In 2012, Jack Martin became the very first Gold Awardee from King’s College, Warrnambool. Here he takes us through some adventures of flight for his Residential Project.
I attended the Australian Centre for Mission Aviation for a five day camp in early July 2012 for the Residential Project of the Gold Award. The interactive residential camp was aimed at increasing awareness of the way aviation can serve a needy world. Students from Years 10, 11 and 12 from all over Australia and two students from Fiji attended the camp.
We learned all about the missionary work of ACMA, and about how people are trained as pilots and aircraft engineers. I was inspired by the stories of how the missionaries helped some of the most isolated people on earth, in the most remote places located in deserts, mountains, rain forests and on islands. The pilots’ work has transformed communities by opening the door for Bible translation, education, health, economic development, and is often their only link with the outside world. Tasks involve delivering food, mail and building supplies; transferring the sick and injured; transporting in doctors, medical personnel, pastors and Bible translators; and disaster relief work and medical evacuations.
The camp was brilliant. It was run with great enthusiasm by ACMA staff and current students. We made many new friends, played, ate, laughed and learned a lot.
The days were full with classes on meteorology and navigation, theory of flight, and airframes. We had some practical workshop experience out in the hangar making small aluminium aircraft, and gained valuable insight in to the challenges of flying in the flight simulator. There were stimulating talks about the work of ACMA affiliated organisations, highlighting some of the challenging ministry opportunities in mission aviation, which many students go on to fulfil.
We also enjoyed great outdoor games and noisy games inside. Excursions to the museum at the RAAF Base at Point Cook, the Air Services Museum at Essendon and John Holland aircraft maintenance facility at Tullamarine gave valuable insight into the world of aviation, while a visit to the Air Ambulance and Police Air Wing showed how aviation provides vital services to the community.
One highlight? Everyone had the opportunity to go on a familiarisation flight with one of the Flight Instructors in the Cessna 206 – a first experience of flying for most of us. The flying lesson was great. It was exciting to take the controls of the aircraft and actually fly it. It is definitely like no other experience I have ever had.