When Hamish Douglass enrolled at Griffith to study aviation he never expected his father Brett, already an experienced pilot, to enrol with him.
Hamish has enrolled in a Bachelor of Aviation, while Brett has enrolled a Master of Aviation, both through the School of Natural Sciences.
Together sky’s the limit for this father and son team.
While Hamish has always admired his father’s career choice, it wasn’t until he got the opportunity to fly for the first time on his own at 14 that his passion for aviation took off.
“For me it was euphoric, like everything was together and it was all perfect, peaceful and calm,” he said.
“I knew then that that was all I wanted to do. It was an amazing feeling to be up there.
“I went with an instructor — I just really loved it.”
Both Brett and Hamish are in their first year of their respective studies, but they have different reasons for hitting the books.
Hamish is fresh out of high school and keen to pursue a career as a pilot.
While Brett, who has clocked up more than 18,000 flying hours during his 30 year career — 14 years of those as a pilot with Virgin Australia — wanted to extend his experience in aviation and open up new opportunities in the industry.
“I feel it will add another string to my bow,” he said.
“As a pilot, I am already a valuable asset for Virgin Australia, and obtaining a Masters in Aviation will only increase that value.”
Brett’s passion for flying was similar to how Hamish started out.
“I was just fascinated with planes from a very young age and it was all I ever aspired to do,” he said.
“I am very fortunate to have such longevity in the industry.”
Brett said aviation has come a long way since he began his career with the introduction of GPS and other advanced technology systems and safety.
“I always said to both my sons, Hamish and Mitchell, that I would support them in whatever they wanted to do,” he said.
He said he felt very honoured that Hamish wanted to follow in his footsteps
“For me I’d recommend it to anyone, not just for my son as it is such an interesting field,” he said.
“Aviation is an exciting and rewarding career and is an interesting diverse industry. No two days are the same.”