By BOSORINA ROBBY in The National
MEET 21-year-old cadet first officer Rhoda Jane Ilave, who recently graduated from Air Niugini’s cadet training course for pilots and engineers, and an awardee of the Sir Donald Anderson Trophy for female pilots in
The trophy, sponsored by the Australian Civil Aviation Safety Authority, is awarded annually to three women pilots with the highest aviation exam results over the past year.
Ilave is probably the first female pilot in
She received the award last week.
Air Niugini chief executive officer Wasantha Kumarasiri said yesterday Ilave’s achievement was not just for Air Niugini but also for PNG.
“Young Rhoda has made everyone proud, her family, Air Niugini, the airline industry and PNG in general,” he said.
Ilave was studying second year medicine at the UPNG Medical Faculty when she decided to apply for the Air Niugini cadetship programme in 2008.
Inspired by her elder brother, who is also a cadet pilot with Air Niugini, Ilave did very well in her studies at flight school in
“She did very well in both her theory classes and practical tests. She passed all seven commercial pilot licence examinations in five months and accomplished brilliant results, scoring 100% for one examination, 95% and above for five other examinations and 88% for another,” Kumarasiri said.
“In the same year, she completed her seven Airline Trasport pilot licence examination in two and a half months, scoring 97% in two examinations and more than 80% for other examinations,” he said.
The cadetship programme is open to Grade 12 and above students with excellent results in all areas, particularly in physics, mathematics A and English.
Since 1989, the cadetship has seen at least six young people every year to be trained at various pilot training schools, the current being at the Professional Pilot Training at
Kumarasiri said Air Niugini invested millions of kina annually in training young pilots and engineers whose results were commendable and comforting for the airline and its valued customers.
Graduating last December, Ilave is now one of six female PNG pilots with Air Niugini.
Ilave said she was quite shocked to win the award but was grateful for the tremendous honour.
“It’s really good and I am glad the Australian Women’s Pilots’ Association does such things to recognise females and to encourage them.
“The cadetship is a good thing that Air Niugini does for young people to decide for a career in aviation.
“I now look forward to a promising career with Air Niugini and to progress onto bigger aircraft in the future,” Ilave said.