Mario Wilsch dreamt of flying, now graduating with a Bachelor of Aeronautical Engineering this year, he is a step closer to his goal of becoming a rotary wing pilot with the Australian Army.

“I deliberately delayed flying training by coming to ADFA to study instead of going direct entry through The Royal Military College at Duntroon," he said. 

"I did this so I could study Aeronautical Engineering to enable me to be a more effective professional aviator who is more intimately cognisant of fixed and rotary wing aerodynamics, design, and maintenance.” 

One of the most valuable lessons Mario learnt during his study here was to “define what success looks like to you, not anyone else, and work towards that”.

He said keeping his end goals in mind, and using those to fuel motivation, was very important during his studies, and he recommends this approach to others.

The practical aspects of the degree were among his favourite experiences.

I had the opportunity to study the effect of helicopter main rotor downwash: this was a fantastic opportunity to get out of the classroom, get around some helicopters and hands-on research experience,” Mario said.

“Another highlight was aircraft systems design courses in my final years, it was a rewarding experience that draws together everything you have learnt in a practical context by designing an aircraft for a proposed customer.”

Mario said he will take what he has learned at UNSW Canberra and apply it to his future training.

Besides deepening my understanding of aircraft systems and aerodynamics to better operate an aircraft, learning where to find, and how to most efficiently assimilate information are key things that will assist in future training,” he said.

So where will Mario go from here? He plans to complete fixed wing flying training with the RAAF before moving on to his rotary wing pilot training.

Congratulations to Mario and his fellow semester one 2021 graduates! We wish you all the best for your future endeavours.