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Competition Winner Has the Flight of Her Life

21 April 2006

Competition Winner Has the Flight of Her Life

Ms Vanessa Allen - winner of the Girl's Day Out competition for a flight in an Airtrainer

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Vanessa Allen had the flight of her life when she spent 40-minutes swooping and diving over Auckland in an Air Force Airtrainer on Friday 21 April.

'It was an awesome experience, thoroughly enjoyable. Once we got going I forgot to be scared and the pilot made me feel very comfortable by just talking me through everything. It was such an amazing view of the city. We flew over my house, my workplace, the city, and the Skytower. We even did some aerobatics - rolls, twirls and loops,' she said.

Vanessa won the prize - a bird's eye view of Auckland - in last month's Girls Day Out three-day careers expo at Auckland's Showgrounds.

Ms Vanessa Allen- in the aircraft with RNZAF pilot SQNLDR 'Sav' Saville before her flight. They flew over the city, taking in Glenfield (where Vanessa lives) and doing a few aerobatic maneuvers over Riverhead before returning to base.

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Air Force recruiter, Flight Lieutenant Kelly Bint, says the Air Force display at the expo had the theme of 'See Yourself in the Air Force' aimed at highlighting the Air Force as an exciting equal opportunity career choice.

'There are no obstacles to women becoming pilots in the Air Force and there are an increasing number of women pilots. We held a simple competition and drew out Vanessa's name from the hundreds of entries,' said Flight Lieutenant Bint.

The Airtrainer pilot, Squadron Leader Ian Saville, is an Air Force Flying Instructor and a member of its aerobatics team The Red Checkers so Vanessa was always in safe hands. 'Flying conditions were near perfect today and Vanessa was a bloody good pupil. She flew a couple of manoeuvres and virtually landed the aircraft herself,' he said.

Vanessa, aged 32, currently works for Yakka - the company that supplies Air Force uniforms - and would have considered an Air Force career if she was younger and didn't have a family. The single parent has two sons Zane 13 and Dean 9.

ENDS

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