Date: 9 June 2015

Alison Paas has always enjoyed flying, so when the opportunity came up for her to make it part of her work, she promptly took it.

After completing a road trip from Narrabri to Walgett and Bourke, Alison realised that driving the distance took far too many hours out of her day. She decided that flying would be a lot more time efficient, enjoyable and would give her more time to spend with her two young children, instead of staying away from home for a few days a week.

Alison approached her husband to discuss the applying for flying lessons, to which he responded, “I think it is great that you can follow your dreams and set a great example to our kids of what mum is capable of.”

With the support of her family, Alison managed to fit in time for flying lessons, study for exams, spend time with her family and run her business (Narrabri Physio). She took inspiration from one of her 80 year old clients who had been a pilot over 50 years ago, back when it was almost unheard of for women to be pilots.

With a limited number of physiotherapists available in the Far West region of New South Wales, Alison is able to provide specialised care services to clients by flying between Whiddon’s residential care homes in Narrabri, Walgett and Bourke.

Alison’s first solo flight is the one she most remembers. “When the instructor climbs out of the plane and says, ‘okay, it’s your turn, off you go,’ it is a mixture of excitement and a seriously spiked heart rate. There is nothing like taking off and soaring into the sky on your own,” she reflects. “There were a lot of fist bumps and woohoos going on. I couldn’t stop grinning for the entire day.”

After earning her pilot’s licence, Alison took her husband and her two children as her first official passengers. “My son absolutely loved it and the movie ‘Planes,’ is a favourite for my children. They often draw pictures of aircrafts.”

“Without my pilot’s licence, I would not be able to provide my current services to Walgett, Bourke and other towns due to the time it would require when driving. Having this licence is handy for me and gives me the opportunity to provide better services for those who need it. I look forward to my trips out West. There is nothing better than setting a challenging goal and succeeding in that endeavour.”