Graphic: Jack in the cockpit
While most 15-year-olds are still trying to figure out what they want to do when they finish school, Jack Feher already has it worked out and is attempting to make his dream a reality.
Jack had worked out by the age of 12 he wanted to be a pilot, and a chance encounter with Ruth Sandow, the then-President of the Royal Flying Doctor Service (South Eastern Section) in 2020, resulted in him being encouraged to visit the RFDS base at Dubbo and take a tour.
It was during his time walking through the Visitor Experience and meeting with Aviation Instructor Ashley Myles that Jack realised he wanted to fly for the RFDS.
Fast forward to 2022 and 15-year-old Jack is working towards his goal. Starting with lessons and flights with instructors, Jack recently completed his first solo flight, an amazing feat for someone so young. He still wants to be a pilot for the RFDS and is working towards his goal.
“I’ve always liked helping people so to be able to able to work in regional areas, conducting emergency retrievals and flying doctors to clinics would be very rewarding,” Jack said.
“That first time looking around the Visitor Experience showed me just how important the Flying Doctor is for regional Australia. Without them, there would be sections of the country that would have no access to healthcare.”
Speaking about his flying experience so far, Jack said it had been everything he had hoped for and more.
“My first solo flight was special. I’ve now flown two hours solo and have close to 26 hours in the log book. I recently flew nine hours in a trip around Australia and it gave me great navigational experience as well,” he said.
Captain Myles said he was impressed with Jack’s maturity when he first met him in 2020, and wanted to help as much as he could by providing advice and guidance. The two have stayed in regular contact, and Jack is always quick to share his newest experiences.
“For Jack to realise what he wanted to do so early and to be able to work towards that puts him in a good position for his career,” Captain Myles said.
“I was very lucky to have great help when I was becoming a pilot so I am really happy to be able to do the same for the next generation.”
Being able to speak to a pilot with so much experience was also instrumental for Jack.
“In that first tour Ash showed me around and showed me the simulator, and asked me if I wanted a go. We were flying in low visibility, with cross winds and we simulated a landing with one engine. It was an unforgettable experience,” the aspiring pilot said.
“Being able to talk to Ash is great. He’s such an experienced pilot and I want to take all the advice he gives me.”
Jack still has a way to go before he reaches his goal of becoming a pilot with the Flying Doctor, we are excited to follow his journey.