Decision Speed Logo

Decision Speed Logo


It’s the eve of what could be the biggest change in my life tomorrow. I feel like crap, probably because I’m mentally exhausted from thinking about everything over the last few days, and I haven’t been eating well which wouldn’t be helping either. I could be coming down with something, but that’s not going to stop me tomorrow when the start of my foray into the world of Aviation is set to begin. Tomorrow I go down to Australian Wings Academy to sit an ADAPT assessment and then do an introductory flight, with the ultimate goal of gaining a Commercial Pilot License over the next few years.

Let us now wind back the hands of time and set the stage for how this all came to be. My name is Sam Webster and I’m 24 years old at the time of writing this, I have spent almost my entire life since graduating High School in 2008 working in the entertainment industry, predominantly operating my own business Kaleidoscope Lighting for music & theatre. I have always had an interest in flying however and started using Microsoft Flight Simulator 2002 as a child, and then on and off since. I never took it seriously though or had the outlook of becoming a Pilot, it was just for fun.

That started to shift a few years ago in 2010 when I thought actually, being a pilot would be a great job! My best mate Tom and I went and had a chat with the friendly and enthusiastic Phil Sweeney from AWA about it all, who got us keen for a future in aviation, however the harsh reality of the costs involved killed that idea pretty fast. Then I spent a few years chasing the snow running snow groomers, before a rush back into the entertainment industry, when a quiet patch typical of that line of work led to researching piloting again and here we are today.

Luckily the Australian Government now cover the entire cost of a CPL (for now) for registered schools and approved students under the VET FEE-HELP scheme, so tomorrow I’m going to sit the ADAPT assessment to see if I meet the criteria. Great. Stressing just a bit as there is not really much you can do to prepare I’m told.

So I figured it would be a good idea to start a blog and document the whole process from zero to CPL and beyond, that way I have a record of everything, and personally I find blogging quite a cathartic process. Maybe it can help other people too who are looking at flying, so I’ll share whatever I can. If you made it this far, thanks for reading and welcome to Decision Speed!

19 thoughts on “Prelude

  1. Awesome mate I stopped into AWA yesterday on my way home from Byron bay to the Sunshine coast to talk about starting at AWA next year I too have to finish some stuff before I can start flight training next year unfortunately,I just want to start now !!!. Your blogs will help me prepare for my training next year I am looking forward to keeping up too date with it all.

    1. Glad to hear you like the blog Daniel. If you have any questions let me know, otherwise I might see you next year!

      1. I am glad you write about exactly how you are feeling and how the training is etc it will help me a lot when it gets closer to me joining the flight school. I will let you know if I have any questions cheers mate.

  2. I am enjoy reading your blog sir..i am taking my CPL at BASAIR….cant wait to fly on the australian sky…i wish there was fund aid for international student like me….

  3. Hi Sam,

    Our experience are pretty close, i spend around 6 year working in entertainment line, but now I want to become a Pilot! I would like to check is there any fund for international student?

    1. Hi Howard, interesting to hear from someone else in a similar position! If you check out this link it will let you know if you are eligible for VET FEE-HELP.

  4. Hii, same its wonderfull experience.I also have this dream to become a pilot but I how can get it done.The problem is the fund.Papua New Guinea is known to be below the poverty line.But any way is there is a way to help international students..You have a great day.

  5. Hi Sam! Is there any chance for international students to enter the school? If yes, what can they do in order to go there and enter that?

  6. wow! Sam that’s a great one, i believe you succeded in making your dream a reality. I do have the same dream too, but it’s really unfortunate that the fee is so huge which i can say its worth it. I’m from Nigeria and due to the poor economy in my Nation the cost for CPL training in AWA seems extremely huge. But all this would’nt stop my dream, i believe i will be like you someday.

    1. Hi Godwin, I understand it isn’t cheap sadly, keep on pushing through, don’t give up! Maybe take a look at some of the airline cadet programs? That could be an option for you. Good luck!

  7. Hello sir, i am a student from Bhutan and i’m really intrested becoming a pilot one day, but i dont know how to enroll in AWA asap.

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