Rae McEwen of Aussie Air at Ballina Airport.
Rae McEwen of Aussie Air at Ballina Airport. Patrick Gorbunovs

Rae flies into freedom

FOR RAE McEwen, co-owner of Aussie Air Charter and Training at Ballina, flying is about freedom.

"The most rewarding thing is taking a novice pilot and giving them their freedom in the air," he said.

"But with that freedom comes great responsibility."

Aussie Air began when Mr McEwen and two other partners took over the Ballina-Casino Flying School in 2004.

Since 2010 Mr McEwen and his wife Victoria have been sole owners of the company, providing flight training to students as young as 14.

"Our son started learning when he was 14 and was flying at 16," said Ms McEwen.

"Our oldest student in his 80s; learning to fly is one of those lifelong ambitions you can fulfil in retirement."

Aussie Air is now awaiting approval to provide pilots with instrument flight training.

"This means we can train people up to commercial pilot standard," said Mr McEwen.

"So we can provide people with a career path through to being airline pilots in commercial aviation."

Mr McEwen said it costs about $10,000 to get through to a restricted licence or General Flying Progress Test.

Pilots need to have 10-15 hours' flying time logged before going solo and a fully fuelled plane costs around $200 per hour to hire.

You can contact Mr McEwen on 0427 228 886.



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