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Air Force the logical choice for Wellington Wings graduate

Flying Officer Mary Woolston beside one of the RNZAF Beech King Air aircraft she will conduct the final phase of her advanced pilot training in.


31 July, 2007

Wellington’s Mary Woolston says turning down a university scholarship in favour of becoming a Royal New Zealand Air Force pilot is one of the best moves she has ever made.

And on Thursday, at just 20 years of age, the former Tawa College student will graduate with her wings at RNZAF Base Ohakea.

“I haven’t once regretted my choice to join the airforce straight out of school instead of attending university,” Pilot Officer Woolston said.

“With no student loan and lots of exciting flying becoming a pilot was an opportunity I couldn’t let go. I’m not too worried about which aircraft I end up flying, I’m just looking forward to having fun doing it and traveling the world as much as possible.”

RNZAF pilot graduation ceremonies are held twice per year and represent the culmination of more than 14 months of study and more than 200 hours of flying time by student pilots.

“The highlight of the course was spending a week in the South Island flying RNZAF Airtrainers. The scenery was beautiful and we did some cool flying.”

Flying Officer Woolston will now undertake the final phase of advanced pilot training before she is qualified to fly the RNZAF Hercules, Orion, Seasprite or Iroquois helicopter.

Chief of Air Force Air Vice-Marshal Graham Lintott will present the brevets on graduation day following a graduation parade at 2pm.