Thales Calil has a novel way to obtain his commercial pilots licence; by helping those in cyclone ravaged areas.
The Griffith Bachelor of Aviation student joined forces with the recently established charity CareFreight as a way to help clock up his mandatory flying hours.
“I see this as a way to use our hours and develop our skills but at the same time giving something back to the community,” he said.
“Flying is my passion and going to flood affected areas and seeing people and how thankful they are for our help.
“I’ve realised that this is what I want to do now; I want to help others.”
Thales is in his final year of studies at the Griffith School of Natural Sciences and is completing his commercial pilot training through Basair at Archerfield Airport.
Through his volunteer work with the State Emergency Services, Thales has flown to Queensland towns such as Chinchilla, Charleville, Thangool and Biloela.
Items flown in to towns affected by Cyclone Marcia included generators and basic cleaning supplies. He has also delivered baked goods to farmers in drought affected areas.
“We use our own time and our own planes to fly these missions,” he said.
Thales said his studies at Griffith had given him to confidence and knowledge to pursue his dream of becoming a commercial pilot for a major airline.
“I’ve seen some amazing sights and experienced some amazing places – it’s the best career anyone can choose,” he said.
“Griffith has also allowed me to have a great network of friends and we will remain friends for many years.”
CareFreight was founded by fellow private pilot Tom Robertson. Any students looking to donate their time to the charity can find out more by visiting www.facebook.com/carefreight.org