Ellie Tesselaar: Aviation Pilot, Flying Instructor

As a child, I never thought about learning to fly. I never really thought it was something you could just 'do'. So when my teacher, Mr Davies, told me to have a go at it I thought, 'Why not? It looks like fun.'

It turned out to be an amazing experience – challenging, but also exhilarating. Having friends from Woodleigh who were learning with me made it even better; we could share our stories and knowledge with one another, our victories and failures.

Being able to handle an aircraft and getting a little bit better each time is an amazing feeling. As for instructing, I love seeing people progress and reach their goals. Seeing people have that 'Ah-ha!' moment makes me smile every time!

One of my favourite things to do is to send people on their first solo. Knowing that they'll be okay all by themselves for the first time is a wonderful experience to share.

  • 2003 First Flight (Year 7)
  • 2005 First Solo Flight
  • 2006 Recreational Pilot Certificate
  • 2007 Private Pilot Licence
  • 2008 Year 12
  • 2011 Commercial Pilot Licence and Instructor Rating

Text and images taken from Woodleigh School's 40th anniversary publication 'Independent Thoughts.'

Photography by Amy Woodward