Aviation student soars to a hat trick

Mark Costello from Airways presenting the Airways Academic Award to Perrin Turner. 

A former Palmerston North Boy’s High School student has taken out three awards at Massey’s School of Aviation Wings Ceremony. Perrin Turner received the Airway’s Corporation Academic Award, the Fieldair Engineering Aviation Systems Award and the Hugh Francis Navigation Award, and was the only student to be recognised in more than one category.

He said he was confident of winning the navigation award but was surprised to take out the other two.

“It means so much to get recognition for all the hard work over the last two years. My class had a healthy competition in all the subjects, we pushed each other and always aimed to excel rather than just pass,” he said.

“After seeing the awards handed out at the first Wings Ceremony I attended, I found out what you had to do to receive the awards and worked as hard as I could to give myself the best chance. So, to receive three of the possible six awards is absolutely amazing, I still can’t quite fathom it now.”

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.

“It was amazing to receive my Wings, it had been a long time coming and to finally get something that physically represented my hard work and achievements was awesome,” Mr Turner said.

Mr Turner said he first developed a love for flying as a child because his father was in the New Zealand Air Force.

“I have been in and around Ohakea my entire life. My dad has a huge passion for anything to do with aviation, so it was easy for me to learn more. He took me to many air shows both here and overseas, which really inspired me to fly.” 

He said his most memorable experiences at Massey are flights taken with friends.

“I took my friend Kieran and my classmate Tabitha to Matamata during the Walsh Memorial Scout Flying School in January this year. I had attended Walsh twice and it was where I first flew solo. So, to fly myself in with two friends, and catch up with everyone was really cool.” 

Mr Turner will continue to work at Airways as a simulator pilot while he completes the remaining papers in his Bachelor of Aviation degree, and then hopes to secure a flying job in Australia.

“I’m also planning on doing some Warbird flying in Masterton,” he said. “In the long-term, I do plan to get into a commercial airline eventually – and fly Warbirds on the side.”

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