Former Park Ridge Student Takes Flight
Former Vice Captain at Park Ridge State School, Brittney Jackson, was sworn in as a Pilot Officer in the RAAF last year. We asked her about her experience so far.
What are some of the highlights/memories of your time at Park Ridge State School and/or Parklands Christian College?
PRSS gave me a taste for leadership experience, and at Parklands I was able to continue that but also find my passion in rock climbing by completing a Cert II through school. I enjoyed the people there and the smaller classes meant closer relationships with mates and teachers. My favourite subjects were Ancient History, English and Drama. I remember having an appreciation for Mrs Ross’ teaching style, and Mrs Braybrooke definitely got me passionate about whatever we were studying.
What was the best thing about growing up in Park Ridge?
You kinda knew everyone. Good community and genuinely good people, everyone always seemed to have a purpose.
What lead you to sign up as a pilot in the airforce?
After taking a gap year and working overseas, I was still unsure what I wanted to do. I knew I wanted to do something in the military and randomly came across ‘RAAF pilot’ in my research and it just clicked. It was the challenging sort of career I wanted plus I’ve always loved heights and knew flying would be something I genuinely enjoyed. I took a few introductory flying lessons to confirm it, enrolled in an Aviation degree at uni, and pretty much knew this was for me.
What have been some of the challenges in becoming an officer?
I’ve enjoyed my transition to military officer. I found it just the right kind of challenging. A lot of the training was very physical (weapons training, field training, physical training etc.). These were the parts I enjoyed the most since we were learning new skills in a challenging environment. You learn a lot about yourself in these times.
What have some of your experiences as a RAAF member been like?
I had a long wait until the next pilot course could start, so I was posted to various units across the country like 33SQN at Amberley, doing transport and refuelling. I was also able to play sport on a competitive RAAF cricket team and was part of the RAAF team at Avalon Airshow. I was then posted to ACMC in Victoria, where I handled aircrew candidates in their testing stages.
You’re only a couple of weeks in, but what has flight training been like?
We are currently at the end of our first month in ground school. I knew the learning curve would be steep. It’s a lot of new information but watching the pilots in the courses ahead of us tick off their flying milestones spurs us on.
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