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North Shore woman flying high for Air Force

PLTOFF Michal-Louise Paget with CT-4 Airtrainer. OH09 0518 064

The North Shore’s Michal-Louise Paget is set to take to the skies as a pilot for the Royal New Zealand Air Force.

The 21-year-old former student of Westlake Girls High School and St Cuthbert’s College received her pilot’s brevet after graduating from the Air Force’s Wings course in front of family and friends.

Pilot Officer Paget says she joined the Air Force for the challenge.

“I wanted to prove that girls are just as capable in a ‘mans world’. I am also looking forward to the travel opportunities on New Zealand Defence Force operations and to assist with humanitarian relief.”

During the graduation ceremony, PLTOFF Paget was presented with the de Lange Trophy which is awarded to the pilot gaining the highest final flying mark on graduation from pilot training.

Reflecting on her year of flight training, PLTOFF Paget says it was challenging but support from family and friends was invaluable.

“It takes a lot of hard work and determination, and most of all you need the support from your family and friends that believe in you. I will never be able to thank those who supported me enough,” she said.

The graduation parade, held at RNZAF Base Ohakea on Thursday 20 August, was reviewed by the Minister of Defence, the Honourable Doctor Wayne Mapp.

The RNZAF pilot graduation ceremony represents the culmination of more than a year of study and more than 200 hours of flying time by student pilots.