COLAC’S Jonty Creighton is on his way to fulfilling a dream after he graduated from Wagga’s Royal Australian Air Force base this month.
Seaman ATA Creighton, 22, completed 18 months of Aviation Technician Aircraft training in navy aircraft maintenance, and will specialise in Seahawk helicopters.
“It’s akin to an apprenticeship, I’ve done the basics, I know how a jet engine works and about hydraulics systems, but still a lot needs to be done,” he said.
The son of Cheryl and Graeme Creighton said he would continue his training at HMAS Albatross at Nowra, New South Wales, from next week.
“Aviation has always been an overlying interest; in Year Nine I started looking at defence as a career, that’s when it all kicked off,” Seaman Creighton said.
“I knew I wanted to work in helicopters, they were cool, and I started looking at the whole package,” he said.
“All my training is paid for, I haven’t had to fork out anything for my course; outside the military my course would cost a fair bit.”
Seaman Creighton, who went to Colac’s Sacred Heart Primary School and Trinity College, said the first three months of recruit school were tough.
“But you get used to the discipline, recruit school instils that into you – don’t be a cowboy and you survive,” he said.
Seaman Creighton said he would eventually be part of the 816 squadron, which involved big responsibilities.
“It takes 10 people to keep one aircraft in the air, and you’re working until that helicopter is going to bed,” he said.
“I’ll be working on a multi-million-dollar aircraft – if I miss something, there could be quite major consequences.
“It’s not just getting the job done on time but it has to be done right, and being able to contribute to that is a big deal,” he said.
Seaman Creighton’s efforts in training earned him the Schofields Medallion which he received at last Monday’s graduation.
“It was explained to me that it is like the best and fairest award,” he said.
Seaman Creighton’s father said his family was proud of his achievements.
“Even as a young tacker when I took him to Avalon Air Show, he took a shine to helicopters,” Mr Creighton said.
“He’s a lucky boy, living his dream,” he said.
Seaman Creighton said he appreciated his family’s support and that of his Colac teachers.
“Heaps of people helped me get to where I am today, and I am grateful to my teachers especially Cheryl Pefanis from Trinity,” he said.