Childhood Dream Comes True
Somerville student Jaryd Wetzel’s aim to fly F-35s for the Royal Australian Air Force has been boosted by winning the Sir Reginald Ansett Scholarship for Aviation at Swinburne University. The scholarship, established to honour the legacy of aviation pioneer Sir Reginald Ansett, is worth $30,000 over three years of study and awarded each year to a student undertaking a Bachelor of Aviation.
Jaryd’s love for flying started from the age of five when his father took him to the Tyabb airport most weekends where he watched the planes take off and land. It propelled him to make model planes and decorate his bedroom with airplane posters.
“My father was in the Navy and was interested in becoming a pilot but didn’t have the same opportunity as my generation. His ship was stationed with an aircraft carrier which had regular flybys of Navy fighters,” said Jaryd.
Jaryd went to Bayside Christian College in Langwarrin and received his VCE in 2013. In 2014 he had a gap year and worked full time to earn money towards his further education as a pilot. In 2015 he started the Bachelor of Aviation course at Swinburne University of Technology.
So far Jaryd has logged 60 hours dual and solo on a range of aircraft from Oxford’s C172 to the Air Force’s CT4-B at Tamworth. After the Bachelor of Aviation, his goal is to join the Royal Australian Air Force and fly F-35s.