Woman flies high for first time
High-flying pilot Casey Glynn has claimed the coveted top student award at Massey University's wings ceremony - the first female to do so in the School of Aviation's 27-year history.
Glynn, 20, was one of 23 students recognised at the wings ceremony last night - the event recognises students gaining their commercial pilot's licence after finishing the flight-training component of the three-year Bachelor of Aviation degree.
Glynn took home two of the top six prizes, including the Outstanding Student Award.
Beating the boys and being named the first female to earn the top award was a nice feeling, she said.
Despite there being more men in the programme, with a ratio of 20 men to three women, Glynn said gender didn't matter and competition was healthy.
"I don't notice a big difference, because although there's only a few of us, compared to the majority of them, we just sort of slot in," she said.
"But I am a competitive person and I'm not going to be shown up if I can help it."
Her interest in aviation took off after going for a whirl with her father in a microlight when she was younger.
And, despite turning green at any sign of turbulence - even losing her lunch once on a smooth long-haul flight to Los Angeles - she loves being airborne.
"I used to get really bad motion sickness when I was little, so I wasn't actually that fond of aeroplanes," she said.
"Flying is something completely different to any experience you can have on the ground and when you're in total control of an aircraft, all the work you've done previously finally comes together and it's pretty cool."
After mastering her in-air queasiness, Glynn has taken to the skies flying Massey's aircraft and says she couldn't imagine herself anywhere else, except maybe teaching others.
She has been working towards her flight instructor's qualification, where she's one of two women on the 10 person course.
"It's a bit of a weird flip around from what's been going on for me from the last few years, suddenly on the other end of the stick, but it's really cool."
She encouraged other females to take an interest in aviation as a career choice, because it was challenging and rewarding.
"If you're into that kind of thing and you know that you really want it and are keen to work hard for it, don't let the fact that there's no other girls here put you off."
Phannatorn Wasugirativanid, Sebastian Popa and Anthony Bykerk also received awards.