By Brad Greenshields of Coffs Coast Advocate
FOR eight Papua New Guinean airline pilot cadets earning their golden
wings at last week's graduation has been the culmination 18 months of
intense theoretical and practical training.
But the tireless days, long nights and early morning starts while at
professional pilot training were a small price to pay in comparison to
what they have achieved.
Of the thousands who applied for the cadet training course, only the
creme de la creme were chosen.
Some even had to choose between their studies in university and pilot school.
Cadet Philip Polum left his Applied Physics course in his final year
of studies to pursue this career.
"It was always my dream to be a pilot and I have always worked towards
that my whole life," Philip said.
Under the sponsorship of Papua New Guinea's airline, Air Niugini, the
cadets were able to fulfil their dream.
Upon their return to Papua New Guinea, they'll undergo further
training to become first officers on the Dash 8.
Fellow cadet Alwas Popo said the opportunity to fly over the Coffs
Coast has been a truly magnificent experience but the friendships
forged has been a greater reward.
"We haven't only enjoyed your skies and the weather here, we've made
heaps of friends and I don't think we'll ever forget the memories
we've made here" Alwas said.