The Sky's The Limit for Oliver Taylor

✦ Recently awarded a flying scholarship from Hastings District Flying Club, Oliver (Ollie) Taylor chatted with us about what this means to him and his future.

When asked how he felt when he first found out he had been awarded the scholarship Ollie smiled and said, “I was having dinner with Mum and Dad, sitting there thinking I didn’t get it. Then the phone rang and it was Rod. He told me I got it, I was over the moon. Totally happy, I told my parents straight away. It was a great family moment.”

Ollie told us that it was a fairly simple online process to apply for the scholarship. Just fill out the online application form, stating why you love flying, provide your academic record and really show your desire to fly.

We have been given Ollie’s scholarship submission and have taken a snippet to share:

“I am very interested in WW2 (especially the aviation side of WW2), however my main hobby is aviation (of course). I spend most of my time at work or school, but when I am at neither, I like to watch aviation related movies, watch aviation related videos, plane spotting, and even designing model aeroplanes (even the sling) on fusion360.”

Having an interest in all things aviation goes all the way back to Primary School days for Ollie, who is only 16 years of age now. Having a close friend who was in commercial aviation and a brother studying to be a Bachelor of Aviation at University, were definitely influences. Plus watching movies like Top Gun added to his interest and instilled in him that he was going to learn to fly one day.

He started his flying lessons at the tender age of 15 with his Mum and Dad's full support and encouragement. They paid for the initial tuition and drove him to and fro.

Ollie is currently in year 10 attending Hastings Secondary College Westport Campus where he plans to finish year 12 and obtain an ATAR. He will be studying standard English, advanced maths, PDHPE, physics, engineering studies, and graphics technology in his senior years.

Upon completing his schooling, Ollie intends to either obtain a Commercial Pilots Licence, join the AirForce as a pilot, or study Aerospace Engineering at University. Currently, he works alongside his parents Tania and Rob at the family business, Lighthouse Beach Post Office, as much as possible during school holidays and after school hours. This helps pay for Ollie’s flying.

Currently flying under the Hastings District Flying Club with Mike as his instructor, Ollie is passionate about flying. He has over 20 hours of flying up his sleeve and will have his Recreational Pilot Certificate soon if all goes to the youngster's plan. Ollie needs to complete various courses in the future, such as navigation training and passenger endorsement to edge him closer to getting a Recreational Pilot License.

Flying is definitely in this youngsters sights, either commercial or in the military, wherever it takes him he is happy.

Ollie’s Mum and Dad are very supportive, paying for half of Ollie’s flying lessons to date. This was a major factor for Ollie applying for the scholarship, to ease the financial burden on his parents. The HDFC scholarship will allow him to now assist in him completing courses and furthering his aviation career.

Oliver Taylor with proud parents Rob and Tania
Rob, Tania and Oliver Taylor

Ollie's First Solo Flight

At just 15, Ollie’s first maiden voyage so to speak has been a highlight of his life so far. During one of his flight lessons, instructor Mike told him he would be going solo soon. When he and Ray, CFI were happy with his progress, they will discuss it with him to do his first solo. When they landed, sure as eggs another instructor came out and jumped in the Sling2, HDFC's training aircraft.

Ollie remembers being very nervous, as he knew then and there that was the day he was going to do his solo flight if he did well with the other instructor (Ray, CFI) on board. He successfully completed three landings and takeoffs. When Ollie landed the third time, Ray exited the plane and said "off you go". So off he went - on 13th May 2021!

He says it was just like any other circuit he had done except now there was no one sitting next to him and that can be nerving.

Ollie highly recommends HDFC

If you want to learn to fly Ollie says to firstly join the Hastings District Flying Club.

“ It’s a good way to go. Very affordable for flying. Very good instructors. And the people around the club are really, really, really good. There are lots of people to talk to about flying.”

HDFC has a fantastic social scene as well that has given Ollie