Nominations open for CASA Wings Awards

Peter Hales, the 2020 recipient of the Flying Instructor Award. Image: supplied

We’re continuing our support of Australian Flying’s CASA Wings Awards through our sponsorship program. 

The program aims to improve and raise awareness of the importance of aviation safety for the benefit of the wider aviation community. 

Peter Hales, the 2020 recipient of the Flying Instructor of the Year, said winning the award was a ‘huge surprise for him’. 

‘I’m sure there are more pilots out there who probably as worthy if not more worthy than me of this award,’ he says. 

‘I’d thought about giving up flying at one stage but here I am, still going!’ 

Peter’s aviation career spans 50 years and started when he was just 16. Instructing students for the past 30 years, he’s been described as the ‘ultimate flying instructor’. 

Based at Busselton Aero Club in Western Australia, his hands-on approach and calm and patient nature creates a cockpit environment conducive to safe and inspired learning. 

‘Although one of the main issues I have with my students is trying to get them to pay attention to what I am telling them and to stop looking at all the wonderful scenery below them,’ he laughs. 

Many of Peter’s students have achieved great heights (literally) in their own aviation careers with some now working in the military, the Royal Flying Doctor Service and in commercial airliners. He has two sons who have followed their dad’s passion and also have careers in the industry.  

‘Flying is an incurable disease and I do warn my students that it’s a disease that’s very hard to get rid of,’ he adds. 

‘The oldest person I ever taught was 76, so as far as I’m concerned, it’s never too late to fly.’ 

Since 2014, Australian Flying, along with the Australian Division of the Royal Aeronautical Society, have presented the Wings Awards to recognise the efforts and dedication of those who work in general aviation. 

There are 5 categories: 

  • Aero Club of the Year 
  • Flying Training Organisation of the Year 
  • Flying Instructor of the Year 
  • The Col Pay Award for Lifetime of Service to General Aviation 
  • Young Achiever of the Year. 

Nominations for the Wings Awards are available on the Australian Flying website and close on 5 November 2021.