Our Chief Flying Instructor Chris grew up in a small town with no airfield or aircraft and only got into aviation because a friend lent him a flight simulator! As soon as he moved to the ‘big city’, he commenced his RPC training.
He became an instructor part-time for him to study for his commercial pilot’s licence; initially wanting to go to the airlines, but he started enjoying instructing so much, he stuck with it.
‘When you’re flying, it’s all you’re focussed on. The rest of your life kind of disappears for an hour.”
He finds his favourite part about teaching to be when students have a ‘lightbulb moment’ after accomplishing something really complicated he’s been trying to teach them.
“It’s so rewarding, especially when they eventually go solo, or eventually take up a passenger.”
Senior instructor Michel is originally Swiss but grew up in Johannesburg, South Africa. He shares his passion for flying with his father, who is also a keen aviator. They built their first Sling 4 kit together in 2016 and Michel even taught his father how to fly it.
He tasted the freedom of flying at the age of two, when his dad took him for his first flight in a microlight. He fell in love and started flying lessons at the age of fourteen, obtaining his first license at fifteen.
Michel has been an instructor since 2020 and is proud to share his knowledge and experience with students to help them to achieve their goals.
Michel has helped build many Sling aircraft over the years and frequently conducts flight testing on aircraft for Global Aviation Products. With his vast knowledge of the Sling and its systems, his lessons are deep in knowledge and application.
Instructor Charlie grew up in China and New Zealand and used to work as a student consultant and as part of his family’s business, but realised it was not something he was passionate about.
“I asked myself, is this what I want to do for the rest of my life?”
So he became a pilot!
As a young child, he shared his dream of becoming a pilot with his father – who he has not seen in four years. Charlie hopes to take his dad for a fly one day as he has been Charlie’s biggest supporter.
“I became an instructor because I want to share my passion and experience for aviation with people – especially aspiring pilots.”
Flight instruction started as a fun endeavour and great opportunity to refine Lachlan’s own skills while imparting knowledge and experience on to others. Lachlan wanted to give back to the aviation community by inspiring and teaching student pilots.
‘It’s rewarding to see my students’ accomplishments as a part of my own experience, but also the experience of my own instructors and the instructors before them.”
Lachlan considers himself as laid back, making it as fun as possible, believing students learn best with less stress.
His favourite flying activity is to fly formation. “Naturally, it doesn’t feel like you should be flying that close to each other, so there is an element of trust involved with the other pilots.”
We’re lucky to have recently welcomed instructor Graham to the team who moved to Australia from the UK and has become an RAAus instructor in his retirement.
His first ever flight was in a ‘smelly’ Chipmunk and in one hour, with a few aerobatic manoeuvres – he was hooked. Then, at the age of fifteen, he got his pilot’s licence through the Air Cadets.
Graham flew privately for many years, but never went down the commercial route. He owned a share in a Cherokee and spent his weekends flying between France and the UK.
Working in a high-pressure job meant he needed a form of release, and aviation became the perfect outlet.
His favourite quote is from famous author, Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, “I fly because it releases my mind from the tyranny of petty things.”