Student’s love of physics leads to aviation success

Cameron Nayler pictured with one of the School of Aviation's Diamond aircraft.

Growing up next to Whenuapai Airbase in Auckland’s north-west meant Cameron Nayler saw aircraft in action from a young age. Now the Massey University aviation student has been named top of his class. The former Westlake Boys’ High School pupil won the Massey University School of Aviation Outstanding Student Award at the university’s Wing’s Ceremony this week.

The bi-annual ceremony takes place as each cohort completes the flight-training component of their Bachelor of Aviation degree. For many, getting their commercial pilot’s licence, or ‘Wings’, is more significant than their graduation ceremony.

As well as being chosen for the Outstanding Student Award for all-round excellence, Mr Nayler also recieved the Airways Corporation Academic Award for the highest grade-point average in the the degree’s compulsory papers and the Hugh Francis Navigation Award. He says being named most outstanding student was an “amazing feeling”.

“After receiving so much support from mum and dad throughout my time at Massey it was a great feeling to show them what I had achieved,” he says. “I was surprised that I received the award as I believe our cohort has some really fantastic people and it must have been a close decision for the School of Aviation to make.”

Massey School of Aviation 'Cohort 64' Wings recipients, flight instructors and guest presenter Captain Tony MacDonald from Jetstar NZ.

A love of physics leads to aviation studies

Mr Nayler says he got the travel bug after flying for a holiday at a young age, and his academic interests also led him towards a degree in aviation.

“Early on in high school at Westlake I decided that I quite enjoyed physics. I explored the career options I could take if I pursued physics, and one of the options was aviation,” he says.

“Before a flight from Napier to Auckland in my high school years I also saw two professional young pilots board the aircraft. These pilots looked like they loved what they did and I finally turned to mum and told her, ‘That's what I want to do’.”

At university he says his favourite subject was meteorology, the study of climate and weather.

“I enjoyed meterology the most because New Zealanders have to deal with constantly changing weather every day. It was so interesting for me to understand why and how the weather changes and how pilots can use that knowledge to ensure every flight is safe and comfortable.”

When Mr Nayler completes his final papers for his Bachelor of Aviation degree later this year, he plans to become a flight instructor.

“I want to extend my knowledge and passion for aviation to the younger generation. I hope to one day have the opportunity to work overseas before returning home to become a part of the team at Air New Zealand.”

Wings ceremony special award winners: Grayden Ecklein, Cameron Nayler, Joseph Langevad and Richard Worth.

Other award winners

Mr Nayler's awards were not the only special awards presented at the Wings ceremony. The full list is as follows:

  • Air New Zealand Flying Award –Joesph Langevad
  • Airways Corporation Academic Award – Cameron Nayler
  • Palmerston North Airport Professional Attributes Award – Grayden Ecklein
  • Fieldair Engineering Ltd Aviation Systems Award – Richard Worth
  • Hugh Francis Navigation Award – Cameron Nayler
  • Massey University School of Aviation Outstanding Student Award –Cameron Nayler



Related articles

School of Aviation breaks ground on new facility
Massey soars to win prestigious aviation awards
Aviation school gives VC aerial perspective
Taupaki student wins top aviation award

More related articles

Massey Contact Centre Mon - Fri 8:30am to 4:30pm 0800 MASSEY (+64 6 350 5701) TXT 5222 Web chat Staff Alumni News Māori @ Massey