plays violin with the school’s Camerata Ensemble, which last month performed to accolades at the Armidale Eisteddfod.
Over the years numerous students have gone on from studying aviation at TAS to fly in the Royal Australian Air Force, for commercial airlines, as charter plane or helicopter pilots, or flying instructors.
Under the innovative Stage 5 elective program, students have a choice of more than 120 electives over the two years, most with links to HSC subjects. New units in Semester 2 include Fabric of Life which explores the production, properties and performance of a variety of fibres, and Fine Metal Jewellery.
Photo: TAS boarders learner pilot Angus Earle, Mungindi, and Kim Bange, Narrabri, (with teacher Mr Alasdair Hey) enjoy Aviation Studies at TAS.