March 17, 2020
MLC Year 12 student and Pilot in Training, Mia Owen piloted her first flight at just 15 years old. Since then, she’s pursued her dream of becoming a bona fide pilot through pilot training programs and volunteer opportunities, like Scouts Air Activities which gives disadvantaged kids the opportunity to experience a flight.

We asked Mia everything there is to know about becoming a pilot in training, and it’s an even more impressive feat than you’d think. Read on to find out about getting started in aviation, and the MLC community mentors that are helping her dreams to take flight.

Mia (front right) with fellow pilots in training

How did you get started in aviation?

“I started my flight training when I was only 15 years old.  It was a very special birthday present from my parents and to this day I remember every moment so clearly. To have my hands on the controls of an aircraft and know that my manipulation was turning the plane was so exhilarating!”

When did aviation turn into a career goal?

“I guess my passion became a career possibility when I got the placement at QANTAS for work experience in year 10 and other additional Industry experiences with the company. Today woman are statistically underrepresented in the aviation industry. However, the opportunities for women in the industry are greater than ever and the benefits that are offered for career development as a pilot are truly invaluable. Never limit yourself!”

The view from Mia's aircraft

What does a day in the life of a training pilot look like?

“I can definitely say it requires a lot of work,” laughs Mia.

“These days I find myself down at Moorabbin Airport on the weekends and sometimes weekdays completing cross country navigational flights ranging from 3.5 hours to a full day. The flights are an awesome experience however do demand quite extensive contingency preparation.

“When I’m not flying or sitting theory classes, I’m mentoring the St Kevin’s College, Loreto Mandeville Hall and ab-initio students through my position as Aviation captain. I’m also volunteering with Scouts Air Activities where we provide disadvantaged children the opportunity to experience a flight.

“It’s quite a bit of work, however I’ve been incredibly fortunate to have several QANTAS Pilots mentoring me through my flight training including MLC Old Collegian, Captain Davida Forshaw and MLC parent, Captain Paul Hutchinson.”

What are your tertiary study and career goals?

“I'm definitely invested in a career in Aviation. I’m planning to study an Aviation degree like Aviation Management or even perhaps Aviation Business/Law.

“In the future, my dream would be to work with QANTAS in the international flight operations and then volunteer with the Orbis Flying Eye Hospital in either my days off or when I retire.”

What will you miss most about MLC after Year 12?

“I'm really enjoying year 12! I see my schooling experience like my flight training; I love to throw myself into all the different opportunities MLC provides including PAF, House Cheerleading and even the new challenge of Drumline. MLC has such a wide array of interest groups, so this is what I will miss most.”

All images courtesy of Mia Owen.

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