Watch 100th Birthday Launch

I first came to Essendon Airport in 1970 as a nine-year-old on a school excursion by tram.

I attended Flemington Primary School on Mount Alexander Road at the time. The tram stop was just outside the school gate. It was a miserable wet May day when approximately 30 children boarded the tram for our excursion to Essendon Airport.

In those days the 59 Tram came into the Airport, stopping at the Airport Terminal across the road from where Essendon Fields Medical Centre is now.

It was that day in 1970 that I caught the aviation bug.

My first flight lesson was on the 14th of September 1978 in a Cessna 172, VH-EKM then operated by Discover Flying. I remember it clear as day! My grin was probably wider than her wingspan.

After finishing college I worked in a boring office job, but it gave me the money to complete my Commercial Licence, instructor rating and instrument Rating in quick succession. 

My first aviation job was here at Essendon Airport as an instructor for Skybird Aviation. At the time they were located at the Southern end of the terminal, which is an area currently being refurbished. Another big milestone for me – My first paid flight as an instructor was on the 24th November 1987.

It was in 2012 that I started my own flying school here at Essendon Fields, which was originally located in The Suites at 30 English Street. We then moved into the Terminal when space became available, and in September 2019 settled in our current location 30 Bristol Street.

Flight Academy Australia (FAA) is a CASA authorised Part 141 and 142 flight training school dedicated to training pilots of all age groups and all licence levels. If you’re an aspiring pilot wanting a career in aviation, we have a course that will suit! For example, a university course that might be HECS or VSL funded, perhaps 2 – 3 years full time, or even a self-funded course that might take 12 to 14 months if the weather is nice to us. Or if you’re a person that’s juggling family or other commitments, or even who just wants to learn to fly for recreational purposes, I bet we’ll have a course to suit.

If you want to fly for recreational purposes or become a commercial pilot regardless of your age or experience, Mike and his team are ready to help you live your dream. Contact Flight Academy Australia via or on 03 9374 2282 to discuss your next step.

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We'll be sharing your stories throughout the centenary year across the Essendon Fields website, social media and other channels.

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