Meet the 20-year-old woman flying tourists around North Island's volcanoes

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Meet the 20-year-old woman flying tourists around North Island's volcanoes

#1 Post by Capetonian » Tue Jul 17, 2018 10:01 pm

Superb photos : https://www.nzherald.co.nz/lifestyle/ne ... d=12087787
Aimee Burn does every day for a living what most people wish they could do once in a lifetime. Photo / Instagram

vera.alves@nzherald.co.nz

Aimee Burn's love of flying started early in her life, when she did her first trial flight aged 15. Today, aged 20, she flies over the North Island's volcanoes for a living, giving tourists a bird's-eye view of some of New Zealand's most spectacular landscapes.

Burn's job means she gets to do something every day that is on many people's bucket lists and she knows the people she takes on her flights are often people for whom the flight is nothing short of a dream come true.

She says the works in "the most beautiful office in the world" and her Instagram account, which has grown quite the following, now with more than 20,000 followers, provides evidence of that.

Burn says she wants to inspire other people to follow their dreams, even if their ideal job sounds hard to achieve.

"When people ask me why I wanted to become a pilot, I simply answer, "Why would you NOT want to become a pilot?" Burn tells the Herald.

"I think we have the most beautiful offices in the world, and not to mention how much fun flying a plane is."

"My favourite thing about flying is how happy I can make the passengers simply by doing what I love and sharing my passion with them. The smiles and laughter from everyone after getting back from a scenic flight are just so rewarding. I make their day and they make mine," she adds.

Flying above Ruapehu and the other North Island volcanos means "no one day will ever be the same as the last".

"The wind would have changed, the amount of snow on the volcanos might have melted off a bit and they'll look slightly different, the crater lake on top of Mount Ruapehu might be steaming or it might be neutral. And, of course, I am taking up completely new passengers who could be from any country, so getting to know a bit about them and their travels in New Zealand is always interesting."

Burn especially loves taking young children on her scenic flights.

"They're very entertaining," she says. "Some of them will fall asleep after five minutes, some will be yelling with excitement in the back seat which always makes me laugh and once I had a young girl who spent the whole flight staring at me from the backseat. It was hilarious, I couldn't convince her to look outside at the beautiful scenery!"

Burn says she would love to see more people join her industry but says the only way for that to happen is for more people to be exposed to it, as many don't even think of it as a possible career option.

The cost of getting that education is also a big issue for many people.

"I think the cost of flight training is definitely a huge barrier which stops people from becoming pilots, even gaining a private pilot's license costs upwards of $10,000. Most pilots in New Zealand who have undertaken commercial training would have student loans of more than $100,000," she says.

"Except for the costs of pilot training, I think a huge barrier which stops people from becoming pilots is that they actually don't know enough about it. At high school we are very well informed of all the different universities we can attend and what courses we can study, so I think a lot of people are under the impression that the expectation is for them to finish high school and choose a degree to study at university, not realising that there are actually other options."

Burn says most of her high school colleagues were surprised to find out she wasn't going to university and says there is an expectation that university is "just the thing to do".

Most pilots in New Zealand who have undertaken commercial training would have student loans of more than $100,000.

She didn't. Instead of the uni degree, the studied hard for her pilot's license and now spends her days flying over volcanoes. And she wouldn't change a thing.
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Re: Meet the 20-year-old woman flying tourists around North Island's volcanoes

#2 Post by ian16th » Wed Jul 18, 2018 7:46 am

I didn't see where she was based.

During my trip there, there were trips in float equiped a/c on the lake at Rotorura.
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Re: Meet the 20-year-old woman flying tourists around North Island's volcanoes

#3 Post by CremeEgg » Wed Jul 18, 2018 2:17 pm

Maybe Taupo - two DC-3 flying from there last time I was there - bit closer to the volcanoes. Place being spoilt by meat bombers and tandem meat bombers compared to a few years previously. Great part of the world though.

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Re: Meet the 20-year-old woman flying tourists around North Island's volcanoes

#4 Post by Ex-Ascot » Wed Jul 18, 2018 2:54 pm

Whilst admiring her young abilities and looks! The lady seems to be RHS. The article implies single pilot operation. Am I wrong?

Slasher would probably have appreciated bra size included in the blurb.
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Re: Meet the 20-year-old woman flying tourists around North Island's volcanoes

#5 Post by VP959 » Sat Jul 21, 2018 4:33 pm

I think the photo with her in the RHS is in a helicopter, from the text underneath. Looks like whoever she was flying with trusted her enough to let her fly from that seat.

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Re: Meet the 20-year-old woman flying tourists around North Island's volcanoes

#6 Post by Cacophonix » Tue Jul 24, 2018 4:35 am

VP959 wrote:
Sat Jul 21, 2018 4:33 pm
I think the photo with her in the RHS is in a helicopter, from the text underneath. Looks like whoever she was flying with trusted her enough to let her fly from that seat.
She may be PUT or PIC in the right hand seat.

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Re: Meet the 20-year-old woman flying tourists around North Island's volcanoes

#7 Post by Ex-Ascot » Tue Jul 24, 2018 9:08 am

A chopper pilot told me relatively recently that some choppers are designed to be flown from the LHS.
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Re: Meet the 20-year-old woman flying tourists around North Island's volcanoes

#8 Post by VP959 » Tue Jul 24, 2018 9:53 am

Cacophonix wrote:
Tue Jul 24, 2018 4:35 am
VP959 wrote:
Sat Jul 21, 2018 4:33 pm
I think the photo with her in the RHS is in a helicopter, from the text underneath. Looks like whoever she was flying with trusted her enough to let her fly from that seat.
She may be PUT or PIC in the right hand seat.

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True.

My only time flying rotary wing was a short stint in a Lynx and I flew from the RHS, with an instructor in the LHS. They did stick me in the sim for an hour first, probably to weigh up the risk as to whether I'd be likely to break it.

My lasting memories of that sortie was how sensitive the collective was and how much easier it was to fly once I learned to kept my feet off the pedals most of the time and let the auto heading hold do it's thing. The deck landing on a T23 was fun, too. That came about after I'd joked as we'd flown out over the sea that we were OK as I had a seaplane/amphibian rating. Next thing I knew we'd been set up to do a deck landing and take off on the T23 that was stooging around off Portland.

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Re: Meet the 20-year-old woman flying tourists around North Island's volcanoes

#9 Post by G~Man » Wed Jul 25, 2018 10:20 pm

In most helicopters the PIC sits in the right seat. The MD500, (think Magnum PI), is flown from the left seat. Most medium helicopters doing logging, firefighting etc have modifications to allow for left seat PIC---easier to look down over your left shoulder than right.
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