Current Year 10 student, Kate Boschen, is following her heart’s desire to become a pilot. At only 16 years of age, Kate can already fly a small plane solo. For Kate, flying solo is the biggest milestone in her aviation career to date.
Kate’s pursuit of this dream occurred over the recent summer break when she spent two weeks full-time at the Ballarat Aero Club to complete both her study on basic air knowledge theory and achieve her flying status as a solo pilot. However, her mother, Susan, believes that Kate has demonstrated pilot-like skills long before her interest in flying developed.
“I knew she had skills as a pilot when we went to Disneyland many years ago,” said Susan. “She drove one of the dodgem cars without bumping into anyone. She has the skill of awareness which a pilot needs above anything else.”
Kate’s father, Rob, has been a role model for Kate, having started flying when he was her age. He now runs the aerial fire fighting service, AGAIR, while his wife, Susan, works in the administration department of the company.
“I’ve been surrounded by planes my entire life,” said Kate. “One day dad and I were flying home and he asked me if I wanted to have a go. He told me I had a good feel for flying.”
Kate dedicates a total of 13 hours to both aviation theory and practical work each week, but this can vary due to Ballarat’s unpredictable weather.
“You don’t see many young people flying,” said Kate. “There’s only one other person my age that I fly with.”
Flying instructor at the Ballarat Aero Club, Andrew McIntosh, says there is a big push to get more young women into aviation.
“There are a huge number of opportunities open to Kate at this stage,” said Andrew. “It’s good to see someone at her age being so focused and knowing exactly what they want to do.”
She aims to obtain her recreational pilot’s licence, which allows her to fly a light, single engine aircraft without supervision, at the end of this term. Following that, she will try for her commercial pilot’s licence, which will qualify her for paid pilot work. Kate’s heart’s desire is to complete her VCE studies and obtain her commercial pilot’s licence so that she can apply for work at major airlines, such as Qantas, or join the family company.
Susan believes that Ballarat Clarendon College has played a pivotal role in Kate’s development as a pilot.
“The skills that Clarendon gives their students at a young age, such as the motivation to keep trying, is so valuable,” she said. “It’s not about being the best, but about being the best that they can be.”
Kate’s younger sister and Old Collegian, Jenna, is also pursuing her dream career as a professional dancer. She currently studies Ballet in Sydney and is receiving offers from multiple dance schools in Europe.
Ballarat Clarendon College is extremely proud of all our students – each one pursuing their heart’s desire in their chosen field. Through hard, smart work and perseverance, anything is possible.
Written by Chelsea Byrne
Kate straight after her first solo flight
The christening of the newest solo pilot