A race for exams and pilot's licence

23:03, Aug 21 2014
Johnny Andrews
AIMING HIGH: Marlborough Boys’ College student Johnny Andrews is trying to complete NCEA level 3, as well as his private pilot’s licence before the end of the year.

A Marlborough teenager is facing a race against time as he tries to get his pilot's licence and complete NCEA level 3 before the year is out.

If two qualifications wasn't enough to be working towards, Marlborough Boys' College student Johnny Andrews, 17, also has two after-school jobs added to the mix.

He has been working towards his private pilot's licence for the past two years, and has 10 hours' flying time and six exams left to complete before the qualification is in his hands.

His goal of becoming a pilot before leaving college was looking more unlikely as he focused on passing his final year, but Andrews was confident he could get there before the year was over.

"I should be finished [school] about November, so during the Christmas period I should be able to get most of my exams done . . . the goal is still to get it done."

Despite adding to the pressure for Andrews, the college has also been a driving force behind his pursuit, allowing him to spend time at Omaka Aerodrome through their Gateway programme.


The programme helps students get work-experience in the industry of their choice while in school.

"Instead of going into a job I go and study at Omaka . . . school helps me out by paying for my exams because it's through the course, so that's the big incentive," Andrews said.

One of his employers, New World, had also helped him by organising $2000 through Foodstuffs to go towards his flying career.

Andrews first went flying in a helicopter at the age of 14, and followed that with a trial flight in a light aircraft, which lead into regular flying as a way to "get out of the house".

"It's something I have always wanted and just a career that I have sort of aimed for."

The ultimate goal for Andrews was to get his commercial pilot's licence, which required a minimum of 150 hours' flying time, and a further nine exams on top of his six exams to gain a private licence.

After that he hoped to get into the air force, but failing that would continue flying to get his hours up until he could land a job as a pilot with an airline.


The Marlborough Express