February 2022 News

Home News February 2022 News

Feels like we’ve had a decent summer thus far. Let’s hope that the spell of good weather continues on for another couple of months so we can get lots of flying in.

Student Congratulations

We’ve been on an absolute roll this month with Harry, Matt and Wayne going solo and Ash and Luke getting their wings. Massive congratulations to each one of you, we’re so proud of your achievements.

CPL – Luke Crawford PPL – Ashleigh Rogers Solo Club – Harry King, Matthew Wong, Wayne Camamile

Pictured (L to R): Wayne Camamile at YMMB, Gray congratulating Ash Rogers on his PPL, Harry King all smiles at YBSS, Matt Wong signing the blade and during his solo.


  • COVID-19 Update: In line with the recent changes in Victorian regulations, face masks and QR code check-ins are no longer required on site.

  • PPL Theory Course: The current PPL Theory Course has kicked off today with Eilish, Steven, Neil, Al and Matt. Dates for the next course will be announced at the conclusion of this course in two weeks’ time.

  • Essendon Fields Open Day: Essendon Fields airport is hosting an outdoor community event on Sunday, 27 March (10:00 – 15:00) to celebrate 100 years of operation. Melbourne Heli is excited to participate in this much anticipated event. We’ll have a Cabri G2 on display along with a couple of our instructors available for a chat about flight training. We’ll also be offering short flights of Essendon airport in the Robinson 66 (10:30 – 12:00 pre-booked flights, 12:30 – 14:00 walk-ins) priced at $50 per person. This is a public event so please feel free to drop by with your family or friends to indulge in some aviation or just to say hello. If you register yourself for the event you can go into their draw to win some cool prizes. A Melbourne Helicopters introductory lesson is also on offer as part of the draw.

Being a pregnant pilot

Over Being a pregnant pilot is bitter sweet. The joys (and fears) of motherhood are looming as well as the sadness of having to stop flying as CASA dictates that your medical be suspended when you reach the end of your 30 weeks gestation.

I was fortunate enough to be in quarantine for the entirety of my first trimester and in my second I was fairly symptom free. Fatigue was starting to set in by the end of it but that was easily managed. The implications of pregnancy did weigh heavily on my shoulders though. The previous year, I had contacted some women in the industry to discuss how they felt and how they were treated at their workplace.

pregnantOne of the women I liaised with, worked for a company in the States. Now we all know that Americans can be rather large and her Chief Pilot was no exception. When she told him she was pregnant, he laughed and asked her how she was going to fit in the chopper. She retaliated with the same question back at him and that shut him up quickly. Turns out she never managed to win the who’s bigger competition. I got similar comments but now that I’m 33 weeks pregnant, there’s no end to the compliments of how little my belly looks. I suppose each body is different and we can’t say whether we will or won’t fit in the choppers.

The support I’ve received from Melbourne Helicopters has been incredibly encouraging. There’s an understanding that I’m growing a human being which isn’t easy and takes it’s toll, although fortunately for me most symptoms have been at bay with the exception of insomnia and vertigo at night. I’m incredibly grateful to my team mates who moved the machines around for me when I couldn’t physically do it anymore.

There are currently no set standards in the industry on how to treat a pregnant pilot. For example, what adjustments should be made when she cannot physically move the helicopter or airplane or how her role will change once she’s reached 31 weeks. I personally believe that there should be standards in place and they shouldn’t be to penalise women but to come up with logical solutions to adjust work to suit her needs. A woman in the industry is an asset, not a burden.

For now, knowing that my flying career will be halted whilst I’m on maternity leave is a hard pill to swallow. But frankly, I am incredibly excited about being a mother and taking 12 months off. It’s important to me to spend as much time as I can with the little one. I will no doubt bring her in to Melbourne Heli and sit her in a helicopter to spark her love for aviation. My baby girl is due on the 13th of April and my last day at work is the 3rd of April (unless of course she decides to come early). So you guys have plenty of time to see me grow and say adieu.

– Alex T

Team Highlights

It’s been a great month of training and upskilling for the Melbourne Heli team. It kicked off with Alex Poole facilitating a thorough and informative R66 GTE Ground Theory Course for Wing, Johan and Lovel (thank you Alex) and Wing going on to successfully complete her R66 endorsement under Alex’s instruction. Congratulations Wing!

We stayed true to turbines with Alex P and Glenn furthering their flight training with Mike Dunn in the Squirrel. Alex also went on to complete his HUET training at ERGT Altona a week ago, so it’s certainly been a busy month for our Head of Operations.

In addition, we’ve celebrated two birthdays this month, so there’s been a lot of cake around. Happy birthday Gray and Wing. All in all a productive month.

Pictured (L to R): Alex P with Wing, Lovel and Johan at the conclusion of the R66 GTE Theory Course, Wing’s birthday celebrations, Mike Dunn and Glenn D conducting training in the Squirrel, Alex P at the HUET training course, in-house (short-term) Squirrel VH-LAI.

Safety Tip

If you find yourself stressed or fatigued, please reconsider your flight. Three deep breaths fora pause can make all the difference. Check yourelf before your wreck yourself!

Alex T