Published on October 31, 2018

James Spearpoint is flying high. He is currently studying a Bachelor of Aviation and spends his days exploring Victoria and southern NSW from the sky.    James shared the ups and downs of learning to fly.

How did you become interested in flying?

From a young age growing up on a cattle farm, I was always fascinated with my environment, whether it be the weather or watching wedged tailed eagles soar above. This, coupled with my interest in the engineering capabilities of aircrafts, shaped my pursuit to become a pilot.

James flying


What have you been up to since leaving HVGS?

After graduating in 2015 I took a gap year and worked full time on the family cattle farm, and part time at Woolworths. I spent my spare time reading and preparing to study a Bachelor of Aviation (Piloting) at Swinburne University of Technology. At the end of 2016, I relocated to Melbourne to study. The transition from the country to the city was a big change – I’m still trying to adjust. 

What is required to become a pilot?

At university I study aviation-related subjects and do practical flying training at Moorabbin Airport.  Additionally, I’m required to study a lot of theory for the flying licences, conducted by the CAE Oxford Aviation Academy. As most people know, flying is expensive and I am pleased to have been awarded a couple of scholarships, which helped immensely. Receiving these scholarships was partly due to the profile I developed while attending HVGS, immersing myself in various co-curricular activities and working hard on my academic studies. Hard work absolutely pays off!

What’s the first year of flying been like?

2016 was a time of immense stress! With a gruelling schedule of theory and practical lessons, together with moving out of home for the first time and some health issues, I almost reached breaking point. Thankfully, the time management skills I developed at school provided a solid grounding and discipline to see me through. 

Fliying panel

The following year was much better. I had my first solo flight in a powered plane, and later in the year acquired my Private Pilot’s Licence. This meant I could fly a single-engine aircraft below 5700kg anywhere in Australia solo.  Fast forward to 2018 and I’m living the dream! I’m in my second year at university, now flying at night and doing solo crosscountry hour building flights before I sit my Commercial Pilot’s Licence flight test later this year.

What’s your next goal?

Although this course has been intense, I’m looking forward to graduating in 2019.  I’ll then be seeking employment as a flight instructor or a pilot. I’ll head wherever flying takes me.