From Cockpit to Controls: International Virgin Pilot turned RPAS Instructor shares why she’s happy she made the switch – Aviassist – CASA Drone Training & Aviation Training

It’s no secret that the pandemic wreaked financial devastation across the aviation industry, most notable for international airlines and staff. International Virgin pilot Kendyl Blue explains why she has changed careers to become an drone instructor with Aviassist.

Finally, international borders are open, families are reuniting, and vaccination mandates are disappearing. We started to see some normality back in the skies and down on the tarmac.

In the last few weeks, Qantas announced the much-anticipated drop of their COVID-19 vaccination mandate, reminding passengers to double-check their destination country before flying.

“Vaccination against COVID-19 may still be required by certain countries, so passengers should check the requirements of the country they are travelling to,” said the airline on the 19th of July.

But vaccines are not the end of the challenges that face the aviation industry. 

Soaring flight prices, bad weather, staff shortages and a spike in COVID cases have caused mass flight cancellations and delays across Australian airports. 

In fact, Sydney was recently ranked amongst the 10 worst airports for flight delays in the world according to research by FlightAware Data. 

June 2022 was the worst-ever month for delays and cancellations for Australian airlines, seeing Virgin Australia, Qantas, and Air New Zealand named as among the airlines with the highest cancellation rates.

It seems that the aviation value chain has been impacted in every way imaginable.

A recent op-ed from the International and Domestic CEO of Qantas, Andrew David, gives excellent insight into the truth behind the challenges faced by the aviation industry since 2020.

“The truth is that the difficulties we are facing now are because of COVID and flu-related sickness, as well as an extremely tight labour market.” 

“Thank you for your understanding and patience. And thank you for the kind words of support you have provided our teams working at airports and on flights.”

RPAS instructor and Instructional Designer, Kendyl Blue, was a Virgin pilot for six years and switched to RPAS in 2020. 

Kendyl Blue RPAS Instructor
Former Virgin Pilot, Kendyl Blue




























“I am lucky to have gotten out when I did,” says Kendyl.

“Enhancing my skill set equipped me with the ability to continue my career in aviation, rather than saying goodbye to an industry I love so much.”

“With the completion of a Certificate IV in Training and Assessment – and obtaining my Drone Licence – I gained two highly sought after skills that are widely used across Australia and recognised across many industries.”

It was key to view any setbacks as opportunities in order to move forward in the industry and set new professional goals.

With the drone industry growing at a formidable pace, Aviassist has the pleasure of leading the way in safety and education

As a resident member of the Aviassist team, Kendyl now has the opportunity to help shape the future of Australian aviation. Her position as an instructional designer and RPAS Instructor allows Kendyl to utilise her diverse range of skills as a key player in the development of new course structures.

Interested in a career switch like Kendyl? Or just want to learn more, visit Aviassist.

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