La Trobe University’s Bendigo community will soon be able to take to the skies with the formation of the La Trobe University Flying Club.
Membership for the club is open to all La Trobe University staff and students, as well as secondary school students.
Professor Chris Stoltz, Professor of Practice in Engineering and the club’s founder, is excited to be making flying accessible to all.
“So many people have dreamt of being able to fly but always thought it would be too expensive,” Professor Stoltz says. “But now the cost of flying lessons is within the reach of almost everybody.”
Centrally located in uncrowded airspace and only 90 minutes from Melbourne, Bendigo is the perfect place for budding pilots to learn to fly.
Founded earlier this year, the club is already establishing an affiliation with the Bendigo Flying Club. Chief Flying Instructor at the Bendigo Flying Club, Linda Beilharz, hopes the partnership can be mutually beneficial.
“We are hoping we can use La Trobe University students to help us develop our online flight training courses as part of their studies and at the same time earn credits to be applied to their own flying lessons,” Ms Beilharz says. “It will be a win-win for us all.”
The University already has strong connections with flying; Associate Professor of Dentistry David Goode is also Senior Flying Instructor at Bendigo Flying Club. He is excited about the new club, and feels his time in the air has helped him to balance the challenges of a career in dentistry.
“Since I was a child I always dreamt of flying,” Dr Goode says. “I’m so glad I’ve been able to continue with my love of flying whilst still maintaining a demanding and fulfilling career in dentistry.”
Professor Stoltz, a private pilot of over 25 years experience, said the La Trobe University Flying Club isn’t just for those who want to be pilots. He hopes all students will consider a future in aviation.
“There’s actually a shortage in many of the fields required for supporting aviation in Australia”, Professor Stoltz said. “For example, there is a strong demand for people who would like to work in aircraft maintenance building and rebuilding aeroplanes and helicopters”.
Professor Stoltz encourages those who are interested in joining the club to contact him via email@example.com