The Airline Academy of Australia (The Academy) has engaged aviation veteran Ray Heiniger, one of the four senior Qantas captains to set a world record for the first non-stop flight from London to Sydney in 1989, to assist with its Flight Instructor Rating programme.
In 1989 Mr Heiniger was part of a crew whose 20 hour 09 minute and 05 second journey on the airline’s first Boeing 747-400 still holds the Fédération Aéronautique Internationale (FAI) World Record for speed over a recognised course. The flight also set the World Record for distance without a stop. Both records in class C-1t (Landplanes: take-off weight 300, 000kg to 400,000kg).
Four next generation instructors will now have the unprecedented opportunity to call the world-renowned pilot their mentor.
“I’ve been around this industry for as long as I can remember, so to be able to now take some of that experience and share it with such a spirited bunch of young people is wonderful,” Mr Heiniger said.
“What The Academy has put together at Archerfield and now at the Brisbane West Wellcamp campus is state-of-the-art – they have assembled one of the best teams in the industry.
“It’s certainly hard not to love what you’re doing when you’re surrounded by such enthusiasm and dedication. These young kids are the ideal candidates for this industry – intelligent, resourceful and ready for the challenges that lie ahead,” he said.
Former Chief Flying Instructor and senior Roulettes Pilot on the RAAF’s famous Jet Aerobatic Team Robert Loretan will join Mr Heiniger, giving the four student instructors invaluable guidance on theoretical and practical flying, integrated with leadership, intense personal development and precise manipulative skills.
Academy Group Managing Director Craig Duncan said it’s a major coup to be able to offer the training course under two such industry veterans, alongside one of the 100-year-old flying school’s most decorated senior pilots Don Mitchell – who has more than 28,000 hours’ flying experience – as well as its newest and highly experienced Grade 1 instructor Catherine Chaney.
“Aviation is a booming industry – the Asia-Pacific region alone is calling out for something like 28 new pilots every day. The demand is outstripping supply so quickly so top tier training organisations such as the Academy simply have to step up and deliver for the industry.
“This increasing demand is most prevalent in our region of the world amid predictions more than half a million commercial airline pilots will be needed over the next 20 years.
“We will therefore continue to expand our operations to ensure as many pilots heading out to fly the world’s fleet into the future will be trained right here in Australia, and to the highest industry standards.
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