The Best Job in the World

by Liam Kennedy on Jul 18 2019
Like anybody in my position, aviation has been something that has fascinated me from a very young age. After finishing high school, I ultimately knew where I wanted to end up but I wasn’t too sure on how I was going to get there. I had a tough time trying to decide between going to university first and getting a degree before coming back to flying later down the track - or just getting stuck in to flying from day dot. At that stage, I had my first full-time job working as a drain cleaner (a job that I am still very grateful of to this day) and I would save up enough money to go and get lessons at the local aeroclub any weekend I could afford it – I was completely hooked and knew that I just wanted to go flying.

I decided to get my ducks in a row and applied to flight schools throughout New Zealand. L3Harris Airline Academy (at the time known as “CTC Aviation”) had caught my eye a few years earlier with their Jetstar cadet pilot scheme, which had since become unavailable due to the airlines requirements. It stood out to me as a very professional outfit with a very good reputation. Another program had been pointed out to me which saw successful candidates completing their Private Pilot’s License, Commercial Pilot’s License, Multi-engine Instrument Rating (everything you need to go and get a job flying) as well as a ‘C’ Cat instructor rating. The best catch was that if you were successful on the course, there was a potential job waiting on the other end. I saw it as an excellent opportunity to get my foot in the door. I was invited to a selection day and next thing I knew, I started full time flying in March 2015.

Flight training was enjoyable and one of the most rewarding things I’ve ever done. The course is quite unique in the sense that it is very time demanding – you (your family and your mates) have to be flexible with your planning and commitments because unlike a normal 9-5, Monday – Friday gig, the flight schedule for the next day doesn’t come out until 3:00pm the afternoon before and you could be signing on at 05:30am on a Saturday morning for a flight at 07:00am. Patience is also crucial because there are so many factors outside of your control (e.g. weather, other people training and technical faults). It really teaches you to keep your eyes on the prize (if you will) and how to just remember the ‘big picture.’

It took me 2 years from when I started my training to completing my ‘C’ Cat. I had ups and downs throughout the process but ultimately, I had gotten so much out of the course and I managed to land a job instructing at L3Harris in early 2017 with all my course mates. There is a common misconception about instructing: many people believe that it is just a way to build enough hours to get an interview with an airline – and well that may be partly true, in my eyes it’s an important stepping stone in personal development as well.

It’s now July 2019 and my most recent achievement in my career has been being checked to line as a First Officer at Air New Zealand flying the Bombardier Q300. When I look back on my journey so far, I’ve had a wicked time and I wouldn’t do much differently. L3Harris Airline Academy provided me with a good foundation and I wouldn’t be where I am today without the support of the team that were there when I was learning to fly, as well as the team I was involved with while I was teaching others to fly.  My advice to anyone that is considering a career in aviation is to just get stuck in and make sure you’ve got a great attitude towards it. Enjoy every step in the process, soak up as much advice as you can get from anyone that is already flying because there are heaps of different ways to go about it. It’s an awesome time, anyone you meet along the way will have a very similar drive to you so you’ll end up with some solid friends too. You truly do get what you give so if you’re willing to put the work in, you may just find yourself working the best job in the world.

Apply Now