Study in back of chopper a reality for online student

RACQ Lifeflight aircrewman instructor Shaun Gillott (in the helicopter) often studies online in the back of the chopper between jobs.

Studying in the back of a rescue helicopter while waiting for patients or returning to base is often the reality for RACQ LifeFlight aircrewman instructor and Griffith University online student Shaun Gillott.

The Bachelor of Aviation student’s passion for aviation started during his time in the army, before working on rescue helicopters in Victoria and New South Wales, and eventually ending up with LifeFlight in Toowoomba.

Shaun Gillott

“Day to day involves both conducting aviation safety and helicopter rescue training as well as working on the rescue helicopter,” Shaun said.

“Time on the helicopter can include transferring a patient from a small regional hospital to a bigger hospital in Brisbane, Toowoomba or Sunshine Coast, landing at a car or farming accident, or conducting a winch rescue for lost or injured people in difficult or remote areas.”

Shaun said Griffith University’s online study offerings allowed him to undertake his course with flexibility while maintaining a hectic schedule.

“I primarily study on my iPad and I download the content, so it is available whenever and wherever I need it,” Shaun said.

“This approach has allowed me to study easily when I’m away from home or if I find 15 minutes throughout my day.

“I have been known to study in the back of the helicopter or in a hospital while we wait for the patient to arrive.”

Online study has enabled Shaun to continue living in Toowoomba with his family, keeping the transition from learning to family time as smooth as possible.

“The flexible learning options offered by Griffith allowed me to manage a dynamic work schedule, study and a young family,” he said.

“I like that the online offerings gives me the flexibility to study when it suits me and the ability to better balance my time, whilst also experiencing no reduction in learning quality.”

Shaun aims to use his degree to advance his career within the aviation industry.

Shaun (middle) studies a Bachelor of Aviation online while working for LifeFlight.

“I’m a helicopter aircrewman instructor with RACQ LifeFlight Australia teaching aircrewman and medical staff helicopter safety and rescue procedure and would like to move from flight crew and progress into management,” he said.

“I love the work I do, every day is different and the service rescue helicopters provide is vital.

“I want to advance my career in aviation so I can continue to support the rescue helicopter industry in providing the best possible service.

“Studying Aviation Management will allow me to continue my support to the industry in a more strategic way.”

He encouraged anyone thinking about studying online to give it a go.

“It is easier than you may think,” he said.

“The resources supplied by Griffith and the advancement in IT means there are no extra challenges studying online compared to studying on campus.

“I also really like that you can rewatch lectures as much as you like and you choose when to study.”