KEEPING BUSY: Kate Lovegrove is balancing her flying lessons and pilot studies with university and work.
KEEPING BUSY: Kate Lovegrove is balancing her flying lessons and pilot studies with university and work. Kate Lovegrove

Local girl flying high after scholarship win

KATE Lovegrove can remember going to the Rockhampton Airport with her father when she was little to watch the planes take off and land. Now, aged 19, her love for flying has not faded.

Taking strides towards becoming a commercial pilot, Ms Lovegrove was recently awarded the 2019 Royal Federation of Aero Clubs Australia Learn to Fly Scholarship.

The scholarship provides 25 hours of flying lessons and $7700 to help a dream of learning to fly and becoming a pilot.

"I didn't think I would get it, I knew there were so many people applying for it all over Australia, but my instructor told me to give it a shot,” she said.

Kate has been passionate about all things flying since she was a young girl.
Kate has been passionate about all things flying since she was a young girl. Kate Lovegrove

Hanging out watching TV at her best friend's place, Ms Lovegrove said she was shocked when she got the call from the president of Rockhampton Aero Club.

"I was just so excited when I found out, I couldn't even believe it really,” she said.

"I just don't have much faith in myself honestly. I was kind of shocked when I won.”

To become a commercial pilot, Ms Lovegrove needs to gain a private licence then pass several examinations

On top of flying lessons, she is working and studying teaching at CQUniversity.

Finding time to fit it all in can be difficult, but so far it had worked out, she said.

"With uni and with the Aero Club you graduate with a commercial licence, the only thing that's different is the Aero Club is really hands on,” she said.

"When you go through uni you don't do any in flight training until your second or third year. "It was such a hard decision for me though. But I think the flexibility of the Aero Club is what stood out.”

Rob Mitchell from Rockhampton Control Tower/Airservices Australia, Kate Lovegrove and RFACA regional director Graham Dooley at a formal presentation at Rockhampton Aero Club on Friday night.
Rob Mitchell from Rockhampton Control Tower/Airservices Australia, Kate Lovegrove and RFACA regional director Graham Dooley at a formal presentation at Rockhampton Aero Club on Friday night. Rockhampton Aero Club

At the Aero Club Ms Lovegrove can fit her lessons around her schedule, which means she can balance her busy life a little more easily.

Still unsure which of her loves, teaching or flying, would win out in the end, she said she was lucky to have choices she was so passionate about.

"I only have a year and half left of teaching left, so I am more than halfway,” she said.

"My pilot's licence should definitely be done in the next three years, so I think I am set for choices.”

Ms Lovegrove still makes time to stop at the airport to watch the planes.

"I would drive past the airport every day when I lived near there so I would stop every day and sit there for half an hour and watch the planes or I would go there and do my homework... I have just always been really drawn to the airport,” she said.

"I could sit there for hours.”



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