• Kate Lovegrove is embarking on an aviation career that she hopes will lead to flying for the RFDS. (supplied)
    Kate Lovegrove is embarking on an aviation career that she hopes will lead to flying for the RFDS. (supplied)

– Rosemarie John

Having her initial trial instructional flight a few days before her 15th birthday, Kate Lovegrove has always dreamed about being a pilot.

“I plan to work as a commercial pilot, but my ambition is to work for the Royal Flying Doctor Service,” says Kate.

Watching planes take off and land at the Rockhampton Airport with her father since she was a little girl, Kate is clear about her future.

“I think of flying all the time. I will earn my instructor rating and hopefully work in my hometown.”

With her nose in the books, her spirit often fluttered to the skies. The final-year student at CQ University spends two days a week in university and sets one full day a week to flying at the aero club.

“My instructor is incredible and the Rockhampton Aero Club is extremely flexible. I hope to get my Recreational Pilot License (RPL) in the next few months,” says Kate.

Pilot training is a costly endeavour and with the aid of a Learn to Fly scholarship sponsored by Airservices Australia, achieving those silver wings become somewhat easier.

Kate would need to complete at least 25 hours flying time including a minimum of 20 hours dual and five hours as pilot-in-command to achieve her RPL.

The scholarship provides $7700 worth of flying lessons.

“Being selected for this scholarship made me feel incredibly lucky. I’ve never been the one to win anything before, and to win a scholarship for something that I am so passionate about means so much to me. It has inspired me and encouraged me to work hard for my goals!”

Flying a Cessna 172, Kate feels at home in the single-engine aircraft.

“The sense of being away from everything on the ground—the spectacular views and the feeling of being in control of an aircraft—to me is the best part about flying.”

According to the International Society of Women Airline Pilots, just over 5% of pilots worldwide are female.

“It’s a great feeling knowing that I have the opportunity to do what I do. Women are fearless and we can do anything! I have met so many amazing individuals, all of whom support me. It’s more that I could ever ask for,” adds Kate.

It's stories like Kate’s that influence more women to get into the industry. If flying isn’t for you but a career in aviation is, visit the Airservices Australia careers page.

The aviation ecosystem is vast and dynamic. Perhaps a career in air traffic control, aviation rescue firefighting, and engineering or even information management might be just right for you.

Airservices Australia makes a significant financial contribution to the aviation industry as part of its mandate to foster and promote civil aviation, largely in the form of sponsorships and other charitable giving.

Rosemarie John is a Communications Officer at Airservices Australia. This story was supplied by Airservices Australia.

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