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Two more pilots on their way to high flying

Joël Rominger (left) and Ueli Müller (right) with MAF Chief Flight Instructor Marcus Grey (centre)

Student pilots, Joël Rominger and Ueli Müller have recently graduated from the Pilot Training Programme offered by Aviation Australia in association with Mission Aviation Fellowship (MAF) – delivered out of the MAF Training Centre in Mareeba.

Both Joël and Ulrich arrived from Switzerland with some previous flying experience, so the instructor team were able to tailor their training programmes to each of their individual requirements. Each student has graduated the program with their respective Diploma of Aviation qualifications.

Due to their success in the programme, both Ueli and Joël have opportunities to undertake assignments with Mission Aviation Fellowships and are now completing their MAF Standardisation training before being allocated their first assignment to fly in one of the many MAF programmes across the world, serving remote and isolated communities. They both dream of using their pilot skills to fly with MAF in Africa.

Aviation Australia would like to congratulate Joël and Ueli and look forward to following their journey. Take a look at each student’s journey below:

Ulrich (Ueli) Müller

Having wanted to become a pilot from a young age, Ueli’s dreams were crushed by a teacher at school who said there was no way it would be possible. Instead he took a path into engineering and later into mission work for 8 years in Nairobi, Kenya working on a Cessna 182 aircraft.

It was in Nairobi, that Ueli started to work towards his dream and gained his Private Pilots Licence (PPL). On his return to Europe, Ueli didn’t think he would be able to use the licence and gave up flying until 2014, when he and his wife decided that he should pursue his training once again, completing his Commercial Pilots Licence (CPL) in Switzerland.

Having gained the different pilots licences in different flight schools, on different continents, Ueli commented that he was very influenced by the training team in Mareeba.

“There was a huge difference to study with instructors who have a calling to do what they are doing, rather than someone who just does it for the money” said Ueli.

From his experiences in Mareeba, Ueli recommends the training program with Aviation Australia and MAF Training Centre to others, saying that there is so much support and encouragement.

“There was so much caring for each other and support from the day we arrived. The spirit of everyone wanting you to succeed as well and working with you to achieve that”.

Ulrich commenced training in April 2018, already having his Swiss Commercial Pilots Licence, and completed his Diploma of Aviation (Instrument Rating) training in August 2018.

Joël Rominger

After experiencing a flight simulator as a teenager and completing a short mission trip in Madagascar a decade ago, Joël knew he wanted to implement his skills as a meteorologist in safely flying for people in need.

Having initially started his flight training in Switzerland, Joël really appreciated being taught by such experienced instructors, commenting that this was one of the outstanding features of the MAF Training Centre in Mareeba.

Reflecting on his training, Joël especially remembers the opportunity to participate in a safari to the MAF Programme in Arnhem Land where he got to experience what life is really like for a mission pilot. Another highlight was flying for the first time into cloud on instruments and completing his first Instrument Landing System (ILS) approach into Cairns.

The welcome Joël received along with his wife was also memorable, being treated like family from the beginning by staff and student families alike also made a real difference to his training experience.

Joël commenced training in August 2017 for his Diploma of Aviation (Commercial Pilot Licence – Aeroplane) and then went on to complete his Diploma of Aviation (Instrument Rating).

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