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Going the distance

Published:06 June 2018

CQUniversity first-year Bachelor of Aviation (Flight Operations) online student Eden Denmeade has become the first CQUni commercial student pilot to go solo in a Cessna 172 ADX at Townsville’s Cleveland Bay Aviation

CQUniversity first-year Bachelor of Aviation (Flight Operations) online student Eden Denmeade has become the first CQUni student in Townsville to go solo in a Cessna 172 ADX at flight training provider Cleveland Bay Aviation.

The 21-year-old full-time student was thrilled to have achieved the feat, labelling it as the highlight of her degree so far.

“It still shocks me that I did it, it will be something I remember for the rest of my life,” Ms Denmeade said.

“When I flew for the first time it felt like I was the only person in the world,” she said.

CQUni Aviation Head of Course Professor Steven Thatcher said it was wonderful to see a Townsville student achieve her first milestone as part of the degree.

“It’s great to see one of our Townsville students achieving the first milestone in their airline career,” Professor Thatcher said.

“Eden will always look back on her first solo flight as one of her greatest achievements.“

Cleveland Bay Aviation Director and flight instructor Adrian Norman said he was proud of Eden’s achievements to date.

“Eden was our first CQUni student and a very adept one. We were very impressed with her professional conduct throughout,” Mr Norman said.

“The aviation theory component of the degree is provided by CQUni and we then provide the flight training sequences to satisfy the CASA training requirements for each segment of the degree,” he said.

“The training we provide prepares Eden to be examined for her Commercial Pilots Licence, the basic requirement for entry to a professional training program.”

Ms Denmeade said Cleveland Bay Aviation had provided her with fantastic aeronautical skills and flight training that will ensure she’s flight-ready upon graduating.

“Cleveland Bay Aviation has been so supportive which makes me very comfortable and confident when I do my training.”

Ms Denmeade, whose father is a recreational pilot, said that aviation wasn’t a career path she’d always aspired to.

“The idea was brought to me by my dad as he is also interested in aviation. Being a pilot isn’t common for a young girl as a career choice, but when he brought it up it instantly sparked an interest out of nowhere,” Ms Denmeade explained.

After some investigation, Ms Denmeade, a Kirwan State High School graduate, enrolled into the CQUni degree.

“CQUniversity offers an amazing aviation degree that included a graduate diploma for my flight hours so that was attractive to me,” she said.

“There’s so much to learn in the industry and I wanted to be a part of it so I enrolled.”

Ms Denmeade said she ‘fell in love’ with the idea of how practical the degree was.

“And also how technical all the systems are. I also really like how everyone in the industry is really well-connected.”

Now well on her way to her final destination, Ms Denmeade said her biggest thrill was understanding how an aircraft works and the physics behind it.

“Then being the one inside the cockpit being able to control all of that is amazing!”

Originally from Kempsey in New South Wales, Ms Denmeade has been living in Townsville for a decade and said she was loving the flexibility of studying as a distance student while having the support and resources of the CQUni Townsville campus.

“Studying online takes a lot of commitment but I love what I’m studying so it doesn’t take much to get it done,” she said.

“CQUni has great resources and makes it super-easy to access all the content for the degree.”

As for the future, the sky is literally the limit.

“I currently work as a Barista and I love that too but I have a huge interest in the RAAF which is one of my career goals and has been for a few years.”