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Jimi Jay Ludriks - From braces to stripes - What it takes to be a Pilot

The mission of the Hastings District Flying Club is to encourage air-mindedness and interest in aviation in the youth of the Hastings district. Hastings District Flying Club has offered young and upcoming pilots great support over many years. In 2006, the first of many Vern Polley scholarships were made available to young people of the Hastings, with a passion for flying. One of the early recipients was Jimi Ludriks who, at the age of 15, received a scholarship to assist him with obtaining his RA AUS flying qualifications.

Jimi joined HDFC around 2003, and just loved watching all the pilots and planes at the airport. Often a pilot would take Jimi along for their competition flights, and Jimi soon became more passionate than ever in wanting to become a pilot. At 15, Jimi started lessons, at 16 he obtained his RA AUS qualification and at 18 Jimi completed his Commercial Pilot’s Licence qualification at Basair at Bankstown Airport.

For most Aussie pilots, hard yards in remote locations on minimal wages have to be completed before more glamourous airline pilot jobs come along. This was also the case for Jimi, who spent 18 months at Kununurra in WA, with further shorter stints at Lake Eyre in SA and at Airlie Beach in Queensland. Once Jimi had amassed sufficient hours, he applied for a job with Cathay Pacific in Hong Kong as an Advanced Entry 2nd Officer. Jimi was accepted into their program and was required to complete a seven month training program in Adelaide. Jimi commenced flying with Cathay Pacific in July 2013 as a second officer on the 747 fleet. Just recently (August 2016) he completed his upgrade to First Officer. The role of First Officer comes with heavier responsibilities including actually taking off, flying and landing the Jumbo 747, be accountable for operations and not to mention the substantial jump in salary! Jimi’s Dad, Marcus was beaming with pride on his son’s success.

Jimi Ludriks from braces to stripes

So what is Jimi’s secrets to success? He admitted there was an element of luck but luck came with hard work and persistence in working towards his end goal. His aim is to peak in his aviation career with Cathay Pacific in a command role, to settle into life and then finally to do what he had always been passionate about - helping others by flying with the Flying Doctors. He was inspired when he flew with Adam Booker 5 years ago in one of the Flying Doctor’s aircraft. This young man certainly has very clear visions about what he wants to do in life!

Passion is the next big secret. Jimi thinks it is so important to love your job and be passionate about it. He sees many pilots who treat flying just as a job and become totally unmotivated.

Jimi Jay Ludiks, First Officer Cathay Pacific

What other secrets to success, I asked Jimi and he replied the POWER OF NETWORKING. He stressed that it was such a good thing that he joined HDFC which gave him a strong leverage to who’s who in the aviation industry. From the time he started his flying career with GSL Aviation in Marree SA, to Slinger Heliwork in Kununurra WA and to Cathay Pacific in Hong Kong. The entire career road map was made possible because he knew someone who could help him. Someone who would be a great reference, someone who could recommend him a role or as far as knowing the Captain who interviewed him at CX also came from Port Macquarie and of course, knew HDFC very well!

How very lucky you are, Jimi Jay Ludriks! The young man who made his own luck!

The Hastings District Flying Club has an outstanding record of supporting pilots and student pilots in the Hastings. Jimi is just one of their success stories! There's also Matthew Baker who also now flies with Cathay Pacific. One of the earlier pioneers was Chris Higgins, who learnt to fly with Bob Needham in 1984. Chris is now a Captain with NetJets in America. This year's flying scholarships are proudly sponsored by Chris Higgins. He will be at the clubhouse on Friday 26th August 5pm to address any questions with regards to an aviation career. We hope to see you there.

Meanwhile, applications for flying scholarships are open. Apply here -!flying-scholarships/c18w

Chris Higgins, Aviation Career Talk at HDFC 26th Aug 2016

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