Schoolboy wins flying scholarship

01:00, Jul 26 2012
Kane Hurley
UP AND AWAY: Kane Hurley, 15, has won the John Pearce Aviation Services Flying Scholarship.

Kane Hurley won't have to stack supermarket shelves any more to pay for flying lessons. The 15-year-old Nelson College student has become the second recipient of a $4000 national flying scholarship.

Kane has been awarded the John Pearce Aviation Services Flying Scholarship, which also covers the cost of exams needed to gain a private pilot's licence (PPL).

The scholarship, awarded for the first time last year to a young North Island student, is awarded to a young person whose personal circumstances mean he or she would not normally be able to take part in aviation.

Kane moved with his grandmother Karen Hurley to Nelson from Northland 4 years ago.

Mrs Hurley, who has raised Kane since he was 6 years old, said when he was younger he enjoyed "plane spotting" at the local aero club, which she believed triggered his interest in flying.

Kane is a member of the local ATC cadet scheme and Young Eagles scheme designed to introduce young people to flying, whether as a hobby or as a career. It is administered by the Royal New Zealand Aero Club, and local clubs such as the Nelson Aero Club run their own chapters.


Young Eagles Nelson co-ordinator and coastguard search and rescue pilot Sheryl Jones said she and Nelson Aero Club president Maurice Tighe considered Kane the "perfect candidate" to be nominated for the scholarship.

"He's been with Young Eagles for three years and has shown a real interest. He shows the right attitude for aviation, and was also someone who didn't necessarily have an opportunity to learn to fly, because of his circumstances," Ms Jones said.

Kane is taking computer studies and mechanical engineering at school with a view to a career in aviation. He plans to keep his job at a Nelson supermarket to help with his goal.

The scholarship would allow him to start lessons with the aim of gaining his PPL under aero club instructors Mitch Carlson and Martin Voice.

The Nelson Mail