Since I was a kid I remember being in awe of planes. Standing at the airport and looking out the window at the planes on the tarmac has always been a fond memory of mine.
Unfortunately for me though, the experience of actually being on the plane though was not as much fun. I have always been prone to pretty severe motion sickness! This is something that has dissipated as I have gotten older but it’s something that still continues to linger in the back of my mind. Because of this I had never actually been in a light aircraft. Roughly 2 years ago I started to really think about a new career and on a flight back from Adelaide it really hit me that learning to fly could finally be something I could have a go at. Due to business commitments it took until January of this year to finally pull the trigger and decide to really give it a go and now there is no turning back. I have had a couple of unfortunate flights where the nausea* began to set in, but I am determined to push past this and continue with my training!
In the months leading up to my decision to learn to fly, I was doing my research on flight schools in my area. Living in Brisbane’s south west, Archerfield was the logical option. However after continuous research I wasn’t overly impressed with the lack of information provided by my local flight schools. I can’t remember for the life of me what I typed into Google but I finally found a page entitled Steps towards becoming a pilot from GoFly Aviation. Finally I had in front of me a logical order that I could make sense of! (If you can’t already tell, I REALLY need that.)
After reading through the article I looked further into the GoFly page not actually expecting them to be located in QLD, but to my delight they were. If I wasn’t already sold (I was) on this flight school, I certainly would have been after discovering the series of ‘Taking Flight‘ videos produced by the school. The videos were fantastic and really drove home the process involved in learning to fly. I recommend to everyone that they watch this series if they are interested in learning to fly!
The thing I have enjoyed the most about learning to fly is the personal challenge. While the actual flying itself is not overly difficult – the amount there is to learn, and pushing myself to remember procedures and become a good pilot has been very rewarding. Of course, being up in the air with incredible views of the sunshine coast is just another perk!
If I could pick one goal, it would be to fly the biggest planes I can! I absolutely love the Airbus A380 and am so impressed by the engineering involved in big aircraft that it would be a privilege to fly them. Having said that, even if I am only able to have the freedom to private hire a plane and take Erin and myself away for the weekend, I would still consider that a win.
I would just like to say thank you to all the team at GoFly for welcoming both my wife Erin & I, with such open arms. And a big thanks to Paul my instructor, for being so continuously encouraging and patient (even when I start to feel a bit nauseous!).[Josh took his first flight on 31 Jan and passed his RPC flight test just 11 weeks later.]
I have lived my whole life with a fear of flying, and I actually never wanted to learn to fly! I came into 2020 wanting to overcome some specific fears; flying being a big one, so I tagged along with Josh to an information session at GoFly in January and ended up booking an introductory flight – just to see if I could do it!
On the day of the trial flight I think I mentally cancelled a hundred times. But I went ahead with it. What I experienced changed my entire life. From that day forward, learning to fly was all that I wanted to do, and the journey so far has been nothing short of incredible.
When choosing GoFly, what initially stood out for me were the online resources. The amount of material that is made available for students, and also the quality of that material, is just amazing. The online video lessons really are the next best thing to being in the plane yourself, and it provides a learning experience that you just won’t find anywhere else.
I felt GoFly was the most welcoming and friendly school, and I still feel that way! Everyone really is so genuinely nice, it feels like you are part of a big family.
The thing that I have enjoyed most about being able to fly is overcoming my fear. My fear of flying is something that has stopped me from doing so many things over the years, and the freedom that flight training has given me is something that I cannot put into words. Learning to fly has put me on a completely new life path – it has given me confidence in myself, freedom and a sense of accomplishment.
As far as my future goals, I’m really passionate about the medical field, and my current goal is to be able to fly for the Royal Flying Doctor Service, however I always like to keep my options open, and I’m really excited to see where else this could lead me!
GoFly has given me the opportunity to get out of my comfort zone and experience real growth, not just as a student pilot, but as a person. I can’t thank Nathan and everybody else at the school enough, for the constant support and motivation, and for helping me break through my own mental barriers.
For anyone who is considering learning to fly, but hasn’t yet taken the leap, just do it! If I can do it, anyone can do it!
To follow Erin Dougla’s journey and see some of Josh’s great pics, follow Erin on Instagram.
To read more GoFly Graduate profiles, click here.