Aviation student flies to top of his class

Keegan Caarkeuken, Mt Cook Airlines pilot and Bachelor of Aviation mentor, presents Marc Icaro with the Air New Zealand Flying Award. 

Marc Icaro has been named the top pilot of his class at Massey's School of Aviation, taking out the Air New Zealand Flying Award at the school’s recent Wings Ceremony. He said he was “surprised” by the award, but pleased to have achieved excellent results in the flight examinations for his commercial pilot’s licence and instrument rating.

The School of Aviation’s Wings Ceremony takes place as each cohort completes the flight-training component of the Bachelor of Aviation degree. For most, getting their commercial pilot’s licence, or ‘Wings’, is just as significant as their graduation ceremony.

“We all felt relieved when we finally received our Wings as it meant we had survived over two years of non-stop studying. The longest break most people had was a two-week Christmas break,” Mr Icaro said. “It also means we have completed the first stage of our aviation careers, and are now moving onto the the next.”

Mr Icaro said he first developed a love for flying when he was in Year 12  at Alfriston College and received a scholarship for a four-week aviation gateway programme.

“It gave me an opportunity to complete four 30-minute introductory flights and six aviation-related papers that contributed to my NCEA Level 2 credits. The flights allowed me to see the Earth from a completely different perspective. When you take control of an aircraft, you have the freedom to go to any place, at any time.”

He says his most memorable experiences at Massey were taking his family up for scenic flights.

“I flew my dad to Ardmore via Taupo, Rotorua, Tauranga and Coromandel; I flew around the Auckland CBD with my cousin and brother; and then flew back to Palmy with my mum and little brother via Napier. I was also able to take my 74-year old grandmother for a flight over Palmerston North City.”

Mr Icaro is currently back in Takanini and completing his final Bachelor of Aviation papers via distance learning to reduce his workload next year. He hopes to enter Massey’s flight instructor’s course and, ultimately, to become a pilot for a commercial airline.

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